Friday, March 12, 2010

A New Voice

Trace has discovered his inner banshee. He always used to growl at us when newly born. That eventually faded, but it wasn't that horrible when he did it. It was kind of soothing, even sweet. Now he screams.

And not just a normal scream, either. He has discovered how to force the air out over his vocal chords in such a way as to perfectly impersonate The Wicked Witch of the West. The kid is sitting in his crib at this very moment, actually, lodging a complaint in that scratchy, loud voice--"Aah, aah, aah, aah, aah!" Which, loosely translated, means, "No, I didn't give you permission to do that." It's nap time. No, I'm not letting him cry it out. I'm not even ferberizing him. Sometimes--when he's eaten too much at lunch time, usually--he's unable to self-soothe enough from nursing (in this case, his belly's already full, and he didn't want much), and he "asks" to be put down. Then he complains until he falls asleep (2-10 minutes, tops). It's not actual crying (after 3 kids, I know their tricks), and I know if I come pick him up, he'll actually become mad.

So, he's in his room. Screeching. He also screeches in a similar fashion, these days, when I'm feeding him. That time, it's a sharp, "Aaaaaah!" that most nearly means, "Faster, Minion!" (not to be confused with its alternate translation, "I'm losing my patience with you quickly, Mother," that comes as I'm attempting to snap the side of the diaper closed)

Don't get me wrong. I have said in the past--and I continue to say--that he is THE most laid-back baby I have ever had. He's sweet, and cuddly, and a complete joy to be around. And he's sleeping quietly now--now that he's had his say.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Foster Care

Lee and I are attending GPS classes. Okay, really I am, and Lee is at work, but eventually he might get to a few. I forget what GPS stands for, but it's foster care parenting training. We're working with a wonderful agency called AGAPE, and it's a good name. Because what these kids need is agape. These kids have been through so much. I've learned so much since we started, and there is always something new to learn.

For example, it never crossed my mind, when thinking about this good work that is at the very crux of my faith and beliefs... [some of? most of?] these children will NOT WANT to be in my home. No matter how kind and loving and supportive I try to be, they're just going to want Mommy and Daddy back together, in their old house. And while reunification is the number one goal, it's not always possible... but it won't keep the kids from wanting it, and trying to make it happen--which is where a lot of misbehavior comes from--trying to be bad, so they'll be sent back home.

Oh, so much to think about. I feel more enlightened, and yet, less knowledgeable, with each class, if that makes any sense. But this is something I am determined needs to be done, and I want to do it with all my heart. Your prayers would be highly appreciated.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bed's calling...

I am seriously considering burrowing back into my bed. Exhaustion like the early days of infancy is setting in. Trace has Roseola, and it has been a very, VERY long week. I apologize to those of you whose babies will shortly be contracting this. Apparently, infected children only seem to transmit the disease BEFORE they start showing symptoms. Oops. That would be Sunday. At church. You know, that place we see more people than we will see all week?

And there's also no way to treat it. It's a wirus, as my pediatrician calls it, and the only thing for it is to let it run its course. And run, and run, and run.... Not complaining, really. Trace is by and far a very healthy baby. But he sure picked a doozy. The fever period is over. That was the first three days. Now he has a rash, and still feels pretty lethargic and puny. That is supposed to last anywhere from "a few hours to a few days" (right).

Today is my nephew, Nathan's, first birthday party (I won't be going, obviously). He is a precious thing. I took him to get his pictures taken as a surprise to his workaholic mommy, my sister. That was an adventure. He has just discovered the joys of walking and cannot stand still for any length of time whatsoever. The picture I decided on blowing up to frame is of him peeking through the bars of a deck railing. I'm surprised Connie got that one. The very next shot on the CD shows him reaching out for his three-year-old monster, er, I mean sister (kidding, Melissa) and giving us a heart attack, thinking he's about to fall out!

Kids. They make life so much more interesting. I was at a hotel some time ago in Houston, eating in the restaurant for lunch with the kids, and came to realize all the tables surrounding me, perhaps the entire restaurant, was filled with young professionals, having--no, doing--lunch with colleagues. Their conversations were completely shallow and boring. I heard so much gossip about coworkers, so many useless business proposals that really did nothing at all to sell the products or programs they were pushing, and a LOT of complaining about dates. Poor yuppies, I couldn't help thinking. They look at me with pity and distaste for bringing three young children to their trendy watering hole and interrupting their highly important chatter with the incessant questioning of a three-year-old and the whining of an overstimulated infant.

And yet, my conversations--every day--were much more stimulating, more productive, and much healthier. Medical science has proven that laughter really IS the best medicine, and for me to be there with my children was stressful at times, but rather comical most of the time. I suddenly realized that all of those movies and television shows with their cynical humor aimed at showing parents as devoid of talking about anything but their children were misguided. Yes, if you talk to me longer than a couple of minutes at best, I WILL tell you the latest funny thing my kids did. But that doesn't make me less of a person. In fact, I now know, it makes me more.