Monday, January 28, 2008

40 Months

Lucas is a big brother! We welcomed Quinn into the world on the evening of January 8, 2008. We didn't know what to expect with him because we didn't know what he was expecting. We tried to keep him informed during the entire pregnancy so that it wouldn't be like one day we say, “Look what Mommy brought home!” He's mostly been really sweet about her. He wants to hold her and he'll stick his thumb in his mouth and rub her head for some self-comfort, and he asks lots of questions about her.

One of our recent projects that we were hoping to finish before the baby was born was a remodel of the kids' room. New paint, clean-up and get the window operational, a skylight in the ceiling and a new door frame. When it comes to projects around the house, here's how they work. Okay, we get this great idea to revamp a room, fix it up, remodel, whatever and then we develop a plan. Money's not really a major issue, so we have the means to do it right, do it the way that we want to do it. Which ultimately means that we are going to be the ones doing it and that actually means that it's going to take about five times as long as it should. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally devoted to the projects but I can't put myself into them 100% of the time. That's when I feel the drabs creep under my skin and push me toward the dark side. I have to do other things. I have to write and play and take walks and love-life.

This time we decided to begin the project by allowing someone else (supposedly more qualified) do the skylight, thinking that it would get us going and what do I know about putting in skylight. Well, we now have two of them in our house (one came in the kitchen) and there's something to say for doing things on your own. The guy totally destroyed the plaster around the skylight so that I basically had to tear down all of the plaster on the ceiling and start over from scratch. That led into everything else that we had to do, so now here we are three months later and only just now getting to the painting.

Needless to say, the total chaotic uproar in the house has put a strain on our little boy; 90% of his toys are now in the garage, he no longer has a play room nor anyone to play with. We've had many days with a wound-up grumpy Lucas on our hands and bedtime is still two hours away. It all escalated into a complete meltdown on his part as well ours a couple of weeks after Quinn was born. The last straw was when, after raised voices and endless threats, Lucas decided to throw one of his hot-wheels at Quinn! Good thing he hesitated at the last moment (I could see him not wanting to do it, but so much of him was saying yes) and he just tossed it lightly. It bounced off of her harmlessly but man, did he get a rise out of us!

That evening, as I drifted off to sleep, I kept trying to figure out how we all ended up in that situation. It was all very obvious. Although we went to great effort to include him in everything during the pregnancy, taking him to ultra-sounds and doctor visits, after the birth finally happened, we forgot all about the fact that Lucas still has needs that we need to address every day. We were basically sitting around and staring at Quinn a lot, which is what we did when we had Lucas. Babies take up a lot of energy and don't let you sleep some nights and they need you constantly, but it's pretty easy to do, they just sleep and eat and sleep and for an hour or two stare up at you. They don't ask you a thousand questions on the same subject in five minutes. So, even though Xtina's family is nearby and very helpful, and my mom has a wonderful relationship with him, we still needed to parent the little guy some of the time and think about his interests. I guess we were lacking in that area for a couple of weeks and Lucas finally let us know about his frustration.

Lucas is a beautiful little boy and his heart is so big, but he's reached an age where he needs to use his energy productively. He needs projects and school and lessons and jumping in puddles and all other sorts of playtime and anything that allows his brain and body to grow. Welcome to Brainville, Lucas. It's time for you to advance with the world and I promise to start helping you point in the right direction.

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