Friday, May 20, 2011

The new "Normal"

When will it all be normal again? – Kylee
How do you answer this to a 4 year old? What is normal to a 4 year old? What she had before, was that “normal”? If so, no, I pray it will never be normal again. I get what she means. She is tired of walking up and down stairs to her home. She is tired of sharing her room. She is tired of the back and forth. She is tired of not having a back yard. She wants a puppy, she wants her mommy, and she wants her daddy. Now that is normal for wanting all of these things. Heck I would prefer not to walk a flight of stairs daily with groceries and a toddler in tow.
 I try very hard to make this transition as simple and easy for her as possible. For the most part, she has been amazing at adjusting to life’s crap. But there is no way around the fact that it will never be her version of normal again. All types of finality hold hands with anxiety. Anxiety of the unknown or the pure….finality of it. It makes the parenting thing a little stickier. For instance, when she buries her pouty face in the sofa and gives me the silent treatment (which I kinda like, so HA, jokes on you sista!) because I gave her the purple cup and I should have known she was thinking the pink cup and melts down completely… I pause and wonder, is this typical 4 year old tantrum or is it the product of a broken home? Her dad and I have extended a lot of grace towards her in this area and yesterday, she did something that meant so much to me. She asked me why my voice sounded so funny and I explained that I was getting sick. She immediately hugged me and consoled me, prayed for me and pampered me. As much as 4 year old can. But then she got up, started picking up the living groom and playroom/dining room. I watched her and when she was finished I said thank you so much and asked her why she did that voluntarily? She said “because sometimes you need a break too and you’re sick mommy.”
She used to come home from her dad’s and it was like I was being given a new robot toy with no features programmed to the hard drive. I would have to tweak, turn and import all the basics features of a young sassy child that I was certain she had when she left. I realize now this was just typical behavior for a child learning to be with her parents separately. Testing boundaries and exploring new techniques. But now, she usually comes back BETTER than when she left. She has a very strong bond with her daddy and I am happy that I can still use the threat  technique of “I will tell your daddy” and she panics like I am threatening to throw her off the I-30 bridge in rush hour traffic. And get this, IT WORKS! I tell the Ex, he says he will handle it, and he does. Or so it appears so in her behavior when she returns.
I am coming down with the creeping-epa-zoodi  which means our jam packed weekend will be completed with little to no energy from mama and abundance of energy dripping from the kids. Since my children love to see the sunrise, we typically wake up at 6am, even on Saturdays. So we will have plenty of time to get our daily dose of Icarly, Spongebob Dumb Pants, and Olivia before we need to hit the road. A couple of kid birthday parties, trip to target, the bank, church ministry, church, another trip to Target just cause, and if the weather allows, some fun time at the park. My theory on being sick with kids is to stay busy. Don’t let your body slow down enough to realize it is in need of rest. HA, rest. It just sounded funny. Sure, come Sunday night I will probably feel like Gumby and most likely need a box of wine to induce the Thera-flu effects. Oh well, it will still be a blast. I want to thank my girlfriend Stewie for having her son’s party between 3-5.That is the perfect time frame. It is well past the lunch/nap time, close to dinner time and a perfect way to exert their energy before the evening begins. Bravo Stewie!  
Nothing stinks more then when a mom throws the birthday party smack dab in the middle of nap time. I get that your child is on no type of schedule or maybe you have given up completely on making your child take a nap, but my children without a nap are like gremlins if you feed them past midnight. They become mischievous, dangerous and seem to multiply and bounce off the walls and create a scene that you will need bleach, Pin sol and a mop to clean up. This mini-rant was completely unprovoked and uncalled for, I realize this. I just wanted to mention it, in case anyone reading this thinks of inviting us to a party between the hours of 11-2pm because my RSVP will be nope 
(With Nap)
AND
(NO nap)
 
(please notice the gingerbread man's head is missing...I would be that gingerbread man)

So, my answer to her question, “When will it ever be normal again?” I say, nothing is really ever normal. We are creating our own normal, and it works. Our circumstances will change constantly. Some will be pleasant, some not so pleasant. But we are still a family, in our own normal way.

P.S.
When Kylee checked my forehead for a fever, she told me my face stunk… I asked her what is smelled like and she said “horrible” and I couldn’t help but laugh. All this time we were blaming Logan for that smell when it was my stinky forehead!! Good to know!

Happy weekend everyone!