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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

They are just children...

It’s an adjustment really. I haven’t lived with small children for many years. I haven’t worried about baby-proofing, potty-training and/or snacks before dinner. This has been a wakeup call.
Before I moved into this house, Nicole would call me and have only one nerve left which one of the children was always standing on. I wanted so much to be able to help her get some rest and take the kids off her hands even if just for a few minutes. I thought it would be a simple thing to just play with them while their parents took a nap. They are children – how hard could it be?
Six and two year olds have minds of their own. They may not want to play the same game you want to play. The TV may be turned on to cartoons, but that doesn’t mean they will sit like zombies and become enthralled in the program. They are, in fact, little people who have their own wants and desires. My great-grandchildren are independent little souls who march to the beat of their own drummer. When the heck did that happen?
When my children were their age, I don’t remember them being so set in their ways. I imagine that sixty years of hindsight has probably changed my personal vision of reality. I do remember being frustrated and wanting to lock them in their rooms until they were adults. As they became teenagers, I wanted to locked them in their room and just throw away the key. But, I didn’t and – lo and behold – they eventually became responsible adults. Who’d a thunk it?
Emily and Brian, my great-grands, have places to go during the day. Brian goes to DayCare and Emily usually goes to Nana’s. When school starts next week, Emily will be spending her days at school until her mother picks her up. I don’t really have them during the day and for that I’m, surprisingly, happy. That’s OK because Barkly, the dog, makes up for lack of chaos.
My day usually starts at 5:30 a.m. pouring coffee for Riley, Ryan, Nicole and me. That’s about a whole pot, so with the last cup I make a fresh pot. Then I help Nicole find shoes and other things needed to get them out the door. They all leave at once. Now it’s just me and Riley. I find something for his breakfast. Sometimes it’s as simple as cereal and other times it’s bacon and eggs or waffles. He is now situated and I can go on to other things. I straighten up the living and dining rooms, gather up the laundry and start a load of wash. Next it’s doing the dishes and coming up with a plan for dinner.
I take little breaks between the tasks, but getting comfortable on the sofa is difficult because Barkley must be next to me at all times. Getting comfortable with a 55 pound dog laying on me, is not easy. Barkley is a blue-nosed pit bull that Ryan got long before he should have been taken from his mother. Ryan bottle-fed him and is afraid of his own shadow. He must have a trusted human around him, or he cries – no, he doesn’t bark or howl, he cries like an infant. He simpers and you can see in his eyes that he just wants someone to tell him he’s going to be OK. I’ve never liked pit-bulls, but this one is different than any other I’ve ever seen. Ryan and Nicole are very careful about Barkley being with the children. Barkley is never left alone with them and the children have learned not to lunge for the dog. They have been taught that Barkley needs gentleness and that’s exactly how both kids and dog behave. I’ve been extremely impressed even though Barkley’s constant following me and sitting with me is a pain in the neck.
Dinner is planned and probably started and a load or two of laundry is complete. I’ve been checking on Riley throughout the morning and if he’s had an accident in the bathroom, I must go clean that up. It’s time for lunch which may be leftovers or a sandwich or soup. I go down the hall, for the millionith time, to take him his tray. If I am lucky, he will finish before Young and Restless comes on so I can lay on Emily’s bed with Barkley gated from entry and settle in for one and a half hours of rest and enjoyment. Sometimes I fall asleep, but most days I do not. Riley always naps during this time and it’s a relief to know I don’t have to make another trip down the hall for a while.
After my respite, I continue with my dinner plans, fold the laundry and put it away, and clean up in mine and Riley’s room. Now I have a couple of hours before everyone gets home from work, school, etc. I can get on the computer and see what’s going on. I check on OARS, the blog, comments, bank account, Facebook, etc., etc. If I have time I’ll write a post.
Everyone piles in the door at the same time. The toys I put away this morning are instantly scattered back throughout the living and dining areas. Both kids want a juice box or a snack or something to digest. When I first got here, I was freely giving the kids anything they wanted. But, their parents reminded me that if they get lots of sugar before dinner, they will not eat. I’m not as quick to oblige them anymore.
My great-grands are the most talkative children I’ve ever seen. It seems they do not know how to stop. They use their indoor voice, but it’s like a bunch of magpies at a convention. I try to pay attention, but they often loose me in translation. Somehow, their parents are able to sort through it and know what is important from what is just chatter. I’m amazed at their ability. I remember trying to explain to my daughter that everything she thinks doesn’t need to be vocalized – but I wasn’t successful. She’s now an adult and has out-grown her need for vocalization.
We have dinner and then Ryan takes charge of their baths. In between we keep expressing to Brian that big boys potty in the toilet, but he insists he doesn’t want to. It is frustrating because he will tell us that he is busy pooping, but when we tell him he needs to go poop in the toilet he becomes quite adamant that the toilet is not his preferred repository for bodily functions. We agree that we don’t want to use the toilet as a punishment. We are patient. All things in due time.
There are no set bedtimes. It really isn’t necessary. Emily will just quietly disappear into her bed. Brian gets extremely hyper as he gets more tired. He plays “red light, green light” which involves him running in circles and suddenly starting and stopping. After a couple of runs around the room, he crawls into his mother’s lap and falls sound asleep.
It’s quiet in the house now. Nicole and I can now spend a few minutes talking about the day, house-hunting, budgeting, meals, plans and other things. I’m exhausted. I need sleep. I climb into my bed and listen to Riley. He’s now sleeping on his side rather than his back and the apnea seems to have subsided. He talks in his sleep. Eventually I fall into a welcomed slumber. My mind and body prepare for the next day.
We are looking for a house where Riley and I are more separated from Ryan and Nicole’s family. We want to be in the same house, but not in exactly the same space. It will happen, but we must be patient (OH! There’s that word again!). The right place will come along. In the meantime, we’ll just keep doing what we are doing. It seems to be working so far.


Syd said...

Sounds like a busy day, but I am glad that you are with family.

jo said...

i envy you here, because i couldnt live with my daughter for a week. we would kill each other. i usually watch the girls...(12 and 6) for her and love it. i had to learn to just love them and have fun. its really fun, altho a 2 yr old...wellllllll. you will be singing along with blues clues and yo gabba gabba before you know it. he will potty when he is ready. they always do! 2 is awful young..he wont be a baby anymore soon enough.

course my A doesnt help or is allowed around the girls without supervision. last time we caught him telling one i was evil...so much for the idea of that.

sounds fun. and busy. a good schedule is important. enjoy the little ones. esp the 6 yr old. they are a blast. mine talks continuously, too. i dont see how she breathes. we play outside a lot. you name it, we play it.

no worries on the comment. lol. i doubt it was that brillian! haha.

the beat goes on...............

Negi said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

How to Stop

Anonymous said...

There are three basic methods of proving character: (1) reputation of the person in the community; (2) personal opinion testimony of witnesses who know the person; (3) specific instances of conduct of the person from which inferences may be drawn.

jo said...

to anon, some people can be entirely diff at home than out in public. they can fool almost anyone.

personal opinion ...is nothing more than one persons opinion. we all those. i wouldnt trust that at all.

conduct...yes. if its personally witnessed...def.

actions and behaviors prove character.

i know some who know my husband and have absolutely no clue what he is really like.

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda,

Thanks for your honesty and bravery. For telling it as it is and being real about financial concerns.

I hope everything works out well for you and that a whole lot of good luck comes your way, because you deserve it.

Lots of love. And I mean it.

Jackie said...

I just recently read on Dr. Gott's site:
about drugs which may help decrease the alcoholics cravings and may provide some help. The site basically said, Medications to reduce cravings include Trexan, ReVia and Vivitrol that all work through decreasing the craving that blocks the normal high experienced. Then there’s Antabuse that produces a negative reaction when alcohol is consumed. Campral decreases cravings for the alcoholic who has ceased drinking but still has the desire to drink. Then there are other drugs, etc.
These Rx may help some to recover, etc.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I am glad you are with your family too and that you have some peace of mind.

Fingers crossed re the house hunt.

Anna :o]