It has been an exhausting week. And I don't mean just tiring. I mean "I'm at the end of my rope and don't think I can do this anymore" type of exhaustion.
It should have been a good week. I had good things planned. And we did those good things. We went to the library when it got really hot. We went out to Rita's with Daddy that same afternoon (Monday). The kitten came Tuesday, and all plans went in the crapper. We went to the last freebie movie of the summer with Arianna and Nicole on Wednesday. Our baseball game was rained out Wednesday night (thank God). We went to Lakemont Park on Thursday.
I think things started to break down Monday night. I don't remember how we got there, but once again Kani screamed and screamed at bedtime. We ended up moving Cameron to the big-boy bed in the nursery. But I have little tolerance for Kani's extreme reactions to his fears of being alone. So that wasn't pretty.
Tuesday was understandably chaotic. But Cameron really loves the kitten, and has calmed down considerably in her midst.
The week just got increasingly stressful and it came to a head at the park. Kani did not follow the rules in the water park area, and he had to have a time-out. Once he finally calmed down, we went back into the water - where he almost immediately broke the rules again (which were set up so that he'd stay close enough to me that I wouldn't be terrified of him getting water in his stoma - hole if he fell into the 1' water). So I told him he was done in the water. Just too much stress. He pitched a fit on the pool chair. Then again on the cement when I took him off the chair. Then again on the grass later. And I lost it.
Yesterday I was in a better place and Kani and I worked on some of his troublesome behaviors throughout the morning while Cameron was at Stepping Stones (social skills group for kids on the autism spectrum). And Kani continued to test and test. We went to the grocery store, and I ended up having to hold Kani's hand through the store. Of course, this just caused him to meltdown - he tried to hit me, kick me, bite me, etc. I was exhausted. And I lost it.
This morning, I found Cameron downstairs in the living room with a popcorn bag (from my snack last night). He decided to "feed" some to the kitten. And then he licked the bag. And I lost it.
Do we see a pattern?
So - I'm home now. Blissfully alone. Eric took the boys to Hanover to visit his family and celebrate his Mom's birthday. I'm sad I'm not there, but glad I'll see them on Thursday at the adoption. And I know that the boys and I need a break from one another.
I'm so thankful for my friend - who has parented a child who is not hers biologically - for affirming that the things I deal with on a day in and day out basis are not "normal kid things." They are intensified by the "ish" that my kids have brought with them from their families of origin. I do not have memories of their infantile innocence to fall back upon. I always have to "be on" with them. It's intense. Every minute I'm with them. I love them dearly. But it's not always fun to be their Mommy.
Kani's biggest thing right now is not knowing what to do with himself. He doesn't play with toys appropriately and is destructive. He took crayon to his (white) carpet this week. He took scissors to a shoe box which ended up in a gazillion pieces in the den. He tried to break two chairs. But not everyone gets to see this side of him. So I end up being the stressed out Mommy who "can't handle it."
Cameron is - just Cameron. He pees himself. He is unaware of his surroundings. He's in his own little world. He's dear. But he's disconnected. So I don't know him very well. And then when he does his things, it makes it that much more difficult to extend grace.
So, I'm looking forward to this weekend. Today is the Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair. My friend Cady and her Rob are coming over for a movie this afternoon. I may get some work done around the house. Or I may not. Tomorrow I have another call back for our church's Christmas musical and then there's a picnic. I may get work done for school. I may not. But I am definitely going to relish this weekend and the gift of it! Eric has given me permission to "get away" (with prior notice). He realizes the rejuvenating power of me getting a Motel 6 for a night and just being alone. I crave solitude. Sometimes my family has seen this as me 'running away' from problems. In reality, it's the space I need to process things. It's cathartic. I am so fortunate to have a husband who recognizes the importance of this and makes allowances for it without taking it personally. He said the other day that he can't parent these boys without me. But I could NOT do this without him.