Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The last day of summer

Well, March has decided to show us whose boss this week. I pulled my Uggs and Michelin Man jacket back out of the closet yesterday morning after shivering through my Monday commute. Early fall is definitely my favorite season but summer is right up there too. I'll take hazy, hot and humid over freezing cold with sleet blowing in my face any day.

The forecast for last week had our warm temperatures ending on Thursday, which was a bummer considering that my day off was Friday. I had three almost back-to-back meetings on Thursday but when I did find some time to walk around the block, it wasn't as warm as I thought it was supposed to be. (Sometimes the ocean air cools off the area of Boston where I work.)

Friday ended up being a perfect day weather-wise. The air was warm and the sun felt so absolutely wonderful on my Vitamin D deprived skin. It wasn't hot at all and any trace of winter was gone. After lunch, I brought the girls outside to play in the yard.




Allie acting.


Acting while running.


And then the perfect day ended. I had the worst day I have ever had with Anna. She tested the waters at lunch by trying to eat animal crackers left over from school snack instead of her real lunch and then asking for dessert. Yeah, I don't think so. She eventually realized that she wasn't going to win and ate her lunch. There was no yelling or crying involved. Just her asking, me giving my answer and then eventually ignoring her requests for a cookie. This was not the issue.

She started off misbehaving outside by pulling Em's dress with her teeth and then taking Little Lion and not giving him back. She wouldn't listen to me and the situation reached a point where I was afraid that she was going to hurt herself or one of her sisters. After I took Lion from her to give back to Em, she started hitting me. That's when I picked her up and carried her into the house. She knew that I was as mad as hell but yet she continued to try to go outside all the while alternating between laughing and crying. Hysterically.

She eventually calmed down and was fine for awhile but then she started right back up around the time I needed to make dinner for them. This time, she insisted that she needed the book that Em was reading to her buddies. Seriously? We have 500 books in this house and you need that book? So she started pinching and biting Em. They know that we don't tolerate that type of behavior in our home.

She wouldn't stay on the couch for a time out and she knew that I was beyond pissed off. She even told me that she didn't like when I was mad. I don't know why that wasn't enough for her to just stop.

And then she was fine. It was like a switch was flipped and she was perfectly fine.

After we had both calmed down, I sat with her and told her about when she was born and how I had asked the nurse to bring her over to me in the operating room so that I could see her. She was wrapped up in a blanket and the nurse was holding her a certain way because of the boo boo on her back. And then I told her about how I would hold and rock her in the NICU and the nurses would tell me that she knew that I was her mommy because she was more relaxed. I cried and Anna buried her face into my lap.

For the love of God, I wish I could figure out what is going on with her. Rich says that maybe this is how she is dealing with stuff. With her frustrations and fears. If I take a step back from this child who is fighting against me, I see a brave little girl. But she's still afraid. She's a little kid who has to go through stuff that not all little kids go through. She's a little kid who asks if I'll hold her hand during her medical procedures. Why does life have to be so freaking difficult sometimes?

(I'm just scratching the surface here with this. There's so much more....)

To not end on a negative note, here are some more pictures from that day.

Allie's alone time reading to Elmo. I loved being able to open the front door and flood the house with light. How nice to not have to use my Speedlight.





We went for a walk down the street when Rich returned home.

I love this picture because Anna's laughing. I just want her to be happy.


Acting while eating.




Just Me said...

I read every post and don't normally comment. (I know, horrible since I hate that no one gives me comments.)

You are an amazing Mom, the kids are gorgeous, smart, and they love you.

There are always bad days, and days that you wonder what has gotten into the kiddos. But you did exactly the right thing, you told her the story she needed to hear.

Tracey's Life said...

You are doing all the right things. Kids test their boundaries and they test us. The best thing that we can do is to remain consistent and firm. You have it harder than most with having multiples and with all of Anna's challenges. Pat yourself on the back and know you did it right.

Also remember that we aren't perfect either. I have gotten so angry at mine before that I have had to walk out of the house so I didn't say what I wanted to say. I have also had to apologize to my kids before when I did make a mistake. I think it is healthy for them to learn that we have a range of emotions too. As they get older, they will also learn that saying "sorry" isn't always enough.

I think you set a great example for your children, and you let them know that you are available for them. I am guessing that on some level Anna does know she is different, and those differences bother her. Your availability and dedication to her (and her sisters) will be what she leans on in the future.

Hang in there.

Maddison Snook said...

You're doing an amazing job Sarah. Your girls are beautiful, and happy. Bad days suck, but taking a step back and looking at the good - even as basic as the smiles in these photos - always helps. =)

Carla said...

I love that you said you were "pissed off" and "mad as hell." That's real life parenting. A lot of blogs sugar coat parenting and just post the good stuff (I'm afraid to say that I might fall into this category). I appreciate the fact that you are real. Glad things got better quickly. That's usually how things go around here too.

Laura said...

Okay, so I know all the previous comments for this post are all empathetic about Anna and stuff, but I have to say that I too know that kids can be incredibly stubborn at the worst of times, and I do not even have children. But you are doing a fantastic job, you're such a great mother, and Rich is a great father also.
Something else I love about reading your blog posts is not only how the girls grow and change and develop, but I absolutely LOVE your photos! I am actually inspired to be a photographer. I was wondering what type of camera you have? Right now I only have a little cheap one, but I'm planning on saving up for one like yours (well, the same sort of quality.) It would probably take me a while, though, because I am still at school and don't have an incredibly well-paying job, so I was wondering what sort of price they are?
Sorry for all the questions, but I just totally LOVE your pics! (AND your girls!!)


Jess said...

Hey there. You are doing a great job with the girls, and I can tell you are frustrated that Anna has been testing her boundaries. I often think, when I read your blog, that life is unfair for her. She has 2 sisters who can do things she can't - typical, simple, age-appropriate things like going to the bathroom and walking for a long time. It frustrates me for her. So, I can only imagine how a 4 year old with far less coping skills feels. Life is just not fair sometimes! Have you thought about emotional/behavioral therapy for helping Anna deal with these frustrations? It could be a life-long gift that you give to her to learn strategies for dealing with her anger and the inequalities she will always struggle with. I'm sorry you guys had such a bad day. :-(

Nean Saguid Guzman said...

Hi Sarah, Your blog truly inspire moms like me. I'm from Asia and happen to crossed path in your blogsite by chance. I fell in-love with everything in it since then. I red your entries from the start and I checked it almost daily. I love how you wrote your topics with passion, sense of humor and sincerity. Your daughters are really lovely and well-raised. I think I just have to drop you a note for that. Please keep it up. You have no idea how you empower and inspire people even across the globe.

Cindy said...

Hi Sarah, First, your pictures make me smile. Second, I understand your frustration with the Anna situation. My daughter, Danielle, is almost 4. In the last couple of months she has been getting extremely aggressive with her twin sister and with us - hitting, biting, pinching, stomping around saying, "I'm angry". She was always a mellow child. My husband flat out asked her what was wrong and started asking questions. It took her a bit but she voiced that she was scared - of the trees falling (because of that freakish storm we had in October), of the tire going flat on the minivan (we got a flat and there were issues and we didn't have our car for awhile), of a couple of other things. I think, too, that the "competitive side" of siblings the same age is coming out - they always want what the other has, even if they have an identical thing of their own. It's maddening because they get so worked up you are afraid of them hurting themselves or someone else. But you are doing the absolute right thing. Try to keep your patience - count, breathe, step away. Our little ones are just trying to express themselves and they are so limited, but they are getting to the age where reasoning and logic will work. Hang in there.

MeghanF said...

My daughter acts like this sometimes - and actually just the other day. She does not have any medical issues, so I don't know if Anna's behaviour was related to that, or just normal for a toddler. LOL. My daughter was hitting and kicking me, and would tell me she didn't like when I was mad.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

You are not alone in having these "challenging" days.

I was just having this conversation with a friend this morning. Some situations can be so incredibly trying...but I think it's OK to let our kiddos see our emotion sometimes, and work through things together.

Hope you have a better Friday tomorrow!

Becky said...

Your girls are so cute! I am a twin. My sister and I are 30 now and both have 2 year old boys :)

Hope's Mama said...

You've been dealt some incredibly cruel blows in this life, but you're handling them all so well. You're an inspirational mum, Sarah. Don't lose sight of that. It's what keeps me coming back, to every single post.

Tami said...


I found your blog through Kelly's. I have enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures of your beautiful girls.

Have you ever thought about homeschooling Anna? Sometimes that extra time with mom helps immensely with behavior issues. Homeschooling is really not hard, especially with little ones.

Praying for you.