February 24: My heart is elated and then breaking


Yeah! Friday! Time with the kids! Yet at the same time, ugggh… Friday… .that means another weekend is almost here….

I had a great day with the kids:

  • This morning went VERY smoothly; Big Bro, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky were excited about the ride to Big Bro’s school. Red was very cooperative and got dressed all by herself first thing in the AM. Twin Crazy was excited about wearing a shirt with a hood and pockets. They all ate well and were super-excited about vitamins, as usual.
  • The ride to Big Bro’s school was nice – it was a beautiful day and the birds were singing. I asked the Twins what the birds were singing about and they said “worms” — this is a story that I made up with the kids several weeks ago… I was pretending that I was a bird and translating the chirps into “oooooh, good morning good morning good morning…. ohhh it’s a nice day outside…. ohhhhh I’m hungry for breakfast…. ohhh where are the worms, where are the worms, where are the worms…. ohhhh I’m looking for worms…..”. So it’s our own little joke now when we hear birds singing we say they must be singing about worms.
  • Twin Husky was playing with his rubber snake and I asked if it was a nice snake or a mean one… he said a mean one and then I pretended that the snake bit my finger and cried “Ouch”! Then each of them were pretending to be bitten by the snake and they each said “Ouch” too.
  • On the way back home I saw a team of gardeners with a lawnmower so took the opportunity to teach them about the lawnmower and how it is loud and how it cuts the grass and how the grass looks nice now…. it was cute. They were completely into it.
  • While at home, I had a chance in the early AM to brown a roast and make a quick sauce of broth, diced tomatoes, and spices and threw everything into a crock-pot. There. Dinner is essentially taken care of.
  • During the rest of the morning they had a good time coloring, eating, playing hide-and-seek with a blanket, doing puzzles, helping me unload the dishwasher, jumping, showing me their bellies, and being tickled by me.
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    Then it was lunch and nap-time for them. I straightened the house and got some personal items done. The afternoon would be spent in Child Custody mediation so I had a woman who previously helped us care for the kids come over a bit early so Twin Crazy and Twin Husky could wake up and see us with her — and talk about how we love her and how she used to take care of them when they were babies (and how they’re not babies anymore) and had her give them a snack of ice-cream before we left. They immediately took to her and had no problem saying goodbye to us and they went outside with her to play with scooters and bikes. Thank you Kendall!!! We do love you!!!!

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    It was a good dinner, a good pop-corn movie night. A good sister-bonding night. Red: “Do you want to sit here? I will sit right next to you, OK? It’s OK, I’m here, you’re not alone…”

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    But bedtime was rough. I had Twin Crazy and Twin Husky tonight but Big Bro revolted, hard. It was a very difficult time for him, and me. After hearing him and seeing him and hearing him say that he doesn’t want to take turns anymore and him consistently coming downstairs to me….. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I cleaned up as much as I could but then had to seclude myself in my room and cry, and cry, and cry. This is so hard. The forced separation while I am still here in the house is torturous; it’s hardest for Big Bro and he is at an age where he will remember. I am very concerned and it is just going to get harder for them. I need to be strong for them. And fight for what I believe is right for them.

    So today was a day of whiplash for me. It was so great and then so heartbreaking in a matter of hours. I feel like I’m alone in trying to find what is best for them in the long-run – but am putting my trust into a child psychiatrist / custody mediator whose job it is to work out a solution that is best for the children.

    I’m calling it a night –
    thanks for listening –
    – Mama K

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    Comments

    1. I am so sorry for all the anguish that your family is enduring right now. I think there are several life lessons for your family in your current situation. First, perhaps the mediator can help you adjust the night time routine to better fit the needs of your kids. I actually see the benefit of some of the division. At one point in their future, they will be separated from each parent and any routine that they rely on will be disrupted. By easing them into the transition while both parents are still accessible, I would think that would be less stressful. However, we all know that one size fits all techniques rarely work. Big Bro may need an adjustment to his transition. I would also expand upon a comment that I read a little while ago about how kids try to control their world in any small way when it is shaken. Big Bro seems to be exerting (or demanding) his right to have his desired bedtime routine. This stressful time is prompting him to dig his heels in because in his 6 year old world, he wants and craves consistency and simply “what he wants”. Unfortunately, the cold harsh fact is that in divorce or not, we cannot always have the world conform to our wants. Big Bro is at an age where he will be testing the waters. Children grow in years and tenacity. It is natural for him at his age to be stronger in his convictions. They are to be both applauded and gently reigned simultaneously as these actions do shape the person he will become. Life does not allow us to always get our way. Maybe if you could sit and talk with him and explain that you also miss the bedtime ritual with him but that your family is changing and everyone needs to make allowances right now. Let him know that you empathize with him and maybe help him make a suggestion on a variation that would work to appease everyone but still allow him to transition into what will be his new life condition. I know this is very hard but the steps that you take now, will help your children in the long run.

      • You are so wonderful – you just “get it”. You really are talented and in tune with people. You have a gift. It has gotten easier on the kids. And I understand why the mediator is doing this for us. No matter WHAT the custody decision is, or how much time each of us gets, there will be a time (soon) when we will be doing this alone. And the kids will NOT have both of us there together reading and cuddling and transitioning into night. She says the transitions are the hardest. And bedtime is one of those transitions. So we start there. And then work to bigger, and tougher situations. It’s getting easier but still the calm before the storm. I ache thinking about the time when we will have to sit down and talk to these kids about their new reality. Ugggh.

        Thanks again for all of your thoughts.

    2. Kim, I love how you interact with your kids! You are such a great mom! I’m puzzled why you have to divide bedtime??? Have a good weekend!

    3. My heart breaks for you and your children- I read your explanation about why you have to divide up the child care duties but it seems kind of harsh on the kids (and you as a consequence). I don’t know how long you have been doing this, hopefully it will get easier on all as time progresses. All you can do is stay strong for your kids. I hope you have an outlet for your feelings, someone neutral to discuss things with. Have fun with your kids this weekend. They are adorable! Great ages for all too- they are like little sponges, aren’t they?
      Mama J

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