The majority of this post was written yesterday (Wednesday) and I meant to post it then but never had the time/energy to finish it; added finishing touches today (Thursday)).
Thanks so much for all of the encouraging words and prayers. I really appreciate them and need them right now.
The situation with the boys is tough. This is the toughest time we have experienced since they have been home, which is really a good thing I guess. Overall, we have had a pretty easy time of it, up to now.
Our guests left this morning and the boys went down for their nap, after saying their goodbyes and waving from the window. They did not sleep well or long enough. I was up (not resting) from when the boys started waking up this morning, around 8:00ish to when they went down for their nap, around 11:30ish and I was ready to drop after putting them down for their nap. My niece, Jana (my gift from God:), was doing all of the real work, preparing meals, cleaning up after meals, cleaning up toys, etc. I was just sitting around, holding the boys, cuddling with them, reading to them, etc.
They have both been very very clingy to me today. In a way, this is a good thing, except that they both want me to pick them up every time I stand up. They both start crying/whining and the one that does not get picked up will really cry. I can't even hold them both while standing for very long even on a good day. There is just no way right now. This results in immediate meltdown x 2.
I sit down in a place where there is plenty of room for all three of us, me in the middle, and that helps a lot but, if they are still upset about not being picked up, there is some acting out behavior. They are very jealous of each other around me right now. Their emotions are overly volatile. They have been out of routine, around so many new people and then, with mom disappearing, I'm sure they are feeling very insecure.
It seems Ben has been impacted by this, more so than Nick. It's kind of funny and a good thing to learn. I have always thought that Nick was a bit insecurely attached, because he is the "momma's boy", as many have commented, and he is normally more clingy to me. What I have found is that Ben is more insecurely attached, much to my surprise. He was very very clingy to Kelly, when she was here and he called her momma several times, usually more like "momma?", while pointing at her. Yesterday, when I arrived home from the hospital, he was happy to see me but ran away when Nick came to give me a hug. He wanted Kelly and nobody else after that. If she wasn't already holding him, he spent a good deal of time following her around and begging to be picked him up and carried around by only her. He was pretty good with me unless Nick was around. It was clear Ben did not want to compete for my attention.
Poor Kelly. I'm sure she was not expecting to be lugging this 30 pound kid around the whole time she was here. She was very very sweet about it and she never turned him away. I know in the attachment world, this is not what we should be doing. But I knew they were leaving today and one more day was not going to make a big difference. Plus, I was just not able to meet his needs at that moment and I felt it was more important for his needs to be met, even if it was not by me.
Ben was much better with me this morning (Wednesday), when Kelly was still here. He was coming to me consistently, wanting lots of hugs, kisses, tickles and cuddles. Kelly was busy packing but Ben was not begging her to pick him up nearly as much.
I made a mistake in the afternoon that cost me some of that progress with Ben. I decided to take a shower and let Jana get the boys up from their nap. I was listening on the monitor, when she went to get them. They both asked "momma?", "momma?", in a very concerned voice. I think they thought I had left again. Ben was crying inconsolably, Jana was rocking him and singing to him, while Nick just sat on the couch, sucking his thumb and being very quiet. I finished up and got out there as quickly as possible and they were both playing by then. Nick was very happy to see me. Ben would hardly have anything to do with me....and then, of course, there was more testing. I think my little guys are a bit angry with momma for disappearing like I did.
My husband ended up not getting home from work until after 8:00pm, so I had already put the boys down. When I was going through their bedtime routine with them (which exhausted me), they were asking "Daddy?", "Daddy?". These poor little guys have just had too many inconsistencies lately.
I know it will get better. God is with us and He sent Jana to help. She is staying sometime into next week, which is absolutely wonderful. There is no way I could do this by myself right now. I get out of breath very easily and then my labored breathing makes my lung hurt.
One thing that is especially wonderful, it is great to be home.