Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They say it gets better

... but I'm wondering when!! I thought for sure Jack would be adjusted to Jude by 4 weeks, but it appears that we still have things to work on. Monday just may have been the worst day so far. Jude was up at 6am with gas pains. The day was dark and rainy and we never got our walk in. And Jack hadn't eaten much for breakfast and was in rare form (I think I'm starting to notice a direct correlation between hunger and Jack's behavior). After some flying fists and blocks, directed at both the baby and I, followed by some screaming over not getting his own way, Jack was removed to the play pen in his room. He was not happy about these consequences and made sure we all knew it. I'm pretty sure the neighbors knew it too.

I was at least able to finish feeding Jude and put him down for a nap. By then Jack had quieted down and was ready for lunch, and without a baby brother to contend with, he was a much more pleasant little boy until nap time.

Even so, I had to wonder, when does it get better? Because in a few weeks Jude will be awake more, and in a few months he'll be playing with Jack's toys, and a few months after that he'll be walking around the house. Just when is everything supposed to fall into place?

Needless to say, I was a tad frustrated at the end of the day. So I posted a plea for help on a Babywise message board I'm a member of and within hours had some great advice! Like changing our schedule around so Jack has independent playtime during one nursing session, and room time or TV time during another, making sure we have quality one-on-one time each day, having Jack do some attention-focusing activities at the table, and using his toy cars to role play being "gentle" and "rough." One woman who replied had twins and another baby 17 months apart and, 20 months later, is pregnant with her 4th!! If she can make it work then there's no reason why I can't!

And so I'm going at this with renewed vision. My original dreams of nursing Jude in one arm, reading books to Jack in the other, all sitting in a circle on the floor singing Kumbaya ... well, apparently that's not our reality right now. And I'm okay with that. Rather than trying to deal with the problems as they come up, and getting stressed out over an unhappy toddler, I think my new plan is to try to avoid such situations altogether.

I really don't think that Jack has a problem with Jude himself. He definitely loves giving the little guy kisses. I think he just doesn't like not having his Mommy all to himself. And I also think he's bored. So we're tweaking the routine and doubling up on the hugs, kisses and "I love yous", and it's going to get better. It has to, because these two boys WILL be best friends if it's the last thing I do!

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