This week's loop was in the form of an exploding kitchen sink at Matt's apartment that has accelerated his projected move-in date from July to oh, you know, last night.
That's all I have time to write for now... I'll fill in more later. Gotta go pick up Bean from school and go wade through sewage-covered carpets to find stuff for them to bring to my house.
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Ok. I'm back now... ew. EW. That apartment reeks of nasty kitchen sink water. But I acquired dirty clothes to wash and all the appropriate Man-juj to help my co-Captain stay pretty and smell nice. I also grabbed Bean's "Angry Birds" bedding and his sleeping friends so we can set up his bed at home with all of the necessaries.
The kids more or less knew this was coming... Boozer has known for months that the boys would be moving in "at some point". Bean has gradually acclimated to this change through his sleepovers and he is gleefully accepting that this is his new home. I'm a bit surprised actually. I think we expected a bit of resistance from him.
Bucket is slowly warming. Yesterday we decided to start telling the kids that "it was possible" that they'd live with us [we didn't specify duration] because of the exploding sink. She was not thrilled with the idea of sharing a room with Hulk, which struck us as odd because she's always loved having him over for a sleepover and the space we have had set up in the house for him for the last few months is in her room. During the discussions last night she said she wanted Baby to move into her room and Hulk to stay with Boozer. When asked why she wanted that, she said that he talks to her when she's sleeping and that is annoying... but then proceeded to excitedly suggest that we set up walkie talkies between his room and hers so they can talk. Uh... okay? Sometimes, logic is lost on little ones that age so I find it best to just let them be. When my kids are left to babble about their thoughts on tough subjects and I simply reflect or repeat what they are saying back to them, I find it gets them through the mental jungle easier. Slower, but easier.
Matt and I have been reading an EXCELLENT book about the brains of small ones, "The Whole Brain Child" by Dan Siegel and it's been really helpful when the kids (namely Bean and Bucket) find injustice in their little worlds. It is so easy for us as grown adult humans to try and impart logic on our children and we are easily frustrated when they "just don't get it". Really though, it is we that are lost. Children are emotion driven and they lack the bridge to logical thinking. It is our job to help them build a bridge to that way of thinking and rationalizing, and that bridge starts with grounding their emotions and letting them feel things. They feel things SO much more intensely than we do, and that scares most adults so we immediately try to help the child see the logic so they don't feel the pain. We skip over acknowledging their pain and letting them feel how it feels to be sad/angry/betrayed/hurt and then let them feel that feeling fade as they come to their own logical reasoning. When we take a step back and see the process unfolding in our youngsters, it is pretty amazing!
I realized that the first discussions last night were both ill-timed. I first told them as we were driving away from picking up Boozer from school. Boozer was excitedly telling me about her time with her dad and what she'd done in school that day and was talking over Bucket as she was trying to voice her concerns about sharing a room with Bean. It was also "transition day" meaning Bean and I hadn't seen the girls in a few days and Bean was busy trying to get Bucket to play with him. She was simply overwhelmed, unheard and she totally wigged out. I had tried again later that night (again in the car) but I neglected to acknowledge that the kids were a- fresh out of swimming lessons and therefore tired and b-ready for dinner.
I brought up the merge again with Bucket this morning while the rest of the kids were in school. She seems to be more responsive when I can focus on her and her alone. This morning's conversation was much more productive. She was fed, rested and it was only her and I so I could really listen to her concerns. Matt and I had talked the night before and had agreed that while we do strive to put the needs of the children first and respect their timing, this was a situation where we had to put the needs of the family as a whole before that of a child who wasn't on the same page yet. So while she did tell me the things she was worried about, I was able to reflect back her statements, letting her know she was heard and then end our conversation with "I hear you sweetie, and I will do what I can to make this fun for our whole family. They will be staying with us and if you're really unhappy later on, we can talk about moving the bedroom assignments around." She was satisfied and led the conversation away without my guidance to discussions of pink frosted doughnuts and Doc McStuffins.
This week could prove to be a really intense one with the kids and our family as a whole. Matt starts a new job (YAY!) on Monday and we need to pack and move everything out of his place and move about 1/5th of it into mine and the rest into a storage unit for a month. I am starting to go on call for the Babies I have coming up in June (and there's a lot of them!) so I want to make sure my house is functional for the weeks ahead!
Bring it on, June! BRING. IT. ON!