Watches and Mommy Socks
Well, my first week back at work went just fine, and so far, the second week is going well, too. We were prepared for the worst when I last posted, the night before my first day back at work. I spent most of that weekend working with Dasha on what she could expect to happen at different times of the day while I was gone. I gave her one of my watches to wear, and we made a chart for each daily activity, including the times that I would be leaving for work and coming home. Monday morning I woke her up at the exact time we put on the chart, helped her put "her" watch on, and got her dressed. She saw what I was wearing for work, and wanted to wear clothes that were similar. I picked out a pair of black pants and a sweater for her - good thing we had something similar. Then she pointed to my feet and said she wanted to wear "Mommy socks". This is embarrassing, but I am not really the pantyhose type of person. I'll admit it, I regularly wear those granny socks made out of pantyhose material when I wear pants to work. So I had to get out another pair for Dasha to wear with her high-heeled sandals. It worked! She was a little nervous, but not scared. She and the other kids ate breakfast and everyone gave me big hugs and kisses as I walked out the door. I promised to call during the day to check in, and the first call was a little tentative. When I asked Dasha if she was having a fun day with Granny, she didn't answer, and my mom said she was shaking her head "no". Ugh - big knot in my stomach. I got off the phone and prayed a little. Later that afternoon when I called again the story was completely different. The rest of the kids were home from school, they had played on the trampoline, and were then playing at Granny's house. This time, Dasha excitedly picked up the phone and chatted on and on about what she was doing. She was having a great time!!!! When it was time to go, she actually said, "Okay Bye Mommy - I love you Mommy!" My heart almost burst, I was so happy!
The next two days went equally as well. She still wore the watch and Mommy socks, but even the evenings were fine. On my days off on Thursday and Friday, though, things were a little different. I think I got a little bit of payback for such an easy workweek, and we did have some major tantrums. Amber and Mitchell are so patient through these episodes. I know it is really hard for them to watch their new sister acting this way, and even harder to watch their mom responding to the tantrums. What makes it worse is that Jacob and Dasha have this constant battle going for my attention. Literally, they will both pull on my arms in opposite directions. They both want exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. If Jacob is playing with a toy, Dasha wants it right then, and vice versa. No matter what, someone has to go second and that has been causing some major tantrums from both of them. Luckily when one is acting out, the other is being good, but it has not been any fun. Amber and Mitchell were such easy kids when they were little, and I don't remember ever having to deal with this with them, so I am usually at a loss. I try so hard to give special attention to each of them, but it is getting really hard. I know this will just take time until everyone figures out that Mommy has a big enough heart for everyone. Luckily for me, I am married to the perfect husband and father. He has really been spending extra time with Jacob to make him feel special, too.
Saturday night Jeff had planned a special dinner out for just the two of us for my birthday. We had been having a great day as a family with no tantrums or meltdowns, so I figured things were going to go well. My bad - as soon as Dasha saw us getting dressed up to go out, she started to get pretty mad. Turns out it is okay for Mommy to go to work for a few hours three days a week DURING THE DAY, but if Mommy and Daddy want to go out without her at night, look out! My parents are complete and total saints. They saw what was going on, and how we were actually physically struggling with her when they got to our house. They completely took over and let us go out and enjoy our evening. We tried to time it so that it wouldn't be too late or dark when we left, so we actually had reservations at 4:45 at Ruth Chris Steakhouse - my favorite! We had a wonderful time just talking, and then drove around the coast looking at Christmas lights. No one was bickering in the backseat, we could listen to whatever music we wanted to, and we could just enjoy being together. It was heaven!!!! Thank you Mom and Dad and thank you Jeff!!!!!
Sunday was my mom's birthday, and we got to go to church for the first time in a month. Jeff and I brought Dasha in to the main sanctuary to sit with us and my parents. Still too soon to drop her off in Sunday school. Remember how the first time we felt God calling us to adopt, it was while sitting in church watching a kids choir from Africa perform? Well, we have come full circle. On Sunday, Dasha's first time to ever be in a church, a singing group from Africa came to perform. It was so fun to see her smile and clap and dance as they sang. I just kept thinking, "Thank you God, for getting us through the hard parts and getting us to this point." Not that the hard parts are over. They are really just beginning. The message was apparently written for me specifically, so I feel kind of bad that all those other people had to sit in church and listen that day. It was a message about worry. I have been filled with worry for months now about all of this. I am trusting God, but my human side still comes through a lot! We talked about a verse where God tells us that we should not worry and to look to the birds who He feeds without them having to worry. The pastor talked about how birds flying should remind us that God is in control and will take care of us, just as he cares for even the birds in the sky. I looked down at Dasha in the seat next to me. She was busy drawing on the back of an offering envelope. Guess what she was drawing? Birds flying in the sky.
Today is my birthday, and I have been so overwhelmed by all that my family has done for me. The kids all made such cute cards for me and took so much time and effort to make me feel special. Jeff gave me such great gifts, and my mom got me really pretty clothes. I guess today I get to be the princess for a little while. I'll give the crown back to Dasha tonight, though.