What a Sunday. It was so super nutty, it felt like a Monday. Last night I got to go to the RACES!!! YES! I’m a Midwestern girl, so I like, no I love, the smell of racing fuel and clouds of dust raining down on you and the thundering roar of engines… you know, racing stuff. I bring safety glasses to keep the dirt out of my eyes, a blanket to sit on, and try to get there early to get the best seats. I’m not an amateur. My mom got my brother and me into it when we were kids, and I still like most of the things I liked as a kid. So we went and watched the sprint cars, and it was pretty nuts (like high speed bumper cars).
I got home around midnight with the oldest child (she likes racing too, so awesome) then my husband woke up around 3am to catch a flight for a business trip to Florida. Ugh. My alarm went off for church this morning, and apparently my sleepy brain said “no” and shut it off. I jumped up at the last second and made it just in time with only one child in tow (again, the oldest). I came home, took middle child and youngest child shoe shopping, then to the grocery store. Then back home to create and print a newsletter, make dinner, clean the kitchen and then off to one of my volunteer services (I make the newsletter for them) which I fell asleep during (oops). Back home to cram dinner in my mouth then go pick up oldest child.
You know what? I’m not good at this single mom stuff. The youngest child had too much sugar and then did the thing where she melts and everything irritates her and makes her cry, and I just cooked my lunches for the week. I had no brainpower left to come up with a real solution to that problem. She fell hard and hurt her butt and was overtired and oversugared and melting all over the couch. I tried to giver her ibuprofen for her sore butt and she cried the she couldn’t swallow pills. She will be 11 in a few months, perhaps now is a good time to learn. She didn’t understand why I didn’t keep children’s pain reliever on hand, and why she was near the weight limit for it to even work anymore. I stayed out of the room and let her older sister coach her through it, and for the first time, she took pills!!! It was such a victory!!
Almost everything with the youngest child is mind over matter. She is always deciding she can’t do something or she doesn’t like something before she has any idea for sure. If I can show her she can do something, or get her to try something with as little prodding as possible, then she can go “Oh, this isn’t so bad!!” and add something new to her list. She is afraid of a lot of things, she doesn’t like change (at first, she always changes her mind, immediately disagrees) she doesn’t trust anybody, she doesn’t think anyone else knows how to do anything, even if she asks them for help. But she has an amazing imagination and she is incredibly (I mean incredibly) smart. She reads and draws and writes amazing things. I don’t want all of that intelligence and creativity to be stuck inside a little box of fear. I want her to be free, and bold and brave. I want her to dare to do crazy things and be different and try new things. Push ideas that others tell her will not work. I want her to do those things because I know she can.
I don’t have a key for her box of fear. I don’t know how to get her outside of that and see it. See that she is turning things down with out a chance, and see that she is keeping herself from doing things that might be great.
I feel secure in knowing the other two are growing up and becoming responsible and mature. They are good kids and have a solid foundation of early teen years to build upon for early adulthood. I just have to figure out how to make some building blocks for the youngest one. She could be so amazing, but that also makes her the most complex to work with.
I started this off trying to talk about my exhausting day as a single (step) mom, just winging it and barely making it work. I ended up talking about child development. So weird. Sometimes it’s like I’m a mom but not a mom. I’m the unmom.
I’m going to bed. This was way too productive of a Sunday.