April 20, 2014

Beastie or bestie?

Okay so when Hattie was born, Fred was probably thrown for a loop. He seemed to really like her or know he was supposed to but he had very little patience for this little being that was interfering greatly with the world as he knew it. She got to nurse all the time and be in mamas arms and he was supposed to be gentle w her when all he wanted was to see what happened if he poked her eyes really hard. He would sit on her, grab her, do the eye poking thing, wake her. There was a night or two under very stressful circumstances (definitely my fault for not giving him adequate attention and playtime) where he scratched up her face and made her bleed in 6-7 places....night of the Gilbert temple open house. It was horrific. She was weeks old. I slapped his hand and yelled at him. :( :( We would try time outs and talking about it and ignoring it and completely separating and helicopter parenting and letting him go to see if he'd back off. I was completely stressed out, worried, questioning everything, had read everything I could but it was so hard every day and I didn't know what to do. I felt regretful and guilty all the time. And even worse for feeling those things. It was like a crazy conundrum where i felt I had no choice but to neglect both of my kids. I wanted to get out of the house for my sanity and to give Fred lots of playtime exercise and interaction w people. Hattie needed to nurse and be held all day and it was so hard on her to be in the car seat so much so young or out at the loud park etc where it was uncomfortable to nurse when I knew she wanted to be in bed nursing and sleeping on my breast all day. But when we stayed home and did that, Fred would get bored and end up watching tons of tv---which I felt horrible about. I know everyone says it's normal and you have to do it etc but I feel so guilty having him watch tv. He's the type of kid that is so active and needs to be outside running and playing every day. So I felt like I couldn't find a balance between mothering a toddler and a newborn.  I was super emotional. And felt like such a failure. 
I had a friend tell me to give it 3-6 months before things got, "better." I didn't get it before but I do now. We have come a long way in the past 4 months (she turned 4 months yesterday, the 19th). He is so much more patient and gentle. He knows she's here to stay. He probably can't remember life without her. She also has grown and is stronger and able to handle more from him.  She is more patient. (Btw, She rolls over constantly and loves being on her tummy mostly till she's sick of it and then really wants for someone to come save her and hold her! So cute hehe.) While Fred still gets hyper and rolls over her and gets in her face a little and is still obsessed w her eyes, he doesn't poke them so hard, he loves her and tries to comfort her, helps me gently burp her, tells her "it's okay, Hattie." He (with my help) picks her up and lays her down slowly and carefully. He is mindful of her many times and tries to listen to me when I ask him to be careful w her.  And she totally adores him. She gets the biggest grin on her face when she catches any glimpse of him. 

Tonight was a little gigantic reward for us as parents. We were all in their floor bed, Hattie asleep, Fred getting ready to lay down himself, (they don't sleep together all night. We have her sleep in his bed--and check on her often--till we are ready to go to sleep and then grab her and bring her in bed w us). We were saying good night and trying to keep her asleep, when Fred announced that he wanted to "see Hattie," as he often does while she is sleeping!! I was hesitant but quickly repented. He quietly bent down and hugged her so softly and whispered to her, "you're my best friend." ((I'm getting teary just writing this!!)) Collin and I silently gasped and looked at each other, then back at them. He repeated himself a couple of times before he went over to his own side (diagonal from her on the bed) and laid down. Look, I'm not niave; I know this was a sweet moment and there will be many more accompanied by many many more crazy hard ones, but tonight this was just a sweet little Easter Eve gift, and it melted me into a sweet little bunny soup. 

Have you seen the Because of Him video on Mormon.org? Well go there and watch it. #Becauseofhim my family will be eternal forever. 

1 comment:

  1. of course it takes time for everyone to learn the new "normal." freddie and hattie will be such good friends. and when you can see them interact, not just the lop-one-sided interaction now, but real back and forth---you will be one huge mess of bunny soup! -Erin h