Saturday, July 20, 2013

Richie and me

I'm not sure I am going to sustain this blog very well. At the very least, it looks as if regular updates are not something I am going to do. It's been a month since I blogged.

It's been a busy time, although at work the really busy period is still coming. I have never been as busy as I will be in August. I suspect there may be some stress.

I turned 39. I lost 4kg on my diet (4 to go). I had a fantastic time spoiling myself silly with gifts. We even hosted a small birthday dinner. We went to Southbroom for a week and spent time with my nephews from Australia, who are gorgeous boys aged 11 and 9. That was fantastic (except that if was of course hard work managing with four children when you're used to 2).

I went to see a child psychologist to talk about Richie and me. I went back over old blog posts and saw it has been more than a full year since the Terrible 18-Monthses hit, and Richie has been up and down in mood for that entire time. He mostly seems to take it out on me, which is not unexpected, but it has finally left me sad and somewhat lacking in confidence parenting this little stranger...

*Note: My stepmom said on holiday that Richie and I clashed because we were so alike - both stubborn and determined. I can see those similarities but at the same time I was quite surprised because I usually think of myself as more like Felix: somewhat more given to shyness - possibly introversion - oversensitive, and so on. I had begun thinking of Felix as my familiar and Richie my "other". Wonder if that's damaging?

... so I took it to a shrink. My theory is that Richie is getting cross about his lack of mobility; she agreed this was possible at this age and that having a "learning disability" (i.e. one area of weakness in contrast to another are of strength) is very frustrating. Also, that kids park these feelings in their parents to deal with, so if I was feeling underconfident and sad and cross, probably Richie was too.

Sean told me on holiday to basically ease up on the little guy a little bit (he said it very nicely). I've been so used to getting shouted at for everything that I had stopped trying to resolve things differently. But Sean said, he suddenly thought of how we expected Richie to wake up every morning and fight, fight, fight. Keep up with us on his wobbly legs. Struggle on the beach because sand is extra hard to walk on. Learn how to crawl, walk, ride a bike, try to run and jump, all of which takes him longer and requires more effort than other kids his age.

And then, says my clever, intuitive, emotionally attuned husband, when it suits us, we expect Richie to take off all his armour and NOT fight us over when to bath, what to eat, what to wear, what to play and how to play it.

I've been thinking about that a lot during my silence. I've been trying again to get us all to a happier place. As a result, Richie, who is in the transitional months of dropping his daytime sleep but not yet quite managing to do so, has been going to bed at 9.30PM. We are determined to maintain happy faces. But I have temporarily mislaid my sense of humour. Ag, it happens every year around this time of year anyway. It'll come back.


  1. It will come back. Hugs to you my friend and well done on getting some shrink help!

  2. Ah you know, I see it in too - they do get frustrated with themselves, possibly with the same things we get frustrated with them