Despite my spending time to write about Natalie's more difficult behaviors recently, yesterday was a good day. We had very little problem with melt downs.
Today has been a much more stressful day, but not really Natalie's fault. Well, the first bit is. She started whining at 4 am. This went off and on until she was all the way awake and saying our names at 545. I hate not knowing how much of that time she was really awake for. So, it was another early morning. Things were going well, but around 730 she found where I (poorly) hid the DVDs in our bed room, and started begging for them. I mean, taking them out of the boxes and standing on tip toe in front of the TV trying to reach the player. I decided to give in, but I chose the movie. Of course, with 20 minutes left in the movie, she starts begging for other movies all over again, but I refused this time. Instead, the plan was to go to CVS to get Mike's RX, then go to the park, then go to the library for story time. I figured that would get her out and about to keep her happy without pushing back lunch and nap, and her falling asleep in the car.
Well, we were having a little snack at about 9 right before leaving, and our neighbor and her daughter show up. She was bringing me the candle holder I ordered at her candle party, and also inviting us to a different park before story time. Her daughter (18 months) tore through the house. She is pulling out all of Natalie's things, jumping on her bed, grabbing toys and books out of Natalie's hands. It wasn't long before Natalie started to get upset about it. I felt bad, but there wasn't much I could do. Meanwhile, my neighbor is trying to tell me directions for how to get to this new park. I'm feeling really unsure about it, so we decide to meet near by (because she has two errands to run) and then I'd follow her.
Well, Natalie is upset when they leave and she doesn't get to go outside. But, I get her to be happy about putting on sun screen and shoes, and we are out the door with ten minutes to get to our destination. So much for getting the RX. Then, I go and miss a turn! So we are suddenly way far from where need to be. I call my neighbor to tell her we aren't going to make it, but she doesn't have her phone with her. So, finally, we get to the meeting spot about 8 minutes late. At least, I think its the meeting spot. The problem with meeting at a Dunkin Donuts is there are so many of them and this one wasn't were I thought it was, but it was the only one I saw. Meanwhile, Natalie is asleep in the backseat, which is exactly what I didn't want to happen. I figure that there is still 30 minutes until story time, so why not try to find this park. Maybe we can still meet up. So, I follow what I can remember of her directions, and amazingly, I find it. It was really one of the easiest locatings I've ever done. Like I almost found it by accident. But, I don't see my neighbor there.
I decide to get Natalie up and go play with her for about 20 minutes. She enjoyed the park. it was the type with a big jungle gym with stairs and slides, all plastic and plastic coated metal. She got a bit upset trying to climb up a slide, but otherwise it was just fun. I tempt her back to the car with the promise of juice. Then we are off to the library. In retrospect, I probably took the longer way there, but I felt the most sure of it. I swear, we hit every red light, just as we had earlier. We park, and I discover that I have one quarter because Mike never moved over my change. The meter only takes quarters and the other spot is further away in the wrong direction of a one way street. So, I say screw it and we just put in the one quarter. I carry Natalie into the library (with just a little whining from her about, park, park which is the opposite direction). The only lucky thing was that the elevator was waiting.
Story time was already ten minutes in, but that was okay. My neighbor was there and I explained why we left late and how I missed the turn. She said they hadn't waited long. I still feel really bad that it was her idea to go to the park and we went, but she didn't. During story time, my neighbor's daughter wants to sit on my lap and such, which makes Natalie jealous. Natalie refuses to walk anywhere in the small room without my hand and demands I pick her up over and over. Exhausting. When story time is done, she plays for a few minutes before I remember the parking meter, and then we head out. Luckily, the ride home was uneventful, other than again hitting like every red light as I'm praying she doesn't fall asleep.
Lunch was moody. She asks for something, then doesn't eat it. Wants a fork, but gets upset when it doesn't scoop the yogurt well. She asks for M&Ms and I compromise giving her fruit and veggie melts that she doesn't realize are good for her. When they are gone, I unbuckle her for nap, and she is trying to rebuckle, not wanting to get up. When I finally get her up, her but is soaked from her diaper leaking. She whines as I changer her. Amazingly, she doesn't complain about nap or that her favorite kitty is missing.
Now its been 20 minutes since I put her down. I could hear her talking and crying a little up until a couple minutes ago. I still feel the same as yesterday. I feel I can't count on her sleeping more than an hour, if that even. But I was lucky yesterday and she slept for about two hours, once she finally fell asleep after 45 minutes of talking to herself and ripping her bed apart. I hope she stays asleep for a while. The morning was hard enough, but an extra long afternoon as well? Its 80 something out, so I do not want to go outside for a walk, and even the yard will be uncomfortable because of the blaring sun. I hope to get her to play in the wading pool, but that only holds her interest for half an hour tops.
A morning like this makes me not only worry about later in the pregnancy (more demand to go out in the heat, more demands to carry her, more demands to follow her around by the hand), but also when William arrives. She didn't deal well with my little neighbor today, but it was rather suddenly that she invaded with no consequences for her pushing and grabbing, no attempts at respecting Natalie's boundaries. With William, she will have months to warm up to him before he takes her things, but he will invade on my time and attention. I worry about how she will do with that. But, it is good for her to see me holding another child, even if it is one almost her age.
Last night I was also feeling anxious about when I'll be in the hospital. My parents will be coming to watch her, but they have never watched her while she is awake for very long, and usually they use the TV to help occupy her. My mother is saying she is worried about giving her a bath because of her knees preventing her from getting down on the floor. Well, I'm concerned about that because what is going to do for diaper changes? Natalie doesn't have a changing table anymore. And what about playing with her? Picking her up? Cleaning up after her? My father will be there, too, but its started to get me worried if they are going to be overwhelmed. I've already been concerned that they will feel uncomfortable with the amount of freedom she has in the house. But, at the same time, she isn't a whirlwind like my neighbor's child was this morning! I just worry that me being away so long coupled with their differences in caring for her will make everything harder for her to deal with. They are coming to visit in July, and we will be putting in at least one more visit to them, so that will give them more time to be in charge, so to speak, and to see how we run things here at home. And, as far as me being away, Mike has agreed to spend a day at some point with her all day (like 8 to 5). I think it is good for Natalie for me to be away a whole day at least once before the hospital, but also I think its good for me to get away and for Mike to see what a full day of making all the choices feels like.