Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Quite There Yet

I've been meaning to write, to update about how life with two kids has been this week. Rafael is such a great baby. He sleeps all the time, even through Michaela's loud laughter and talking. He's completely different than Michaela was as a fussy, colicky newborn. He is eating great and only waking up 2-3 times a night (yeah!).

Despite this, I have had a really rough week. Michaela is having a hard time getting used to the idea that she has to share Mommy's attention with somebody else. It is like somebody replaced my sweet good-natured little girl with somebody else's child while I was in the hospital with Rafael. This child ignores me, throws screaming-on-the-floor tantrums, and tries to smother or hit her brother every chance that she gets. Add to that the fact that we are used to being on the go and have stayed home all week to help us adjust to our new family before we try returning to our playgroups and field trips. Let's just say the week ended with me and Michaela both suffering from a severe case of cabin fever. The weekend was much easier with Daddy being home to help diffuse some of the tense situations. Philip is so good with Michaela and has really stepped up this week, taking over her bath and bedtimes, feeding her, changing her diapers and being her main entertainer. Not only that, but he is also making sure I am eating and taking care of myself. Yesterday was such a great day that I was all set to wake up this morning and write a glowing post about how quickly everyone is adjusting and how great everything was going.

And then this morning hit like a ton of bricks. Rafael, who has been a complete angel, woke up cranky and refused to be put down. Michaela woke up in a good mood, but things quickly went downhill as the morning progressed. The morning culminated in her climbing onto her little table in the kitchen and throwing herself, her lunch, and her cup of milk onto the floor in a screaming fit when I told her to get down. Meanwhile the dogs are scrambling to eat the fallen food, Michaela is screaming even louder because she wants to eat the food off the floor herself, and Rafael choose that moment to wake up hungry and with a dirty diaper. Let's just say Michaela went down a little early for her nap today.

I'm trying really hard not to complain. There is so much to be grateful for, especially that both kids are healthy and relatively happy. I'm also trying really hard to be sympathetic for Michaela. I know that things are really rough for her right now, and that's why she's acting out. I'm trying to spend as much one-on-one time with her as possible to show her that she is still important and loved. And I know that part of our problems are of my own making because I've been fairly lax on discipline before now, mostly because it's never really been an issue. But now, if only out of safety for herself and for her brother, there need to be boundaries and rules and consequences for breaking those rules. I just have no idea how to do it! I know after a few months we'll hit our stride and have a new normal and won't even remember what life was like before Rafael. We're just not quite there yet.