I'm staying up tonight to watch the Project Runway season finale, so I figured I should take advantage of my awake, no children time.
There isn't too much new to report. We had a nice play date yesterday with friends from playgroup. I was happy to be able to pass on some clothes both for her up coming child and her current child. On a whim, that afternoon we went over to the high school I used to work at to visit my friend who we haven't seen since William was born, and we also saw a few other teachers I hadn't seen in a long time. Its always fun seeing what Natalie will do and say and how people react to her. Today we just went to the library as usual and our home visitor came in the evening. Again, it was fun seeing what Natalie would do and say. Our visitor brought a set of blocks, the kind that are all different shapes, and Natalie had a ball building with them! I never would have though that because she usually ignores blocks. I also learned today that she knows how to pretend to be scared. Mike left the kitchen light on, so I turned off William's light to make it darker in hopes of helping him drift off. Natalie came in and said she was scared of the dark, but she was smiling and playing. I said, you don't look scared. And she suddenly puts on this totally scared face. She brings her hands up to her mouth and makes scared eyes and started walking in these little steps. I sent her back in to Mike for him to see.
Meanwhile, today was William's two month birthday. To celebrate, I tried him in the Bumbo seat again. He did very well. He sat for about ten minutes before letting me know he wanted to get out. He was looking all around, clearly amazed. I also tried having him hold a toy again today. Up until today, ever time I've tried to give him a toy he has acted upset to have something touching him. But today he held a toy several times for a while, once or twice he even brought it up to his mouth. This sounds small, but its very exciting to me. We are getting much closer to him being able to play. And not only is play exciting in terms of him learning and exploring, but it also means he will be happy doing something other than being held, sleeping, or eating.
Which brings me to some of the frustrations I've been having with the kids. With William, he just gets trying to deal with. I'm so used to Natalie who can tell me what she wants, that its more frustrating to not know what William wants. For example, the last two mornings we've had trouble with nursing in the living room. I can't really figure out what is going wrong, but I know he must be hungry after not eating for three hours. I think its his improving control over his head and moving his arms more that are causing the problem. He is using his body against himself by accident. I just get so frustrated knowing that he should eat, but we just can't line up properly for him to stay on and he screams at me. This is my biggest frustration with William. Second on the list though is when he won't be happy unless you are holding him, and holding in up on your shoulder, and standing walking him around. With each of those, what you are able to do declines, and I wind up having to tell Natalie I can't do anything with her.
As far as Natalie is concerned, there are three things she is doing. First of all, she is being picky about food. Asking for a snack, eating a few bites, then wanting a different one. Excited about getting something, then eating half. It feels like she isn't eating anything, but she's getting most of her calories from snacks. Part of it might be having to sit in her chair to eat, though she doesn't complain to get down. Related to the food, is her issue with her hands being dirty. She'll eat some yogurt, realize she's gotten some on her hands, and then its over. She gets very impatient for me to clean her hands. Today at lunch, I'm nursing William at the kitchen table which is already uncomfortable, and she starts complaining about her hands. I tried to give her the wipe to clean them herself and it was the end of the world. Lastly, her volume control is a problem. William will be screaming and she is trying to talk to. Either she is yelling too and its just sensory overload, or she is too quite and I can't hear her. Or, she starts yelling when William is sleeping or during story time.
I continue to feel like I'm not doing good enough for either of them. I feel Natalie spends too much time playing alone, or that our interactions aren't really playing or meaningful. When I'm not holding William, I feel like I need to seize the moment to get things done or just want a break. William has slept in the last two mornings and I've tried to really focus my time on playing with her during that time. I also try to play with her for a moment here and there, like when Mike is doing his diaper before bed I'll try to run in and give her a kiss or a tickle. But I feel pretty bad for William too. He seems to always be left crying somewhere. He cries in the car sometimes. He cries often while I get Natalie lunch. I put him down to get a snack, go to the bathroom, do Natalie's diaper, get Natalie a drink - and he cries. This directly contributes to me not playing with Natalie as much or as closely as I'd like because I just can't enjoy it if William is screaming. My guilt and frustration combine to make me pretty crabby sometimes. Snapping at Natalie, yelling at them, slamming things to keep myself from yelling at them. But, even though I feel overwhelmed at times, I am still so glad that I am home with them and not dealing with the same issues but pressed into a a couple hours at night.