Sunday, August 30, 2009

My dear sweet boy.

This past week has had it's ups and downs. I made a promise to myself last Monday morning that I would not yell at Joaquin. I felt like everything I was telling him was negative and often in not the nicest of voices. I did pretty good for most of the week. But I hate to say it; he's a handful and a half and as the week went on my patience grew more and more thin.

I think we just really need to evaluate some things around here and how we interact with Joaquin.

I feel like our environment has turned into a "No" versus a "Yes" environment. There are too many things that I have to tell him not to do. I would rather he was physically in a place where playing, touching and exploring most things was OK. It's like no matter how much I clear out of this place, clutter takes over and he dives right in. He needs a yard to run around in, a room to play in, activities and toys that are kid accessible and not in a giant pile in a hot tiny room. Our house just feels so kid un-friendly it's kind of a bummer.

Also, I think we need to allow him to burn off more energy. We go out every day, but there were still moments this week where he was practically bouncing off the walls. I mean running around and crashing into walls, furniture, body parts, dogs etc etc. We just enrolled him into some soccer classes which I'm hoping will help burn some of his energy and I need to make sure our days always involve time for him to physically play, especially in the afternoons.

But even with the opportunity to burn energy, it's like he's missing a way to expell a certain kind of energy. It's like he NEEDS to feel physical touch. He tends to squeeze, wrestle and get really rough in his play. This mostly happens with us and the dog, but I'm starting to see it happen with other kids and even in his attempts to hug and kiss the baby. He's not hitting or being mean, just kind of aggressive with his attempts to show affection. I feel like I'm constantly saying "gentle gentle gentle" with him! Am I not hugging and loving him enough anymore? Is that what's suddenly causing this?

I'm also pretty sure some of this is attention getting behaviors. While he's not showing jealousy directly at the baby, I know it's there and these moment of craziness are his way of getting that attention that has been diverted from him. I really hope he will settle down and this isn't a case of baby induced ADHD. I mean, he can get pretty crazy lately...along with ignoring us and some plain old defiance. It makes me wonder "Where did my sweet boy go?"

I almost feel like resorting to sticker charts and behavior modification strategies. But it just feels so manipulative. Do we really need to go there? Can some adjustments to our environment, routine and our attitude make enough of a difference? I'm also hoping that if I start pumping, I can get in some dedicated Mama & Joaquin time...time that is just all fun. I feel like I'm not fun for him anymore.

Today he told me he wanted my sister Ceci, to be his mom, and that he wanted to live with her. He also never wants to leave my mom's house whenever we go over. I get that everybody else is way more fun, but am I that awful to him that he doesn't even want me to be his mom anymore?

I know the baby is only three weeks old and this is still all so new, but it still is a bummer. I was going to come on here and update our week and post some fun pictures and this just spilled out.

Sorry. I'll do my best to post some pictures tomorrow. For now, here he is being is old sweet self the other night...

my dear sweet boy

Now it's time for bed and time to get in some cuddles with Joaquin...even if he is sleeping and won't remember me whispering in his ear how much I love him and how much miss him.


Heather said...

Hang in there! I definitely don't have the experience of having a toddler and a newborn, but I do know about mommy guilt from spending more time with one versus the other. It was bad for me at first. Sofia was super needy and I could just put Maya in the swing. Of course, later, they reversed roles! Now they are both needy!

I think J's behaviors are very normal for a boy his age and one who is used to having mommy and daddy to himself. I think all of you are in a huge adjustment period and you need to cut yourself some slack. It's OK not to be the "fun" parent. Actually, I think it is better not to be seen by your kids as only "fun". You are there to guide him through growing up, and that is not always fun.

You are doing a great job, and I think enrolling J in soccer is perfect. Hang in there! It will get better, and easier, I promise.

Barb said...

Hang in there...he's learning just like you are how to deal with this whole new situation. He loves you and the new baby, it's just not what he's used to. It's going to take a lot longer than 3 weeks. Right now the baby is so little so that doesn't help either. Once she starts to become fun you'll see a change. I obviously don't have 2 kids, but I do have LOTS of nieces and nephews and seen how it goes.

You are doing great, and he knows you love him! Maybe you could sit down as the 3 (or 4) of you every night and you can tell each other about your day together and read together? It won't get his energy out, but he can "learn" about how you all are feeling...including the baby.

Best of luck does get better. :)

Anonymous said...

We just had a new baby (4 Months now) too and we have a 2 1/2 yr old. And she went through the same sort of adjustment phase. My wife and I were also wondering :where did our sweet girl go" I am happy to tell you that is was about a month and a half or so of that behavior and then she was back. Hang in there, he'll be back too. Just takes a while for them to adjust.

a guy

Leesa said...
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