I almost have a four month old baby. How could that be? I swear I just delivered. Like. Just last week or something. I think four months is kind of the sweet spot of infancy for me. Breastfeeding is easy at this age ...not overwhelmingly time consuming and full of smiles ....haven't yet hit the distraction stage. There's no stranger anxiety and yet, still a very strong preference for mama. I love it.
Unfortunately, I think that baby A2 senses how much I love it as well and is both regressing in a very stereotypical manner and acting out with anger. I've been trying to spend extra time with him one one one, kissing, cuddling, reading, indulging in the regression. Scheduling play dates and "big boy" time to remind him that it's fun to be 2 and that there's lots of things that he can do that the baby can't.I'm not making much progress. If anything, he's getting worse. I'm sort of ready to poke out my eyeballs if you want to know the truth.
Today, I took him with me for a quickie grocery shopping trip. He can be such a sweetheart at this age, "I love shopping with you, mama." "I love helping you make vegetables, mama." As we were checking out, a woman in line behind us started to engage him in conversation while I unloaded the cart. They talked about cars and trucks and little brothers. I was fascinated by the conversation my son was having with a complete stranger, and by the stranger herself. She wasn't in the least bit condescending or fake. She honestly seemed interested in what he was saying. As I was paying, A2 said, "Well, thanks for talking to me. Have a good day!" and she said, "You too!!" and smiled warmly at him. As I started to push the cart away, he said, "Oh, mama. She was a GREAT talker." It was sort of like watching him fall in love for the first time.
But it also got me thinking. For all of the time that I'm investing trying to make him feel special and loved - a complete stranger captured his heart by actually being interested in the things that interest him. I'm not so good at that. I've never been a good "player". I sit on the floor and play trains and cars and whatever ... but I feel like I come off as being condescending. I feel like he knows that I'm faking it. I remember my mom sitting in the sand box with me for hours and hours a day, totally engaged in what I was doing. I have a really hard time setting aside work and chores and things that interest me to really be present with him. With any of my children, actually. As sweet as a spot having a four month old is? I frequently find myself checking my phone ..or facebook ...or reading a couple of pages in a book while he nurses. I picked the golden child up from a week long trip where she was in Florida, and found myself having to force my mind back into the conversation to hear about the trip because I was thinking about the bills I have to pay, how little sleep I've gotten, etc., etc., how to carve out some time from Monk to make sure he feels loved with all of these children around. How horrible is that?? I haven't seen her in a week and I can't pay enough attention to stay engaged in an hour and half long car ride. I need ritalin. Or something.
So ... I need to change some things. How do you do it? How do you keep yourself in the moment??