Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nice experience with Rebecca

Rebecca continues to adjust to our new situation at home. This means that some days can be very challenging, and have moments of frustration for everyone. That's not to say that there aren't happy times, or funny things that happen - for example, Becca has decided that Lucy's bathtub is a boat, and she likes to sail it on the living room floor. It just means that sometimes, as the end of the day approaches, you can feel a bit worn down, or as though your parenting skills leave something to be desired.
I was in that sort of headspace by the time supper rolled around. When you're tired, and not at your best physically, it is very easy to slip into auto-pilot. Rebecca wanted to help me cut raw chicken and work with hot oil, but I didn't let her. I explained the reason why, and I asked her many times to return the chair to the dining room (she brings a chair into the kitchen when she wants to help). Instead, I could have given her something fake but amusing to do in lieu of really helping, but I just couldn't manage to think creatively. I felt crappy about it afterwards - it's difficult to know how best to handle her behaviour lately in general, so the little simple moments (by contrast) shouldn't be as challenging as I think they are. I feel like I need to be careful that I maintain the structure and discipline she needs (and ultimately will contribute to easing her insecurity by making things predictable for her), and helping her cope with the emotional upheval of Lucy's arrival. I want to comfort her, but I want to help her effectively as well. It's tricky. She has spent a lot of time just cuddling and lounging and wanting special attention. I do my best to give it to her, but I know there will be times when I will have to forgo her requests in order to respond to Lucy's needs. I want her to be resilient enough to handle that. At any rate, with all these thoughts bouncing through my head, the last thing I expected was a wrinkle-free evening with Becca. She was just easygoing, joyful and affectionate. After her bath, I had dressed her in her bathrobe, and was carrying her to her room, and she hugged me and told me she was happy. Then, when we got to the change table, she gave me an endlessly long, unsolicited kiss, and then when that kiss was over, she put her hands on the sides of my face and gave me another big kiss. We read stories, sang songs, cuddled, and then she went to sleep. So maybe things are going better than I thought.

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