Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Growing Pains

I've figured out two more reasons I'm struggling a bit this week.

1. I miss Ruby something awful.
I love watching Ruby and her new sisters bond, and have fun together, and be sisters. Ruby defends her new sisters to others and even pleads Saffron's case when she's in trouble with me. This is what I wanted for her--a life with sisters, like I have. I'm really happy for her. On the other hand, though, Ruby has been my little buddy for years. She was home while Jasper was at school, and with Charles' death there was no new baby to change the dynamic.  Ruby was always the kind of kid who loved to be with her mom. I could take her anywhere, and did. Our relationship was very one-on-one, and very close. Now we can't have the same thing. It's what I wanted for her and it's a wonderful thing--it's just a hard adjustment for me. With four Kids it's simply impossible for me to have the one-on-one relationship with any child that I had with both Jasper and Ruby before. I purposely had Jasper, Ruby and Charles further apart because I wanted time to be close to each one individually. Now I've undone that. As I said, it's good. It's just different. This loss of individual closeness is definitely, for me anyway, the hardest part of going from two kids to four. Besides the laundry. Why do girls have to change their clothes so often?

2. Jasper's new sisters don't get him yet.
I don't blame them--they've only known him for 2 1/2 months, and he's done his best to irritate them, as would any big brother worth his salt. But they leave him out a lot. And they complain to me about him--a lot. Ruby still knows that Jasper makes up more creative games than anybody, and that he'll go through Hell or high water for you, and she still shows it. But now she walks home with Saffron instead of Jasper. And she's no longer his old pal on slow afternoons, because she's with her sisters.  He's usually fine, but sometimes says he feels he lost out in this deal. And when Saffron comes running to me yelling about how mean he is, it's hard for me to be really sympathetic even though I know he's being a pain. Those of you who know Jasper know he has been through Hell and back with us--moves, job losses, a death, and now this big change--and he's the kind of kid who is too aware for his age. Jasper is my Reliance Wheeler. I hope the girls soon learn that they won't win points with me by making him the enemy.  If they give him a chance, he won't let them down. He just needs someone to move over and make room for him. He's picking at the girls because he's trying to find his place among them.

He's also no dummy, and is taking me for all he can while I'm feeling bad for him. I know. I'm no dummy, either.

8 comments:

Melissa said...

Awwwwwwwww sorry Em.
Tough adjustments I guess aye.
Jasper is quite the character for sure.
They'll love him more and more I bet.

Kristin said...

I'll agree with that. Neither of you are dummies! Luke struggles with the same thing, even though the girls came one at a time, I think he still feels left out and out of place. I wish Zeke had come 2nd, but alas, it is what it is. Here's hoping Jasper will find his niche!

Brooke said...

I always knew you were not dummy!

Lenore said...

Lenore says...
Ah, missing Ruby. I tearfully remember those feelings. Our youngest was born almost 6 years after our other daughter. I sat and cried because I realized things would change. I told my sweet little 5 year old that even though I would be busy with a new baby, I would never stop loving her. Those feelings hurt. You can't go back - only forward. Life changes and sometimes it is hard!
If you are not already doing it, set aside a time with each child - alone. We called it "night out." Let the child pick the activity and have you all to themselves. (And you can be alone with Ruby!)
It helps.
Love ya!

Sovic Clan said...

I know a little about what you mean. When Oakley started Kindergarten I was happy for her. Until I started missing hanging out with her. I wonder how I will do next year when she is there all day. :)

Olivia said...

Hey! I'm just letting you know that I love reading your blogs! And you are my HERO!! You really don't give yourself enough credit for the work that you do! You are truly amazing!!
I'm gonna be bored a lot in the next week, I'm guessing. So, call me if you want a break. Or I may just call you because I'm always in the mood to play! I love you!!!!

JenSav said...

As another mother of four with an oldest boy followed by three girls, I totally agree with all that you said. Good thing is, we have that great oldest boy to have a fresh relationship with no matter what the girls do and yes teasing does come with that territory - although I wish it didn't. :)

Christina said...

Emily,
I sat next to Macy Robison in Relief Society last Thursday and figured out we have you as friends in common. It's wonderful to find your blog again and catch up on your journey. We just had a follow-up cardiology appt for Grace (went very well) and as usual I was reminded of friends who got us through that scary time. I specifically remember you dropping by with berries....made my day & taught me about kindness. Tell Steve hello from Wayne and I. I'll add you to my Reader so I can keep up with your crew. Best Wishes! -Rebecca Menzie (I'm too lazy to sign out for my daughter, Christina:)) PS. Our family blog is beantown.menzie.org