Aug 24, 2009

My Five-Year-Old Baby

Bellarina and MayMay have been doing really well. Boundaries are going really well, I don't usually have to say "no" more than once now (thank heaven! If I have one failing as a parent, it is my NEED to be OBEYED NOW not later ALL THE WAY not partly and NO COMPLAINING). Lol. I've been getting a bit more flexible these days... like, I don't put Bella the time out bench if she questions me once or twice after I say "no." After all, she's being her three-year-old-relearning-boundaries self. If Loli were to question me or whine it'd be time out... but my three-year-old-six-year-old gets a little slack, I guess.

Speaking of which. I'd say that May is a good five-year-old. Very smart, capable, integlligent... but she's like a baby. She moves more slowly, needs more help to get into the car, can't (or doesn't want to) buckle her seatbelt by herself, and she's not really interested in playing with the other kids most of the time, she wants ME. All the time. If she could, she'd lay all day with her head in my lap or sit in my lap, one or the other.

She's like a newborn, I think. Newborns, you just keep tight close to you for months and months until they start getting independent and want to explore. May, for some reason, really needs a period of newborn bonding and attaching with me.

A lady in my homeschooling group reassured me the other day. She told me a sad story; her mother adopted a Russian orphan after all her other kids were older. The girl was around the same age, perhaps a little older than May. She did the same thing... always needing the cuddling, it was constant, and because the mother didn't know the things that would help her understand what it might be (attachment and bonding), she let her irritation take over and pushed her away instead of welcoming the bonding opportunities. Later on the little girl had problems, due to what are called "attachment disorders."

This is just so sad to me. And I know it happens all the time. I feel it in myself, too... I really am a personal space kinda gal. But I've been doing my best to shove that aside and allow nature to take its course (five years late). WE're doing good, May and I. And I know that if I give her all she needs now, eventually she'll be able to venture out on her own. My hope is if i give her that secure base of constant nurturing and touch and cuddling, she'll feel capable of leaving to explore on her own, just like a toddler who begins to figure out the world away from Mom.

Anyway, we're all doing well and being happy. I have a few cheesy laptop pictures because i've been too lazy to take out the camera. Honestly, right now I feel the biggest adjustment is simply being the mother of five kids. It's crazy! And good. And I know it's teaching me some important things about priorities and about my own hangups that I need to work on... (eg the personal space thing. If you're a mom, you don't have personal space!!!) We're continuing to grow, and life is settling down slowly... the days and nights are less hectic and the girls cry for a lot less time when we put them down for nap and bedtime.

Bella is sad in this one because I did beads in her sister's hair but not hers. I haven't quite gotten good enough to do 2 intricate all-over styles in a day yet... someday. In the meantime I pay, because whichever girl doesn't get the special do is jealous and cries. :( Oh well.

All my happy girls, being crazy.

May and Squirt... She was holding him, and smiling really big because she loves being able to hold her little brother and get affection from her siblings, but as soon as the laptop screen turned toward them for the picture they both stopped what they were doing to ham it up for the camera. :) Oh well, it's still a cute picture.


Heather said...

The personal space thing is a problem for me too and one I am definitely working on. So glad things are going good - can't believe you have 5 now!

Jayne said...

Thanks for sharing. I've been wondering how your family was adjusting. You seem to be a great mother (loving, sensitive to needs, knowledgeable about concepts like attachment, and so forth). Winna and May are gonna love being your daughters.

Allison said...

I've been wanting to call you all week, and I always think about it at 10 pm, when it's too late.
I'm glad things are OK. And I'm glad that you have bonding time with May.

merrilykaroly said...

loooooooooooooove the pictures! everyone looks so happy! I'm glad that things are going so well. thanks again for letting us visit and meet the newest additions to your family. I can't even imagine suddenly having two more kids in the family, but if anyone can do it, you can. you're awesome.

Amyjo said...

I know what you mean about personal space. There is just so many demands on our time, I think we desire to be left alone.
We find the balance and try not hurt your children in the meantime.
For us home-schooling mom's it can be a very delicate thing. Luckily, Derek is a very supportive, easy-going husband :)