I keep constructing blog posts in my head, but they never quite make it here. I am so exhausted by the time I make it home, eat dinner, and spend a little time with the girls. Things are manageable chaos, but chaos. T leaves for work super early in the morning. Right now, I get up around 5-5:30, shower (often with SB, who has discovered she likes the shower, and I can't fight with her at 5:00 in the morning), get ready, prepare dinner, eat breakfast, chat with the girls for a bit, and head into the office around 7-7:30. I generally work like a demon all day, including through lunch (frequently skipping lunch), and haven't been leaving work until after 6pm, and sometimes after 7pm. By the time I get home, my family has already eaten, and I eat and chat with them. Rinse, lather repeat.
Work is fine. I like it okay. We'll see. Sometimes it's really interesting, and sometimes people drive me nuts. It's a job where everyone has their own agenda/remit, and it becomes the war of the just causes. Really, I'm happy so far. I'm just having a down day because someone was kind of a jerk to me. I hate it when someone is a jerk. Why is that necessary, especially when I am trying to help them?
The girls are doing better. A few days ago, Miss M told me, quite seriously, that she doesn't want to move again--that if she makes new friends here, she doesn't want to move and leave them again. It broke my heart. She really misses her old school and friends, and talks about wanting to go back. But, she is also quite happy here. I think she misses having friends and being part of a posse. Since it's summer and a lot of people are traveling, they haven't yet made friends that they regularly hang out with, and this is hard for her, especially. We had some VERY challenging behavioral stuff going on for the first 6-7 weeks after the move, but now that the house is almost unpacked and we have something of a routine worked out, things are starting to even out. Miss M was about SB's age the last time we moved, and I had forgotten how challenging that age (3) can be post-move. They can't yet express their anxiety over moving (Exhibit A: Miss M's current expressions of sadness), but it really impacts them. We were having massive tantrums, hair pulling, hitting, kicking. . .awful stuff.
The bad behavior really had me questioning my ability as a parent. . .our ability as parents. It was really, really challenging. I did some reading, looking for what felt like the best approach, and decided that straight up behavior modification was key. The advice I read suggested addressing JUST your most vexing problem (clearly, hitting/kicking/hair pulling--dear me!). So, I got our nanny and T to commit to putting SB in short timeouts in her room with the door shut every time it happened. It took a few days of being really consistent about it, but honestly, she's like a brand new person. (She hates being alone in a time out. It's literally the ONLY punishment that matters to her.) Between settling into a routine and being really consistent with expectations and punishment. . .I feel like a slightly less terrible parent. She was really starting to internalize her bad behavior ("I'm naughty"; "it's all my fault", etc--I have no idea where the "it's all my fault" came from, incidentally.). But now, she seems to delight in delivering the news that she was good all day, and I am clinging to that.
T's job has been if not exactly what he hoped for, not entirely terrible either. It is in his field, and I think it will grow on him, as he gets a better idea of what they want, and as they start to trust him. It has been a transition, but so has absolutely everything that we've done over the last few months.
The house is ALMOST unpacked and set up. We have a few more boxes, and two rooms (formal living room and the dining room) which are not set up yet. But I'm almost ready to declare success. The house is looking good.
We are getting there. As soon as we feel really settled in this new city/house/schedule/life, school is going to start, and add a new level of complexity.