Friday, February 15, 2013

"Middle" Child

Chris has been gone this week, having flown out to Honduras first thing Tuesday morning. I'm not sure if it's just cabin fever or if the kids could sense that the Parental Team was a man down, but they have been squirrelly, to say the least. The timing has been unfortunately coincidental with the first week I've felt *truly* pregnant. I have yet another cold and have been fighting the 2 pm coma that creeps up daily. Ironically, of course, I can fall asleep within 45 seconds of sitting down in the afternoon, but when I turn the lights out at night I'm tossing and turning for hours.

Anyway, long-winded and whiny way of saying it hasn't been our smoothest week ever. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me is how much I have come to depend on Brighton to be my "easy" child. In general, she wants to be helpful to me. She is reliably safe in a variety of situations and can be trusted to stick by me while I manage Pacey - who is still SO far off being trusted with his own safety. Often I can ask the kids to do something and while Pacey will initially refuse, when he sees Brighton complying he will follow suit.

After speech therapy one afternoon this week, Pacey took off running down the sidewalk in the parking lot. Generally I can tell Brighton to go wait for me by the car and know that she is safe while I retrieve Pacey before he can run into the parking lot. This time, however, she decided to do a runner as well and there I was, feeling less than sprightly and chasing both kids (laughing hysterically) along an icy sidewalk in the fading light.

It made me mad. Really, really mad. Mad that I didn't feel physically in control of the situation, mad that I didn't have a foolproof method for getting them to stop when asked, and honestly? I was mad that Brighton decided to join the naughty ranks instead of helping me out. I'm ashamed to say I sort of felt betrayed.

I just sometimes forget that she is only THREE YEARS OLD. While I have never explicitly said anything to her about needing to rely on her because I can't on Pacey, I think she sort of gets that. But it's not her job, you know? I never want her to feel like Pacey is her responsibility...I hope she naturally develops a sense of protectiveness and a desire to stay connected with him as they grow into adults, but I do not want to place undue pressure on her to be more mature for my benefit. She needs the space to make her own mistakes and test her own boundaries too.

It's funny to think of her as being my middle child. In many ways I predict she will have more characteristics of a typical oldest child than a middle one. It doesn't much matter either way, but I think about it because I am a middle child and I find birth order - and other intervening circumstances - to be really interesting.


By way of a couple lighter updates, I got Pacey's report card and he is either Achieving or Partially Achieving everything a kindergartener is expected to at this point in the year. I can't even describe how proud this makes me, and how grateful I am for everyone who is helping him to be successful at school.  I was volunteering in his class this morning and it was his turn to be the Student Teacher (talk about the days of week, weather, call on kids to answer questions, etc) and it was truly touching to see what a part of his classroom community he is. Although I don't believe any of his classmates know that he has Down syndrome by name, I see them reaching out to help him with tasks and looking out for him.

Doing the daily calendar work
Brighton continues to gestate along with me. She is learning that one has to adjust one's wardrobe to accomodate a growing baby (in her case it's more about choosing a top that doesn't let her baby fall out...thankfully something I haven't had to worry about). I took her shopping with me for maternity clothes the other day and she spotted the prosthetic belly in the dressing room for women not showing yet. Naturally she had to try that on and it was every bit as funny as you imagine.

She's totally craving pizza

She discovered dresses aren't good for baby-retention

16 week picture - a little late as I'm 17 weeks
 And finally, I've had to take our dog Huff to the vet a couple of times lately to address a urination problem (ugh). Both times I've needed to drop him off for several hours so they could get a urine sample and do some other tests and I've been surprised at how distressing the kids have found it. They clearly still think about Simon and the fact that he went to the doctor and didn't come home. Brighton got especially upset the second time we had to drop him off and cried when she talked about how she would miss him and was worried that he would miss us. I took them both with me to pick him up the second time, and they both greeted him with HUGE hugs and told him how worried they had been. It's really touching to see and makes it worth the hassles that come along with an aging, farty, snoring dog a bit easier to accept. 
This love seat is utilized almost exclusively by Huff,
making it the world's most expensive dog bed


Heather said...

We have the opposite situation here as Scorch is my easy kid. Behavior that wouldn't cause me to blink an eye coming from the Bean makes me crazy when it comes from him. Not fair, but there you have it.

You look adorable!

Navigating the Mothership said...

We had a similar squirrely week where I didn't know if the cabin fever or A. working 12 hour days was making the kids more crazy. Oy.

You popped! You look great.

lucas kyrstyn said...

I have two boys followed by a girl (born in under 3 years), and I find it is my youngest that helps me enforce order, as our official middle child is a stereotypical boy who wants to run around and tends not to always pay attention to what his parents are saying! Our eldest has multiple disabilities (SLD, little speech, wheelchair user etc), and she is fantastic with him. I know what you mean about wanting them to not feel responsible for your eldest, but remember she's learning about the value of people as people, not just for what they can do for her, and as an adult she will be far more accepting of difference than many others!