As I sit in my computer chair, I struggle to find the right tone, the right balance, the proper words to describe my frame of mind at the moment.
Today we went to the Museum Center with a friend and the children she nannies for. Miz Mary is Hethan and Starbuck's "Mimi," their adopted grandma. Her husband, Roger, is their "Opa," or adopted grandpa. It is always a struggle to get together with Mimi and Opa, due to crazy schedules on both sides. But I've been blessed to see Mimi twice in one week! As usual, it was a fun yet exhausting time! Mimi loves my children unconditionally, but I still want them to behave right around her. She and I, having both been nannies for some rot-- I mean interesting --- children, have certain standards of behaviour for children. Hethan is a very well behaved child, in my opinion. Except when he's not. And today was a testing day. At the Museum Center, he wanted EVERYTHING to be done his way. And that behaviour continued at home as well. I am exhausted from the power struggles.
Yes, you pick your battles as a parent-- there's no use battling over whether or not the socks match--- if the kid wants to go out of the house in mismatched socks, so be it! But when every little thing turns into a power struggle, it gets difficult to choose the battles. Sometimes I just want to give up and say, "Fine, do whatever the heck you want to!" The funny thing here is, my five year old nephew called the other day--- he wants to come live with us because he thinks we let Hethan do anything he wants. We laughed at that.
Yet, for all the testing today, my heart swelled with extreme pride and love for my Hethan. In the past four months, he has grown into such a little man. Four months ago, he needed help in everything, so it seemed. Today, I watched him build a city out of Legos and when I asked if I could help, he informed me that it was his creation. I watched him pound plastic nails into particle board with such concentration. Never once did the hammer head miss the nail head. I observed him putting on a construction vest--- he put the wrong arm in the hole first, then he stopped, assessed the situation, and calmly rearranged himself. I can remember when he would have either asked for help with the vest, or just taken it off and ignored it.
And when we got home, I needed to pump (new development in the feeding of Starbuck) before I did anything else. He got his books, his light sabers, his R2D2 Lego guy, and settled in on the couch for his rest time. He asked me to come and cuddle him as soon as I was done, and how could I resist?
I feel so tired right now. Being a parent is hard work. It's not like you get a vacation from this job. If I let up for even a minute in my training, up bringing, rearing--- whatever you want to call it, of Hethan and Starbuck, we all suffer. I keep looking to the future. Would it be easier to give into Hethan's demands and whines? Heck yeah, especially when I'm sleep deprived, depressed because I still have 15lbs to lose from this baby before I'm back to pre baby weight, and of course, hormonal. But if I do that, what kind of teenager will he be? One who does not respect his parents, one who thinks that the world revolves around him, one who thinks that he can do whatever he pleases. I will not willingly raise that kind of child. Our philosophy is that Hethan and now Starbuck (when she's old enough) has to learn to obey Mom and Dad without question on some things--- because if they can't obey their parents who they can see, how can they obey their Heavenly Father whom they cannot see? Yes, there is some room for negotiation with the children--- we are after all, raising them to think for themselves and to make good decisions. If you never give them the chance to make choices, they never learn how to make good choices. So of course there are times that negotiations are possible. But on some issues, there is no negotiation. Like walking in the street or parking lot--- gotta hold onto a grown up's hand.
Ahhh, parenting. It's a fine line between raising good kids and screwing them up forever! :)
If you don't want to read this part, which deals with my feeding of Starbuck, please feel free to skip down til you see the *********END*********, ok?
So, I've started pumping my breast milk to put into bottles for Starbuck. After talking to many people, we discovered that I have a forceful letdown of milk, which was causing Starbuck to gulp gulp gulp! Which makes her swallow tons of air. AND, due to my overabundance of breast milk, she had the same problem Hethan had--- all foremilk and no hindmilk. Which makes for a rich diet--- and we know that in adults, that leads to gastrointestinal discomfort. So, each day, I pump when I would normally feed, and then give the girl a bottle. This actually works well for me. Due to my overabundance of breast milk, I pump enough at one time for two feedings. So, I end up being able to put about half of my pumped breast milk in the freezer. This is a good thing. We've also started giving her one formula bottle at night--- another good thing. Helps her to sleep longer, which means I sleep longer too!
The end result here is that Starbuck is much more comfortable and quite a bit less gassy. She's sleeping for four hour stretches at least once a night, and then into three hour stretches. This is fine with me at this point!
Ok. So. I'm doing a bit of traveling here in the next few days/weeks. Tomorrow is a trip north to Toledo area to see my dad and the rest of the family up there. On Wednesday, it's a trip south to GEORGIA!!! to see the rest of the family. Now, you might think I'm not excited about seeing my dad and my family up north. I AM!!! I can't wait to see them. It's just that my heart belongs in Georgia, and I'm anxious to get home. I need to see my mountains, to hug my gma, to giggle with my best friend, drink some real sweet tea, eat some Zaxby's, and just all around relax in the atmosphere of home. I'm so darned homesick right now that it kills me. I go through these times though, and I get through them. I love my life here in Ohio with Aaron and everything else that I have. But a part of me will always be down South, more specifially, in the mountains of North Georgia. That will always be HOME! I think Heaven looks a lot like Blairsville, ya know?
My oh my. I think today calls for a Mike's Hard Lime after the kids are in bed. Or at least after Hethan is in bed! :)
Oooooh, did anyone watch American Idol this week? Survivor? Lost? YIKES!!!! Now I just have to wait for Heroes and Jericho to come back! YAY!