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...
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.