Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Henry, Turning Over a New Leaf

Remember all of those things I wrote about Henry being my sweet natured fellow? A people pleaser? Focused on others? Emotionally sensitive? Well, we seem to have entered a new era with Henry. We have entered the dreaded Terrible Two's. And really, this is just a cute way of saying this: the Angel Baby has become the Demon Child. Okay, okay, just indulge me in this hyperbole. He did, after all, take my icons off the shelf yesterday and place them, face down, under the table.

With Luke, I didn't buy the whole "terrible two's" thing. Luke was actually getting easier by the time he turned two. I thought that Luke from age two until age Henry Was Born was pretty fun. In fact, come to think of it, we decided to try to conceive again when Luke was about two. Let me tell you, that ain't gonna happen again anytime soon.

Because every ounce of our energy is spent dealing with these kids. Luke has always taken a good deal of energy, but we could sort of coast with Henry. Maybe that is part of the trouble: we have always expected him to go with the flow, and now he is putting his foot down. He has to make a ruckus so that he can make his opinion known.

Henry has to do everything for himself. Luke was, and still is, a child that prefers to be done unto. He likes us to dress him still. He actually told me that he does not want to learn to wipe his own bottom. But Henry. Oh, Henry. He must do everything himself. If we walk out the door together, he insists, insists, on going back in and doing it himself. And don't even think about pushing on the door one little bit with one finger. If this much help is given, Henry must start all over. If said door opening results in Henry, oh, say, falling out the door onto his face, as it did yesterday, the whole process must begin again.

And the nights. I'm not sure if these are the dreaded "night terrors," but every few nights Henry wakes up once or twice screaming for nursies, screaming to get up, screaming for his mommy, who he then does not permit to touch him. He lurches around the room like a half baby, half big boy swamp monster. He is permanently hoarse from these screaming sessions.

I suppose it only makes sense that it would be harder for a people pleaser to claim his own independence. And I'm glad he is standing up for himself and his desires. Only, it is just so exhausting. And his timing really isn't good, what with the move and all.

But at least I'll have more stories for my blog.


Jenny said...

Oh Ser,

This reminds me of a child I know who used to fall down on the floor of elevators if somebody dared to push the button for her, a child who screamed at night for her "real mommy" even when I was there trying to comfort her.

I'm sure it is developmental with Henry and then he will soon again be his sweet self, but this whole self-determination thing is exhausting when it lasts, especially when ambition exceeds ability.

Thanks for this post, though, for giving us another glimpse into your life! I love reading your blog and it is always a treat when you have a fresh post up.


Bethany Torode said...

It is incredibly exhausting, isn't it? (I was just googling "I am overwhelmed" for kicks and decided to read everyone's mama blogs instead.) My gripe for today: it's impossible to make just about anything beautiful in your home because kids are inherently destructive. I try to add some depth and accents by putting throw pillows on the couches or dried flowers in a vase, but they always end up 3 rooms away from where they started. AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sure Henry is darling even when he is having his fits. Who couldn't love him? I wonder if Henry is the type of person who likes things familiar and in their place and that this move has been disconcerting to him. Plus, maybe he has been not feeling well. (I always try to blame children's non-angelic behavior on someone or something else in their lives.) It seems like you just think you have your kids figured out and then, presto!! They change again!! It's like a good haircut, you just think you have it all under control-it looks good, is easy to fix, takes little thinking-then one morning you wake up and it is all wrong and you have to figure it all out again. I do think one reason God gives us children is to keep us humble. One day (believe me, sooner than you ever dreamed) you will be sending your babies off to high school...... Love, mom