I'm so glad today was a good day, after the night I had!! Thankfully we didn't have to be anywhere this morning (our only weekday morning like this!), so when they woke up, I encouraged the boys to ferret out some crackers and turn on a movie (they are now capable of doing this independently). Of course, after snoozing for two hours I ventured downstairs and discovered that they had helped themselves to COOKIES, not crackers, so that's a healthy start to the day!! I howled. It was worth it for me to sleep those two hours! Today was actually not just good, but GREAT. I felt calm and happy all day. What a contrast to yesterday and last night!
I wanted to add a new development, post Stu.
Before, I definitely internalized moments where Matthew felt overwhelmed or pouty, and blamed myself. If he was unhappy, it must be my fault. And this made me SO, SO frustrated with him in those moments. Who wants to be reminded of their failures time after time? Anyways, since Stu left (he really doesn't talk much anymore, even from the ground), I've noticed a slow shift to externalizing sad, pouty, tear filled moments. Today I even thought a few of them were endearing. THAT'S a first! When I am not expending energy on internalizing his sadness and managing my guilt, I've so much more energy for EMPATHY. Which is what we're supposed to teach our children in those early years, most importantly above all else. And the best way to teach anything to a child is to model it. Like, this morning, Ayden and Matthew were waging World War III downstairs and I called Matthew away to get dressed. He was whining and sobbing and carrying on, but I noticed myself smiling at his antics (in my sleeve; not so he could see...would hate for him to feel I didn't take him seriously) and I opened my mouth and said, "Why are you sad?" He answered "AYDENMWEAHBEFWENE ME!!" I had no idea what he said, but I knew what he meant, so I just said, "Oh, sometimes it's hard when Ayden is mean to you and doesn't share, isn't it?" And he said, "Yeah," and that was that. Then he snuffled a few more times, and got on with life.
See, before I would have FELT angry, though I would not have said much.
Ah, Stu. How much better off I am without you. On my most tired days I've more to give.