Friday, January 31, 2014

Our morning

I heard Child F. wake up and go to the bathroom. I got out of bed to get myself ready and went to get Child D ... who was miraculously still sleeping. Dressed and ready for the day I sent Child F. downstairs in her pjs as usual (much more comfy to get dressed in front of a warm fire). I started quietly choosing clothes for Child F. and heard Child D. call out. I picked up her sleepy body reminding her to be quiet - the baby was still sleeping. I helped her potty and sent her downstairs with my mom who was just emerging from her room, as I heard the baby wake up. I went and smiled to the baby who babbled happily and wiggled like crazy in excitement. Then she turned her body over and started peeking at me through her crib as I rounded up 3 sets of clothes from 3 dressers for 3 girls. Downstairs, with Child E. (the baby) and clothes in hand, I instructed the two older girls to shed their pjs and started the job of keeping outfits straight and girls more-and-more clothed.
"Car ride?" Child D. asked.
A day where Ren Man is off to work for 10 hrs after morning chores means a day I bring Child F. to school ... which means I usually bring at least Child D. and E with me and often Del ... unless the younger two are still sleeping and then I whisk off quick and leave the sleeping kids with my dad. On other days, one of us usually takes Child F. by herself. Child D. is always excited about car rides ... until about 10 minutes in to the ride. And the school is about 20 minutes away.
But some days she has to come and at least initially she's excited.
"Yep!" I assure her.
"Car ride!!" she says, picking up the pace on getting dressed.

Ren Man almost runs in from chores, he's had a busy morning and his day has just started.
"I moved Toppy" (a pregnant-and-soon-to-farrow-pig), he said, "she seems to have filled out more" (meaning her milk seems to be coming in - a sign that she could be close).
"Okay, great," I replied.
"I think we should set up a heat lamp for her," he continued.
"Yeah, good idea," I replied - we've lost two litters this winter, presumably to the cold. They were small litters to first time moms. Toppy is on her 3rd litter, she's a good mom, and will likely have 7+piglets. We'd like them to live.
"But I don't think we can spare a heat lamp from the chicks," he says.
I agree.
"I want her to have it as soon as possible though so she can move her nest to the lamp," he says.
"Okay, so you want me to stop at the farm store on my way home today?" I ask - it's a day we have farm deliveries and other errands planned.
"Yeah," he replies.
My dad rushes in to the room.
"Wait!" he says, "Josh is going to work? And you're going to drop off Child F.?"
"Yes," I reply a little confused.
"I need to leave right now to go to the doctors, my appointment is at 9" he says anxiously. It takes me a second to figure out why he's distressed.
We have 3 cars between us and 4 people expecting to drive this morning.
"You didn't tell me that," I say frustrated.
"I DID! Yesterday. Twice," he counters.
It's true. Twice. Yesterday.
"I'm sorry," I say, "I thought you were talking about Thursdays vet appointment," I say - the cat that the vet told us 2mos ago had a flea issue, but then failed to pull more than a few flea eggs from the cats fur. Even so, the cat received an antibiotic and started a regular flea treatment. But the cats worse, with open sores all around his neck. So a vet appointment is scheduled for tomorrow.
But today my dad has a doctor's appointment.
"Well, why don't you drop off Child F. on the way to your doctors," I say.
"The doctors is in the opposite direction and I can't drop Child F. off before 8pm, can I?" he asks.
"It's not a big deal to be 10 minutes late or whatever," I say, "doctors always are."
"But they don't like it when you're late," my dad replies.
"I think if you get Child F. to the school for 8am, you should get to the doctors by 9am okay," Ren Man says.

So plans are changed.
And Child D. is sad.
"Car ride!!" she demands, near tears.
"I know it's hard," says Child F. and reaches to give Child D. a hug.
And I smile. On the inside. So often Child F. seems to have no empathy. And here she is saying exactly what I have said a million times since we've met. When a child is sad I try to sympathize and give hugs and distractions. And here is Child F. doing just that. There's hope.

But you win some, you lose some. We're constantly teaching our kids, modeling. It's not purposeful - but it should be.

I see less than ideal behaviors in Del that are exactly what she's seen me do. She says "NO!" way more than I'd like - to Child D., mostly. I know I tell Child D. "NO!" firmly ... but always after multiple attempts at gentler communication or when she is in dire danger. Del feels the need to pull out a "NO!" when Child D. is doing something Del perceives as dangerous or very wrong, but in the adult world, it's not THAT big of a deal. But Del can't differentiate. So it seems the option is to explain to Del why this is not appropriate child-to-child interaction OR lessen my "NO!" occurrence - or a combination of both. I know how Del feels. I felt that way too. My parents needed me to help parent - at least that's how it felt. Del and I have talked about this, but that need to parent/care for/control those around you is so hard to ignore.

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