Life With Nine Kids

Sunday, May 5, 2013

From May: A Long Blog Post....Wants, Needs, Love, Toddlers, Graditute, Blessings...a run on blog post over weeks of time

Everett is a MONSTER! Seriously.
A friend of mine wrote that her daughter was being a 'giant rude asshole' the other day and it made me seriously laugh-out-loud because little kids can SO act like that sometimes. (She didn't say it to her daughter, she’s was venting to adults of course.)  Like sometimes their ability to be rude, disrespectful, whinny, needy, jerky and unmanageable just reaches new heights of what is normal and there is just no other word you can grasp to describe the frustration. Now the last three days, because toddler hell has been released on my household in waves of terror, I think to myself "you're acting like such an asshole!" But you know, even if it's not nice, sometimes it's just true. If anyone else was acting like this they would be thrown out of my house! But because they are two, four, or six you have to just go with it and talk it out one problem at a time. The only real successful way I've been to handle what I call being in 'kid-hell' (and the way I explain it to the other kids to help us all cope) is to pretend that the toddler/preschooler in question is from another planet. We pretend that on their planet it is totally okay to throw their spoon or spit out popcorn kernels on the floor. On their planet clothes must be optional and sprinkling seasonings from the spice cupboard all over the den, bed and floor is a routine way of having fun. We pretend Everett's spaceship dropped him here and he can never return so we have to teach him the way of our world. And it's a long process.

In the last 24 hours Everett (2) poured a water bottle into the silverware drawer, peed on Ricky (while sitting innocently on his lap he just starts peeing!?!), peed on the living room floor, threw toys around the house more times than I can count, dumped water on the dining room floor, dumped water on the kitchen floor, rolled out toilet paper (an old pastime apparently he's decided to re-discover) and a bunch of other highly annoying things. There are times when he just simply looks for something "bad" to do for seemingly no reason, there are times when I don't think he knows what he is doing, and then there are times when I can tell he’s doing it out of boredom or reactionary reasons.

Maybe you're reading this and you don't understand what I mean by having a jerky kid. If you are that person you may have had really easy "angel" kids, and I know because I've had them too. If I never had the jerky ones I would have no idea what I was talking about either; sometimes you're not dealt the difficult, spirited, ornery, jerky kid card, but sometimes you are. I wasn't dealt one until Layla. (Sage was a difficult young kid but in a different way.) Layla was downright spirited and had some attachment and tactile sensitivity issues. She was hard but I think her stubborn and difficult behavior was due to her personality more than anything. Sebastian and Everett had/have an ornery streak that far surpasses anything we've seen before. Sebastian grew out of it and now we are mostly just working on self-control, frustration control, and respecting personal body space. (grabbing, hitting, etc.)

Everett has now entered a familiar stage that we totally remember from Sebastian. Partly I MUST admit that we let the little boys watch too many superhero shows at WAY too young of an age. They have been adversely affected by the high speed, high fighting images. We've put a stop to seemingly innocent but ultimately violent TV and the impulsive hitting behavior has gotten WAYYYY better, but the ornery almost boredom induced jerkiness is still something we are working on, with Everett at least.

I'm pretty sure since we have eight kids we are even more likely to have a wide spread of special personalities. I think it must also have to do with the fact that I'm a bit high spirited myself --Ricky lovingly sneaks in comments about me being a bit manic so I can't blame the children too much. lol. I'm manic and spontaneous and he's analytical and calm. 

We are weird: We're both fairly introverted homebodies that like to be around each other all of the time but can’t take too many social engagements back to back. We also dislike crowds of people (it totally exhausts us). We are a totally bizarre combo! We both over-analyze going places. For example, if we want to go to a concert we think about all of the exhausting things we’d have to do to go. This usually includes driving, parking, going in, dealing with crowds and then spending hours fighting traffic and crowds to get home. So we’ll both say nahhh and settle on dinner, music at home, coffee on the porch and maybe a game night or TV instead. Such homebodies.

Back to Everett, more and more we see him apologizing genuinely, even to his siblings, seeing that he does care about others and tries to make amends --usually.
 I think he's trying to fit in. It's totally about boundaries and testing limits, but it's also about finding his place in the family and in the world. 
I still wonder on occasion why it's okay to hit kids but not dogs, but lock dogs in crates but not kids. I could really use a crate around here sometimes. Sometimes I'm like, what can I DO with this CRAZY fit throwing and thrashing little kid who is dumping out my basket of laundry right now? And that's around the time when I think I need a baby crib. But that's a short lived thought because by the time the toddler age rolls around and I think I "need" a baby crib to curb a fit-thrower my kid could just climb out of it and flip me off anyway. (Just kidding about the flipping off part lol, our kids don't do that ;) 

Everett can climb and get up or in anything; getting out of a crib would be the easiest thing in the world to him. It would be fun.
I've posted this before but it's good enough to post again:

“I really think it’s crazy that we hit our kids. Here’s the crazy part about it; kids are the only people in the world that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable and the most destroyed by being hit but it’s totally OK to hit them. And they’re the only ones! If you hit a dog they will put you in jail for that shit. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly: ‘FUCK ‘EM, WHO GIVES A SHIT!  -Comic C.K. Lewis
Luckily when baby brother Everett was born Sebastian mellowed out. Not forever, but for a long time. He focused on caring for his brother and the household dynamic changed for the better. No matter what adding a new member changes the household dynamic, it's just going to. The kids have always been excited, always been helpful, and have always gained a lot from a new sibling. There is no reason for me to assume anything different will happen at this point. Also right before a new sibling is born we go through a crazy time where everyone starts fighting and I think how am I going to do this!? And Ricky always says 'the same why we always have been doing it' then suddenly it all stops and peacefulness is restored around that same week the needy newborn arrives. I'm counting on it this time. I have actually spent many pregnancies worried about what was going to happen after the new baby came and if I could handle another baby...and everything always worked out. And if not Ricky will just have to quit his job and we'll all move back to Indian Springs so Aunt Sharon can help us raise all the kids. (Just kidding ;)
I have so much I want to do, want to start, want to write, want to accomplish, want to fix, want to finish, want to make, want to ..... want to...want to...

My mind is a ADD train wreck of constantly evolving impulse and ideas. I'm an Aries: Impulsive, project starter, adventurous. Aries are forceful, dynamic and aggressive. Found online about an Aries: "Faith in life and the future remains untouched by hardship...their gift is that they are always children at heart and the world is always a magical place for them."
That sounds so right. Living with me might not be very easy but it's not boring. I'm all over the place. A constant flow of energy, projects, and expectation. I'm learning that it's totally exhausting being me sometimes.  I make myself crazy by having to have everything in order, everything in place, everything controlled, everything fun, everything beautiful. I ask myself all of the time why I'm not more content. It wears me out and I'm sure it wears my family out too.

In addition I'm the only one over age 7 or 8 years old allowed to stress out. Stress in other people throws me off balance. Since I know this I have to make an effort to be extra sensitive to others when they are stressed/cranky, I have to work at it. I've realy worked on it since having teens in the house! I have to be thoughtful of others to act like it's okay for other people to have bad/stressed days too. 

I have a friend who just lost her Grandmother to cancer, I have a friend who is asking for prayers for for a 3 year old little girl with cancer, I have a dear family member getting ready to have cancer treatment. Our neighbor is leaving her house on Saturday to go live with her daughter in Nevada. She is dying from cancer. (Charlotte is taking care of her house and 5 cats until it is sold and they can hopefully re-home the adult cats.)

Recently I've been reading the blog of a woman whose husband died unexpectedly and she's left with kids and pain and her soul mate gone. It's wretched and I have no business reading it; none at all. The rawness and cruelness of love and life mixed with random tragedy pulled me in and I have to stop it. Her pain does nothing but make me weep, and her sorrow will still not be gone because I weep for her. Going through loss is a hellish trip. It’s the cruelest thing about life and I have serious issues with it.
Enjoying Now ~ The small things are the big things
My father in law sent me a beautiful mother's day orchid. 

My Aunt and Grandma visited us with strawberry cake and stories and fun.
The kids all had something fun over the weekend to enjoy; parties, nature classes, fun time at a creek.
My kids make me laugh. 

I have a houseful of food and kids.
I have as many children as I could ever want.
I am rich with love beyond measure.
Everyday my husband looks at me like he did the first week we met.
And last but not least: Happy 35 weeks to you little baby girl...or boy! You are alive and well and lovely and I'm carrying life. 

Stop, Breathe, Be Thankful.

And of course sometimes it's hard to see the good and sometimes I don't have to ALWAYS see the good. Sometimes I can be and cranky, remorseful, or overwhelmed and not feeling one bit guilty about it. Because that is life too. But most of the time I don’t want to; most of the time I can't muster the energy it takes to think that life is that bad (stressful maybe but not bad!). I have a deep appreciation for what I have because I feel it would be a travesty if I didn't. I never want to wake up with regrets. I never want to feel guilt or shame or sorrow for not enjoying something I should be. I don't want to pass up a field of flowers in haste to get to a pot of honey. 
While continuously adding to this two week long blog post I got into a stupid argument with Ricky over something stupid (we had different opinions about a news report and an argument ensued). I should have noticed he was working on his computer and he had been very busy and probably stressed. I didn't take notice though. I walked off pissy and got in the shower and thought to myself that he was being SO jerky. As I let the tension run from my body I thought to myself that yes he probably was being jerky, but probably it was because he'd been awake since 5am...and he's still up working at home after coming home and spending quality time with me and the kids and then helping brush teeth and putting everyone to bed. Yeah he's probably pissy, he's at work again just four hours after he got home from work.

My mind flooded with the words: He's here...HE'S HERE. Over and over...chanting in my head I heard: Your husband is home and you are fighting with him. It didn't matter that he said this or that or that he sounded grouchy with me for no reason. It didn't matter. I didn't really care at all. He's here and I love him. I knocked on the shower wall and he came in so I could tell him I was sorry and I didn't want to fight or be grouchy. We kissed. He said he was sorry too. And this is why my favorite love/movie quote and mantra to my life has been this for so very long:  
I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No...not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that...over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable- like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love- like there has never been in a play.  -Shakespeare in Love

And so I tell myself to stop, breathe, be thankful, be the love.
Somebody somewhere is losing their moment to be thankful. Someday we all lose moments, so I look for the good ones and don't take them granted. I’m obsessed with not taking things for granted. I think it’s because I love life.

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