I am pretty much the first to admit that I think I’m superhuman most of the time. Of course, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I realize I’m not but I tend to ignore all that. Today was one of those days where the reality that I am not became apparent. I’ll try to explain.
When we decided to take on the challenge of bringing three more kids into the house, we knew that after some adjustment, there would be a point where reality set in with each one of the kids and they would have to process it in their own way. We knew that when it happened, it would be a tough thing to deal with and we knew that it would be pretty emotional. Frankly, I had hoped that these realities would set in with each one of the kids on a different day, at a different time, and that it would (in my own ideal world, of course) also all occur at a time when both Jessica and I were in the same room to work through it with the kids. She is actually much better at talking to the kids to make them feel better, despite her tough-love “suck it up, buttercup” exterior.
It was not to be. . .
Jessica and I have been taking the “Divide and Conquer” strategy to dealing with most of this during the week until we get a good solid handle on things. This generally means that I’ll take a couple to a few of the kids to one thing, while Jessica deals with the others.
Today was a no-school day. To be honest, they have so many of them these days that I have no clue why they were out of school. I just know they were. Jessica was planning to see about getting ‘N’ (the three’ish year old) into the Toddler program at the school while I was going to take the older kids to Helium, a trampoline park here in town. As I might have mentioned, despite being almost three years old, ‘N’ has the vocabulary of an 18 month to two year old. And while he comprehends things very well and it’s clear that he is quite bright, his communication skills are lacking. The toddler program will help him get more socialized and build on those skills.
With Jessica off to do that, I loaded up the kids (along with the neighbor’s daughter who is eight) and went to Helium. I had to make a pitstop along the way to sell some tickets to a show we had originally planned on and during the time I got in there to drop them off and leave, Eli and ‘A’ had already had an argument. ‘A’ was sorry but feelings were hurt and things were a bit quiet.
Once there, we were told that Helium now required you to wear their special grippy socks, so I had to buy 4 pairs at $2.00 a pair. This was when Brenna had her meltdown. She didn’t want to wear those socks. Period. It took a good 15 minutes to get her into the socks and then another 10 minutes of her thinking I was being unfair and never wanting to play with me again before she was laughing and giggling.
Then, after about 10 minutes in the foam pit, Eli came to sit with me and I could tell something was bugging him. He explained to me that someone had jumped on him in the foam pit but I could tell that it was something else, so I inquired further and said, “is Helium no longer any fun for you?” And that’s when the waterworks came. As expected, he’s feeling a bit lost and neglected. Adjusting to having the attention of his parents and sister exclusively has been tough. And, the truth is, we didn’t really give him a choice in the matter. After talking to him for a good half hour, he concluded that had he been given the choice, of course he would have wanted to open our house to the others. I spent a good 30 minutes with him on my lap just sobbing. But then, after he got it out, things got better for him.
I thought things were good, then, until later when I took Eli and ‘A’ to Taekwondo. Suddenly ‘A’ got really quiet (he does often) and when I asked him what was wrong, he started crying. He misses his mom. He has not seen her since Tuesday and while he is trying to keep a stiff upper lip and says he understands the reasons for everything, he misses her. We’re going to try to get them together this weekend.
So, despite the fact that I think I’m superhuman most of the time, today reminded me of just how human I really am and how human we all are.
On a positive note, ‘A’ asked me twice today if he could call me “Dad.” I think it may be something I will run past Eli, first, though. 🙂