- It’s important to exert your independence as early as possible so that they know you are capable of taking care of yourself. Never allow help when getting dressed, changing your diaper, or going to the bathroom as it shows weakness. If you absolutely cannot do it on your own, and you’ve tried screaming and rolling around on the floor already, then and only then accept help but make sure you demand it in a loud whiny voice.
- Always say “No” first when answering any question someone asks you, then actually listen to the question to make sure it’s not something you really want.
- Actually, you don’t even have to always listen when someone asks you a question. Sometimes it’s better to just tune everyone out and pretend you don’t hear anything, because at some point someone will say Cookie or Go Play Outside or something else awesome to get your attention, so get really excited about it so they feel guilty and have to give you whatever they said.
- When mommy or daddy count numbers in the wrong order it means something very bad is going to happen. It’s best to hold out as long as possible, until they get to 1, before actually doing whatever it is they want.
- A plate is just a general suggestion of where food should go.
- Procrastination is your best friend. Make sure that you wash your hands three times, brush your teeth for 10 minutes, and play dress up with all of the clothes in the bottom drawers before bed. It may mean no story time or only a 20 minute nap, but it’s so worth it.
- Your sibling’s life is in your hands. Make sure mommy knows every time your baby sister is crying, and what it is she needs. If mommy is taking too long to give her a bottle, go ahead and make one for her.
- Because of all that you do for your sibling, half of her dinner belongs to you. Make sure you remind mommy every other bite that it’s your turn.
- Mommy needs lots of help cleaning. If she gets out the vacuum cleaner, go ahead and take over for her so she can watch but not go anywhere else. If she starts sweeping, you should take over that responsibility too. If she’s doing dishes that for sure is something you can and definitely should help with.
- Be careful, things on the stove may be hot. Make sure everyone knows this.
- Frequently remind people of what belongs to who. Tell mommy that she’s wearing mommy’s shirt, and tell daddy that this is daddy’s cup and make sure they know what stuff is yours. And be sure mommy knows that she is your mommy. Catastrophe may happen if she is not fully aware that she is your mommy, so remind her often.
- Be sure you keep everyone in line. If daddy gets up from dinner empty handed, go ahead and scold him to take his plate to the sink. If mommy isn’t singing and dancing along with the song you just learned in daycare, be sure to cry at her because she’s definitely doing it on purpose.
- Never get left behind; if mommy is more than three steps ahead of you, tell her to wait for you, and if she doesn’t, have a meltdown on the stairs, or in the kitchen, or wherever you might be that you could definitely get lost.
- Rules apply to everyone except you. If you aren’t supposed to step in grandma’s flower bed, make sure you trample some flowers while telling your cousin to get out of the flower bed. Pull mommy’s hair but then reprimand your sister when she does it to you.
- When daddy decides to watch TV it is optimal timing to put in a movie. Go ahead, try out three or four movies before walking away and leaving daddy to watch Dumbo or Sing Along Songs without you.
- The cat is not allowed to sleep in past you. If you catch him sleeping in his cat bed in the morning, make sure to tell him it’s time to get up as you dump him from his cat bed. Then make sure you throw the cat bed in another room so he can’t sneak back to bed.
- On random occasions, completely baffle your parents by being the most angelic perfect child ever for a little while, just to get them off their guard.
Two Fridays ago Eric had foot surgery to repair an ankle so damaged that they found broken pieces of bone and the ligaments on one side were no longer really attached to anything. It was an injury he obtained at a younger age, but had wanted to correct for a number of years. In fact, when we would just go for walks in our neighborhood, the slightest unevenness would cause him to roll his ankle if he wasn’t paying attention.
When he found out his insurance would be changing he took the plunge and scheduled a visit with a doctor who recommended surgery and got him scheduled.
Unfortunately for me, his surgery took place at the end of February, just a couple weeks after Avery’s back surgery. So she’s still recovering and requires a little bit of extra help, and now my hubby is out of commission too. So not only is he not able to help with the babies, he also needs help himself.
I will say, it has been a little bit stressful at home. I’m starting to find a rhythm and things are getting better, plus now Eric’s becoming a little more self-sufficient now that his pain is managed and he’s figuring out how to get around and to better take care of himself. At first it was so incredibly hard being nurse to two and mommy to two (Avery in the overlap), but each day gets a little easier (with the help of a LOT of prayer.. mostly for patience).
Aria is a little frazzled by all of the changes, between Avery and Eric’s extra requirements and now bedtimes and mealtimes are a little different, and mommy is the only one chasing her around and taking her places and reprimanding her bad behavior (Eric will verbally enforce but can’t pick her up so can’t do any physical punishments like putting her in timeout, etc.). It may have taken a toll on her behavior as she has gotten multiple negative behavior reports this week. I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. We had a talk last night and I told her she needs to be a good girl at school, and I’m trying to help her see that listening to instruction is beneficial (and can be fun.. like cooking or learning something new) while not listening means reprimands.
Funny thing, at home she is actually being pretty good. She’s been helping me with preparing dinner, she LOVES to take care of her little sister, and she’s been just an all-around help for the most part. We’ve had a few rough moments, but in general she’s actually a pretty good girl. And it’s not like she’s suffering from not enough attention, we go for walks or play outside most evenings, she went to the park for an entire afternoon with most of her cousins and her sister, and she’s having a pretty good spring. (The monkey is all about climbing right now)
And she really does adore her sister.. in the mornings before being dropped off at school she wants to just sit and hold Avery’s hand. Avery seems to really enjoy the attention. And she makes sure Avery has toys, and tells me if Avery is crying and needs a bottle (which she sometimes tries to make herself).
I think her favorite part of her daddy’s whole “boo boo” situation is that she gets a free ride around the house whenever he’s on the move. She throws a fit if he goes somewhere without her, because she loves to catch a ride on his kneeling scooter thing.
Bedtime has been a little different, but she really gets excited when I tell her Avery’s going to read books with us. I put Avery on the beanbag chair and Aria sits in my lap and we read books and it’s very sweet.
Last night when I was reading, Aria went over and was showing Avery how to put shapes in a shape sorter. She would stick the shape in the hole so that it was just sitting there not quite all the way in yet, and then she would take Avery’s hand and make her push it the rest of the way in. Then she would applaud her. It was so cute.. my phone was dead or I would have taken a picture.
She’s actually participating in prayers more now too. When I say her bedtime prayer for her (I say it from her perspective), she actually repeats everything as I’m saying it. Then we both say a very fervent “Amen!” at the end together.
So while things are different, I’m just not entirely sure why she’s acting up at daycare
Avery on the other hand has figured out she can manipulate me. She just loves being held, cuddled, snuggled, kissed, adored… She can play by herself as long as someone is nearby and she’s not all alone in a room, but she prefers to be held most of the time. I just can’t manage that, though, so she ends up on the play mat on the floor or in her bouncer seat in the kitchen and she generally tolerates it most of the time. But at bedtime she demands my full attention. So after Aria is in bed Avery’s bedtime routine includes washing her stitches on her back, cleaning her helmet, and then whatever else depending on time or dirt (like a full sponge bath or not). Then we usually read a couple little baby books, some of which she gets SO excited over, like the ones with flaps that open and show something different underneath. Then we cuddle and she has her last bottle of the night. When she falls asleep I flip her over and she drools on my shoulder. It’s very sweet. It’s the only me-time I really get during the day, because she will just snuggle there and I can read or watch something on my tablet and no one bugs me during that time.
When I’m sure that she’s sated and snoring and I’m ready to go finish off the night (like dishes or laundry or general cleaning up or preparing lunches or getting ready for bed or whatever is left to be done) then I go to lay her down in bed.
And that’s where the trouble has started. It used to be that I could lay her down and she would be done for the night. Lately she’s started waking up as soon as I lay her down and then I have to hold her more and try again. Or she might go down but then wake up an a few hours later and I have to try again. She’s figured out that I will tend to her if she cries… because I have to. As she’s still recovering, part of the limitations were that she can’t cry. At least not hard crying. It apparently puts the wrong kind of pressure on her spine, which we’re trying to heal, so along with no sitting up or standing or straining to poop, she’s not allowed to cry. And therein lie my troubles.
The last couple of nights she woke up and I let her cry as long as it was just fussing and whimpering, but when it became more forceful I would go try to comfort her. But then she would just get louder and louder until I ended up picking her up and holding her. I tried snuggling her in the rocking chair, and she would instantly fall asleep on my shoulder, but when I would lay her back down her eyes would pop open and she’d start crying again. I tried feeding her more, repeated snuggles then attempts and placing back in her own bed, but kept failing miserably. So I did what any exhausted mother in the middle of the night would contemplate but probably not actually do… I brought her to bed. I tucked her in between Eric and myself, made sure she safe from being smothered by the blankets, and then passed out. And or course she would sleep perfectly, pressed against my side, through the entire remainder of the night.
When she’s allowed to cry again I think we’re going to have to work on sleep training. Poor baby’s just going to have to cry, because she needs to be able to sleep in her own bed. Even if she is the cutest snuggle in the entire world.
So with Eric’s surgery at the end of February, the total came to four surgeries within seven months, one for each member of the family: my c-section, Aria’s tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, Avery’s cord de-tethering and Eric’s foot reconstruction. I’m sure our insurance company LOVES us right now, and we still have at least one more surgery to go in just a few months!