Poor Annie(6) has been sick all week. The Zithromax hasn't touched her, so obviously it's some kind of virus that simply needs to run its course. She perks up with Motrin, but then I look over, and there she is, lying on the sofa with a blanket, asking me to turn off the lights. Ruthie (4) has loved having her around, except that Annie hasn't exactly been up for much playing.
And speaking of Ruthie, man, I've got some work to do with that girl. It seems like I never notice behavior issues until we're in public. I'm distracted at home and tend to dismiss the whining and attitudes as related to being up late the night before (many nights), delayed dinner (because of sports, music lessons), or any number of things I choose to use as excuses for bad behavior.
On Tuesday I took Annie to the doctor, and Ruthie was annoying to the point of disobedience. Being last-born, she cleverly disguises her bad behavior as silliness. She was laughing and hanging on Annie's legs while Annie was on the exam table. When she didn't immediately let go, I pried her pudgy little hands off and placed her on a chair. From the chair she sang and otherwise made distracting noises while I tried to talk to the doctor. I made a feeble apology to the doctor, looked directly into Ruthie's eyes and said, "I am trying to talk to the doctor. I need you to be very quiet right now. Here's a book for you to look at." She was obviously not interested in the book, but was better for about a minute while I secretly prayed for the doctor to hurry (an unusual prayer, I know).
Somehow we made it through, and I suppressed thoughts of what I imagined my pediatrician (who has no children of her own) was thinking: See, she has too many kids. She can't manage them all. What were they thinking?
Yep, that's how I feel sometimes. Especially during very busy, distracted times, like right now. I heard someone talk about MADD, mommy attention deficit disorder, and I'm sure that's what's going on right now. My kids are feeling the effects of a mom who's got other things on her mind.
Neal (13) and Libby (10) are arguing more than usual (they are remarkably like my older brother and me: very much alike - but we didn't see it, and heaven forbid we should ever acknowledge it - and we both liked to "win." We took turns correcting each other during those years. Mom, I am SO sorry!). I'm praying that, like my brother and me, Neal and Libby will pull it together in the next few years, but I'm not hoping for a miracle between now and our move date, May 25. A truce would be nice, though.
So right now Neal is grounded (the ultimate punishment for my social guy) so some togetherness is helping things. He's been spending all afternoon playing guitar. I can tell when he is becoming resigned to his home-bound-ness when he starts getting creative, which was the point last night at which he got the microphone out and locked himself up in the game room, accompanying himself on Eagles and Switchfoot songs. He may find himself free this weekend.
Meanwhile, the distractions continue.
In addition to my landscaping dreams, I spent this week getting bids for repairs on the house (it's a foreclosure, so there are some issues), getting papers together for financing, arranging for utilities, and picking out paint and carpet. The biggest thing we are doing is having a contractor enlarge the 1962 teensy windows across the front of the house, which I think will be almost as huge of an improvement as my incredible landscaping will be. More to come next week.