Love me or hate me

Hello!

Happy Thursday!

The relationship between my two boys will forever stress me out. It changes by the second. And Camryn isn’t even one year old yet! I can’t imagine what it will be like when he is old enough to pick on his brother and also defend himself. It will be quite interesting I am sure. I am also sure that I will be grey by the time I am 40!

Just this morning, Aiden was playing with his toys. The optimal word here being ‘HIS’. Which means, not for Camryn to play with or even look at. Camryn starts crawling towards him and Aiden, like a madman, starts frantically picking up all his toys while yelling NO!!!! He then moves across the living room to get away from his brother. I think he temporarily forgot that Camryn can crawl now, so before he can even lay his toys down his brother is right behind him reaching, grabbing and pulling on Aiden to play with him. Aiden is beet red by this point and I can’t help but want to laugh. After all, I have three siblings so I know what it’s like to want something simply because your sibling has it or simply because you don’t want your sibling to have it. Instead, I tell Aiden to please be nice and play with his brother. Aiden refuses and abandons his toys, walks away and starts playing with something else, leaving Camryn to look at the toys and look back at Aiden and then stare straight ahead. His little mind realizing that they aren’t as appealing now that his brother isn’t there to play with them too.

So Aiden starts playing puzzles on the iPad. Camryn is drawn to the bright colors of course, and he just wants desperately to play with his brother. I sit Camryn on the couch next to Aiden so Camryn can watch him. Harmless enough you would think! HA! Not a chance (which is what Aiden actually says out loud when he realizes Camryn is watching the screen)! He then maneuvers his body in a way that hides the entire screen from Camryn’s view. Ugh! When did he turn into an ASS!! He wins! Or does he….because Camryn thinks this is hilarious and starts pulling on Aiden’s shirt and tugging at his hair. Aiden gets mad. He gets off the couch, goes to the rocking chair and snarls at us from across the room. So Camryn is left with his second choice, me, and we play on the floor with his toys (and maybe some of his brother’s while he is not looking).

I can’t help but feel sorry for Camryn. His brother wants nothing to do with him….most of the time. So Camryn spends a lot of time entertaining himself (which is definitely not a bad thing. Aiden always played well alone too but he really had no choice). When he is not entertaining himself he is chasing after his brother, begging to be played with. Most times it seems Aiden ignores him, but there are times when he doesn’t. There are times when they play together, or Aiden tries to teach Camryn things. There are times when they are sitting side by side and laughing or playing a little too rough for my liking and I am overwhelmed with complete and utter happiness. My heart feels like it is going to explode as I watch Aiden put his arms around his brother, give him a hug. Then kiss his face. He has even told Camryn that he loves him. He even tells him he is his best friend. He even told the lady at Dollarama that she can’t bring Camryn home with her because he belongs to our family. It’s been a while since he told me he wants Camryn to go back home to the hospital where he came from.

And then while I am looking at them, smiling about how having two kids is the best gift I ever could have given myself, or them, it happens. The love and affection is short lived. The laughter turns to screams and tears and one of them is falling and landing on the other and within 22 seconds I go from sappy Mommy to referee as my two boys tumble to the ground in a headlock. Damn it. Reality has struck again.

Seeing as Camryn is a baby and unable to defend himself, I grab him from underneath his brother and Aiden starts crying harder. “Deal with me first” he cries! So I adjust Camryn on my lap, making room for his brother. Both boys are now crying on me, getting boogers all over my shirt, pants and hair. It was fun while it lasted, the sharing, playing and sappiness. But it was very short lived. Even so, I don’t feel defeated because I know that I’ll get those moments back again. Someday.

An hour later, I see them sitting on the floor reading a book, Camryn trying to turn the pages before Aiden is ready. Aiden starts yelling at his brother. So I tell Aiden to stop yelling at his brother. Quiet story time turns into trying to prevent a helpless book from being torn to shreds. *Sigh* They are lying down on a blankie, being all cute, so I run for the camera because I want to capture this moment. But before I get out of the room Aiden realizes that it is his blankie they are lying on so he pulls it out from underneath Camryn, sending Camryn rolling across the room. Within 10 seconds it went from ‘Ahhh how sweet’ to ‘Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!

I constantly hear myself saying ‘Aiden, watch your brother. Aiden, be careful! Don’t hurt him. Careful of his arm. Don’t run over his fingers’ day in and day out. I am terrified to take my eyes off of them when they are together for fear that one of them will get hurt- by mistake or on purpose. We’ve had blood, bruises and lots and lots of tears. Not all Aiden’s fault either. I have a feeling that Aiden better watch out when he’s older because his brother will probably be bigger than him and want payback for all the times he wouldn’t share his toys. I dread the day when I know it will only get worse.

Aiden will often request for Camryn to go for a nap. Or if we are going out somewhere, he’ll ask if Camryn can stay home alone. I don’t think it is solely because he doesn’t like his brother’s company. I think part of it is the attention he loses when Camryn is around. Part of him misses being an only child, I know that. But he’s adjusting well to being a big brother. He loves his brother and shows concern for him when he’s crying. But sometimes, just sometimes, when he sees me get frustrated at Camryn, I swear I see him smile out of the corner of my eye. Like he’s thinking ‘haha! I’m Mommy’s favorite! She loves me better than you because you won’t stop crying when you should be napping’. I laugh because I know that at some point in this day I will be frustrated with him too and Camryn would be the one smiling if he was old enough to think the way Aiden does.

It is definitely hard and it definitely keeps me on my toes. I know I will forever sleep with one ear and maybe one eye open as they get older. But the moments where they drop their guard and show their affection for one another are the best moments of all. I may not have time to grab my camera, but I have the mental image in my head. It reminds me that love each other or hate each other, it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is that they will always, always, have each other.

Hugs & Smiles,

Sonya

Coldplay

Hello!!

Happy Monday!

It has been a long time since I wrote a blog. Not by choice. I accidentally stepped on my laptop and well, let’s just say the end result wasn’t pretty. I blame the last 5 pounds of baby weight that I can’t seem to shed for destroying my precious laptop. As punishment I was left with nothing but an iPad and a cell phone and I refuse to write anything longer than an email on either. So here I am….back at it!

I probably have a 10 page blog written in my head from my experiences over the past few months. Of course now, thanks to baby brain, I can’t seem to remember more than half a page.

I had a horrible week in September. It was like Camryn hit the 9 month mark and decided to spice things up. He stopped sleeping through the night. Not only that but he started screaming every time I laid him in his crib. He isn’t usually rocked to sleep, but all of a sudden he wanted nothing but to me in my arms. The second he realized he was being lowered into his crib he would let out a window shattering scream, start flailing his arms around and I swear he would give me the middle finger as his head touched the mattress. It was like overnight he turned into a different baby. A pissed off, ‘pick me up and rock me bitch’ baby. Three naps a day, bedtime and 1000 times throughout the night he would scream until he was in my arms. Then he’d be sound asleep, I’d lay him down and you guessed it. He’d wake up screaming. I’d be back to the drawing board. I let him cry it out a few times but there is something about hearing your child gagging himself from crying that makes you feel bad, so I stopped.

So I was tired. Exhausted. Physically and mentally wore out. I dreaded sleep time. I would have kept him up all day if I could. One day at nap time, I was letting him cry for a minute because I had to deal with another issue out in the living room. Aiden had discovered that I washed his blankie. Shit. Shit. Shit. It wasn’t ready for naptime because I was too busy dealing with Camyrn to put it in the dryer. I immediately started sweating. I calmly broke the news to Aiden and prayed that he would handle it well. The last thing I needed was a meltdown from him. I am not usually afraid of my child. I am the parent, I am the boss. But on this day I just wanted a miracle. I was so frustrated with Camryn, that I just needed one child of mine to cut me some slack. Give me a break. Be good! But nope. The shit hit the fan. He had a full on tantrum. It was unbelievable. Camryn was screaming in his crib, Aiden was rolling around on the floor screaming for his blankie. I lost my cool. I went to the washer, took the soaken wet blankie out and I threw it at him. Yup. There you have it folks, my proudest moment. Like a child I yelled at him and threw the blankie on the floor next to him. I just wanted….no wait, I just NEEDED him to shut up. It worked. He was surprised by my actions, but more than anything he was happy that he had his blankie. He went for a nap, falling asleep to the sound of crying. Not just Camryn’s either. Camryn was still crying in his crib, Aiden was in bed trying to get his breath back from crying so hard so I did what I would like to think any normal mother would do. I went into the bathroom, turned off the light and turned on the fan and I cried. I cried until my head hurt. I cried until I had the urge to vomit. Then I picked myself up, wiped my face. Fixed my pony tail and walked out of the room. I apologized to Aiden, then I picked up my still crying 9 month old and rocked him to sleep.

Then I left his room, picked up the phone and called for help. The boys spent a few nights with Nana while Mommy got some well needed rest and a mental break.

I will never forget that day as long as I live. I will never forget the look on Aiden’s face when he saw me throw a wet blanket at him. He saw me cry. He heard me curse. He also heard me apologize, drew me a picture to make me happy and told me he loved me. I may be his Mother but I am only human and I think now he knows that.

I had such a hard week that week that I was starting to think that maybe I had late onset baby blues. Or maybe my birth control pill was throwing my hormones out of whack. Then I realized that nope, I was just a mother of two small boys who was exhausted. Mentally and physically, I was spent. I had nothing left. When I was crying in the bathroom that day, I kept saying over and over to myself “I can’t do this! I CAN’T do this!”. And that wasn’t the scariest part of all. Part of me wanted to speak the truth out loud…. “I don’t want to do this!” Right there in that moment, I was not having fun. I was not enjoying motherhood. I was at my wits end. I was overwhelmed and stressed and I did not want to do it anymore.

I messaged my sister (who is my best friend, my lifeline and also a mother of two) and told her how I was feeling. She reassured me that I am not the only parent who feels this way. That being overwhelmed from raising two kids entitled me to feel the way I did. That the “I can’t do this” and the “I don’t want to do this” feelings weren’t reserved just for me. I felt like less of a failure after talking to her, and more like I said above, human.

During that week when I was struggling with Camryn’s naps and was very much sleep deprived, I wanted to update my facebook status about how shitty my week was. But I never. Partly because I know not everyone is interested in my bad days and partly because I didn’t want the judgement. But never because I wanted to make it seem like my life is perfect. I knew my ‘my kids are driving me insane’ status would stand out like a sore thumb among all the sappy statuses and smiley pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading happy statuses but sometimes, when I am having a shitty day and all I read about is how precious and perfect everyone else’s life seems to be, it is frustrating. Sometimes, just sometimes, I find myself flipping my computer screen the bird after logging into facebook. It is hypocritical really because I am guilty of writing such statuses too. I am a sap. I love my kids, I brag about them and I do cherish being a mommy. But some days, some days, what I really want to read on Facebook is that someone else is having a hard day with their kids. That Motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses for other Mommies too. It is hard ass shit. I also love to read funny statuses! Someone please, make me laugh! Funny statuses are the best! You never know whose day you can change with a funny status 😉

I spent two nights away from my boys that week and I swear it was the best thing for me. I went out for a few drinks with my hubby and some friends. I went for walks, to fitness class, ran errands and stayed up past my 9pm bedtime. I slept in. I napped. By the third morning, I was up and out the door by 9am headed to Nana’s to pick up my boys. I felt refreshed, energized and more than anything, relaxed. I missed them and wanted them back with me, where they belong. Here comes the sappy part…..because no matter how bad my days are, I realize I am lucky to have them. I love my boys and not a day goes by where I don’t tell them this 108 times.

There is a lyric to a Coldplay song that I often find myself singing. It’s a song about love. It is very fitting to Motherhood. It goes….

Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard

It’s the love that makes it worth it.

Hugs & smiles,

Sonya