The boogerheads met Muski for the first time the afternoon after he was born. They seemed pretty excited to meet him, excited he was a boy and just generally excited he was finally here. They both seemed to fall in love with him the second they met. They climbed onto the bed and asked to hold him and did such a good job of it. Izzy said over and over “hello new baby and Zoe whispered in his ear..”will you be my brother?”. They were so gentle and loving.
Sitting there on the bed in the hospital, the two of them with Muski laying across their laps they suddenly seemed so grown up. I was left wondering how my babies had suddenly disappeared and missing my tiny gorgeous girls while at the same time being so proud of the grown up ones that had taken their place.
Each day since I seem to notice something else grown up about them. Suddenly they seem taller. Their hands seem bigger. Their faces older. Their words different.
Despite the sudden oldness about them they are sure giving me a hard time.
Izzy is mad with me. Just plain cross and angry. Everything is my fault. She doesn’t love me anymore and tells me so several times a day. She falls off the kitchen chair and yells at me between the tears. She doesn’t love me, she only loves daddy! She trips over the gate and yells at me, coming to wack me and tell me again how much she doesn’t love me.
I try hard to just keep my mouth shut… I want to explain that she does really love me that she is just angry with me and that is ok, but she won’t have a bar of it. She knows it pushes my buttons, she knows the power that phrase has and I am sure she knows how hard I have to fight to stop the words ‘I don’t love you either!’ from tumbling out of my mouth at any moment.
She is mad with me…. until bed time when she waits patiently for me to come and tuck her in (only after Daddy reads her a story because she doesn’t love me and only wants Daddy!) then thankfully at the end of the day I finally get a cuddle and an ‘I love you’….
And Zoe… all the little things are the end of the world for Zoe. She is sad more than mad, and seems confused about it all. Food is a big issue… if it is not perfectly the way she wants it she simply can not cope. If you ask her how she wants her sandwich cut and she says squares, odds on the second you put the knife in she remembers she meant triangles, and then when you try to accommodate that she decides that triangles have four sides and the world comes to an end. She dissolves into a puddle of tears and by the time you have calmed her down enough to ask her what is wrong she doesn’t know anymore which starts a fresh round of tears.
It is infuriating and heartbreaking at the same time. It drives me nuts that we all jump through hoops trying to ‘get it right’ when odds on that is impossible anyway because ‘right’ changes every second and then she forgets what she wants anyway. It is heartbreaking to see her so upset, saying through her tears that she doesn’t know why she is sad….. like she just has some giant well of sadness inside her that opens up when her sandwich gets cut.
I understand why Izzy is mad with me. I brought this new person into her life. I am not there as much as I was before he arrived. I am loosing my cool much more often now that he is here. Not to mention how stressful life was leading up to his arrival. I am pretty sure this sudden change is the cause of Zoe’s confusion and obsession with perfection as well. I get all that…. but I am out of ideas of how best to deal with it. I can’t send Muski back, and they’d never forgive me if I did.
I am thankful that while they we are working out these ‘issues’ they are mostly taking it out on me. They love their brother. They are so gentle and patient with him. They are so helpful when it comes to him, they will sing him songs if he is sad and I can’t pick him up. They will gently rock the rocker or hammock. They pat his head and talk to him telling him stories or how much they love him or what he can do when he is bigger. They are really interested in how this whole ‘baby thing’ works – why he can’t eat ‘real food’, why the bones in his head are soft, how big he will be when he can walk.
I have known some children who’s ‘new baby issues’ were taken out either physically or just verbally and emotionally on the baby, so we are lucky and Muski is lucky that his sisters love him to pieces and hopefully the anger and sadness directed towards me will get better with time…
And they are super good kids in general. They happily play for hours together without much input from me. Ok they destroy the house in the process but some days that seems a small price to pay, especially when I can hear them playing out their imaginary games. Izzy could play dress-ups for hours, every five minutes she takes on a different role. Zoe is puzzle mad and so fast at them. They both love to cook and to help bath Muski. They would happily spend hours in the shed with Daddy doing all kinds of things Mamma doesn’t allow.