Friday, March 07, 2008

Just Call Her Florence

Funny how slowly the days passed this week, but yet somehow here we are at Friday, and well before I knew it. Seems like the Haitian Time Warp is slowly moving its way up the lines of latitude.

Hatfield has spent the week playing Florence Nightingale to the new kittens, Iris and Lily. Both girls went in to be spade and for a front declaw. I know the arguments against declaw, so my fellow cat lovers can save me the guilt trip, but the choice came down to declawing the cats and giving them a wonderful indoor life, complete with a loving family, lots of playtime and premium cat food; or trying to find a home where I can't guarantee like conditions. Choice A won.

The girls came home bandaged, shaved and stitched. The poor little things have incisions running nearly the full length of their torso. Hatfield lovingly turned her bedroom into a recovery center, as we need to keep the kittens away from our other pets and Paloma for 5 days. My squeamish side is relieved that my dear eldest loves nothing more than to practice vet techniques, and she very carefully yet meticulously examines their surgical sites for any redness, swelling or discharge.

Just when I begin to worry that Hattie truly is a 70-year old trapped in a 9-year old body, I walked in to find her gleefully, yet ever-so-delicately, dressing the cats in her American Girl doll's clothing (she only put on pieces that just draped over their neck and shoulders--nothing she had to stick tender legs or bellies into):

Miss Lily was none too thrilled, and sought her revenge by then urinating in the large rubbermaid container of American Girl clothing. Wonderful. I must admit that I was VERY tempted to toss the entire wardrobe and tell Hatfield that I would sew her new doll clothes, but upon mentally tallying the value of the wardrobe, and realizing that it was more than my own wardrobe, I donned some latex gloves and dumped the stinky shebang into the washer.

In reality though, the cat pee was one of the lesser distresses I dealt with during the week. Paloma is going through the most difficult stage that I have ever gone through with any of the three kids to date. So strong-willed and determined, she is now raging constantly throughout the day when she does not get her way. Nighttime has been particularly bad for me, since she rages far worse when the Mister is out of town. To my dismay, the Mister's been out of town nearly every night this week.

I think what it comes down to with this child is that I need to reinstate a more regimented routine. Especially at nighttime. Somewhat humorous since I'm a pretty uptight, regimented person to begin with. Paloma rages about having to go to bed, at naptime or nighttime. Occasionally she'll wake up in the middle of the night to pick up where her rage left off. Other times she'll rage upon waking, like on Thursday morning when I told her that she couldn't wear her dirty snowboots in Mommy's bed. What made her wake up at 5 am, wanting to put on snowboots that are in the garage, is beyond me. All I know is that my eardrums suffered for it for the first hour of the morning.

I realize part of it is just being two. This morning at the library I had to take her out to the car prior to checking out (Hatfield stayed with her, and they were in full-view of the front door.) Paloma went into a blind rage because I removed her from the bubbler after she decided to spit all the water in her mouth back out all over the bubbler. I told her once, "Yucky. No no. Do not do that again or you will be all done with your drink." So she slurped some more up, looked at me, turned her head, and "Thbbbbsttt!" shot the water out all over again. I picked her up to go back to the table, and she noodled out on me, lying limp on the floor (a bacon tantrum, as dear Isa calls it, when children lie there like a piece of raw bacon), screaming at the top of her pitch and volume range.

Fortunately, I have a lot of patience. I have many, many shortcomings, but patience is the one area where the good Lord has truly blessed me. I managed to walk out of the library, speaking in a calm, even voice to Paloma, smiling a thank you to Hattie, ignoring the disdained looks of other parents. However, sitting here, on a Friday afternoon, during Paloma's nap time, my stomach still a bit jittery from both the library rage and the tantrum lasting the 20 minute ride home, I realize that my deep well of patience is on the verge of drying up. Calgon, take me away! (note to Cliff: this is WIFESPEAK. Literal translation: now would be a darn good time to redeem your Hilton Honors Points and take your wife away for a weekend while you only have three kids in the house and your mother-in-law is still up to watching them).

All of our ears have taken a beating this week, courtesy of Atticus' over-zealous violin practices. This kid LOVES his violin. I love that he loves the violin, and am so very proud of him, so please don't think me rotten. If you have ever spent hours listening to a beginner violinst, you know the empathy I so deserve. He is a full-fledged Pre-Twinkle Graduate (you Suzuki parents know what I'm talking about ;), and is now in the Twinkle Program. He is learning the song's bow strokes, which consist of 3 notes with only two strokes each, followed by the fourth note with only a single bow stroke. Something with the small number of strokes entices the child to play as loudly as he can, harshly pushing his bow down on the string in a coarse manner. What does that sound like? Cliff, upon walking into the kitchen one day after work, while Atticus was practicing in the living room, turned to Hattie and asked, "Hey, who's playing the bagpipes?"

Ever since we began the adoption, I am tremendously hesitant to share my parenting woes with others. Quite often, after commenting on a rough spot with one of the kids or how sleep-deprived I feel, I will have someone say to me, "And now you're going to have two more?" or "Can you imagine what it's going to be like with the five?" I am probably being over-sensitive, but those type of comments truly irk me. These comments usually comes from people who do not know me very well (I'm very blessed to have supportive close friends and family who "get it" when it comes to adopting and big families). I can bite my tongue, but it's hard to let it roll off one's back time and time again without slowly putting up walls and falling into the habit of keeping silent on the subject altogether. After this week, though, I just needed to let it all out, and having now written it, I feel so much better writing it down and getting it out of my system.


Jen said...

Oh my dear Sarah...isn't it all so fun? We too, had the cats declawed, much to the horrors of many well-meaning friends. It was either the cats claws or a new home...

I grumble about my four and all too often I am told, "well, you're the one who wanted so many" or the ever favorite, "and you're getting another?"...I try to let it go but on certain days it just makes my blood boil.

So don't feel alone in this one and feel free to grumble away, I for one, get it....completely!

Aves @ Call of the Phoebe said...

Thanks for letting it all out. Tuks is doing the same things as Paloma..again the 2 sure does tax ones patiance,and to be honest, patience has never been one of my strengths!!!

Personally I would have declawed too.


Beau said...

Hi Sarah,

I miss you! Sorry that I haven't called in a couple of happens :) I TOTALLY feel you on the comments from people. I just look at them and think...I'm no different than you venting about your one child! But then I always think, how truly sad for them because they don't have triple the love in return - which is probably why the more kids I have, the more I want! My advice on that would be to find some very witty comment back (you shouldn't have a hard time with that) and stick with that. People are astonishingly simple sometimes. About Paloma - I will just tell you what my mom always said (mother of 8)...this too shall pass. Someday you will forget these little things, but it will all make it worth it when she is a strong, independent woman who can stand up for herself and on her own! On the cat thing...totally have to agree with you :) Talk to you soon! Becky

Sophia said...

I think that Paloma and Sophia should get together and compare notes on tantrums! On most mornings, Sophia refuses to get dressed because none of her clothes are to her liking (i.e., jeans are too uncomfortable, turtleneck is too tight, socks are too ugly). There are days where I have to leave her room or I will have a tantrum myself! I love Sophia's spirit and independence, but it can be hard, too. I will think of you fondly during my own two-year-old tantrum woes.

Sawatzky Kids said...

Hey Sarah!
Great post! Glad to see that my Wyatt is not the only one prone to superhuman tantrums on a daily basis! He has really been pushing Shawn and I to our breaking points lately! Patience is something I do not have much have....Hattie is to adorable with her little hospital! She God has thuely blessed her with a spirit for healing and nuturing! I can only imagine where these gifts will take her in the future!
Miss you guys!
Later Tater
wer are in talks with the Parma's about a summer camping for the cruz crew to roughy it with us! :)

Sawatzky Kids said...

Okay...I sound like a crazy person I totally need to be spell checking myself before I leave my comments!

Debbie Pagel said...

You are a wonderful mother. As I said earlier this week at your home; "When I walk in your home, I feel the love of family, order, and God." I know you had a rough week, but rest assured God hears you.

PS. I will e-mail you that info on the cat's paw this week. It has made a huge difference for me this last month.

Love ya!