Monday, July 8, 2013

Soothing the Savage Beasts

I've made a huge mistake.

I let the children sleep in the grown-up bed. Several nights in a row. All night.

My unusual soft-heartedness has stemmed from their constant irritability during the waking hours. Lucy and Jacko have been needing hands-on attention 24 hours a day, as well as extreme TLC in even the most benign of situations. Did a fly buzz twelve inches in front of your face? Be jittery for an hour. Are you already sitting on Mommy's lap, but you sense that your sibling might be lurking? Embed your nails into Mommy's neck for maximum grip. Make sure to cry-scream for 72 hours at the prospect of taking a nap.

Things have gotten so out of hand that Jacko even ignored babysitter Cari for the whole first hour of their time together last week—and Cari is like a magical pegasus in his eyes!

I have been bending over backwards in order to right their emotional path. Want to sleep on my pillows? Of course. Both sit on my lap, even though I need to pee? Come on over. Talk to me about how other children wouldn't let you shoot finger guns at them? Poor guy. Read 40 stories in a row with the TV still on and covered in melted chocolate chips? Let me put on my rain slicker first.

Their angst is visceral, but still quite opaque. I can't crack the code that will set them free from it.

I wish I knew how to help them. I pray every night and every morning that my daily parenting will do enough to tweak them back into place. And until I can fix it, I'll keep sleeping without my special sheets and my downy duvet. It's the least I can do.

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