Thursday, November 20, 2008

On boys and hibernating.

So, twice in the last 10 days Kai has fallen asleep at about 4:15pm with a headache and been out for the night. Which, of course, means I was frantically researching "headaches in kids" on the internet, sure that it means something, and it does. It means he had a headache.

Yeah, not so good on the not jumping to conclusions over here. I was mentally scheduling him for brain surgery.

But I think part of my fear is that I don't want him to get migraines like I do. I would do ANYTHING for my kids not to ever have to go through that. Hell, I would do anything not to have ANY kid go through that. He has never complained of a headache before and he never gets sick. Never. And he has an absurdly high pain thresh hold, like, kinda dangerously high. As in he does some CRAZY stuff with his body, falls, everyone around does a collective "Woooooaaaaaaahhhhhhh!! That had to hurt!" and he leaps up smiling. The number of times I have found cuts with crusted over blood that he has no idea how he got, is too many to count. How many four year olds do you know who, when they have a splinter deep in the bottom of their foot grin devilishly, "Dig IN there mom, c'mon, get it out. This is cool, it's like surgery!" And when I say"it's gonna hurt." He smiles and says "that's OK, it'll heal."

Don't hurt his feelings though, because those nerves are right there on the surface and even an unintentional rub the wrong way can bring on sobs that last a long, long time. His soul is fragile, and delicate and needs tender care. His enthusiasm for life vast, his heart and capacity to love, endless. His body, its a vehicle to carry that soul. It needs care, but he doesn't seem too concerned with the occasional scratch, bump or gaping wound, as long as it works and can carry his bright, shining, slightly reckless spirit from one fabulous activity to the next. Being the mother of sons is something else, I tell you, something else!

I'm having a hard time settling into myself this year. Usually, about this time of the fall (or stick season as we call it around here) I am totally into everything that speaks to feelings of warmth and comfort. But for some reason I am having a harder time settling into that this year. Maybe it's because we are going through tough sleep issues with all the kids right now, meaning that I am up a lot with one or all of them every night. By the time the day is over and they are snuggled into their beds, I am good for nothing but watching Scrubs or going straight to bed at an embarrassingly early hour. Hopefully that will sort itself out with the arrival of white noise machines and the ridiculously overpriced, but evidently brilliant, kids' sleep clock I had to order from Europe.

Part of the problem is that, since it is dark until about 7am, the kids can't tell when it's OK for them to get up, so they leap out of bed anywhere from 4am to 5:30am, when really, they are not supposed to leave their beds until 6am, otherwise mommy turns into a sleep deprived screaming machine. This clock is supposed to tell them when they are allowed to get up. I can't WAIT for the thing to arrive.

The other reason I am not able to nest as much is because of the baby. I had gotten used to being able to sit with the older kids and work while they played or did puzzles or colored (by work I mean knit, sew or cook. The work that feeds my soul.), but with a baby, I can't. He is too wiggly to hold while I knit, I can't put him down long enough to even get the sewing machine out, and while I can, and do, cook with him on my hip, it's hard to get into the pleasure of the textures and smells when your worried about him sticking his little fingers into everything. It's all good, it's just that I had forgotten how many things I can't do with a baby in my arms. On the other hand, I can just hang out with a baby in my arms, which is always good (except when he gets heavy, which is happening more quickly these days.)

I usually make all my Christmas presents for the grownups, and I will again this year, but it would not be possible without the addition of Hilda, the wonder-Swede, in our lives. We have an au-pair, and she ROCKS! She and I are going to be sewing our little butts off, the kids and I will be baking, and somewhere in there I will finish Zach's sweater (I KNOW, but I started it waaaaaaay before the baby, so it doesn't technically make me nuts. Oh, and when I ran out of yarn, the store owner informed me it was a discontinued yarn, and my head almost exploded. I had completed 2 front pannels and the back, all in cables and 3/4 of the first arm. I thought I was going to throw up. Then she found 2 skeins and I was quite possibly the most relieved person in Vermont. I digress.) and make mom and Polly each a pair of socks. Everyone else should expect book-bags, aprons, place mats etc. Things that can be sewn together quickly, but made of the nicest materials, naturally.

Anyway, first we have Thanksgiving, which is the BEST holiday ever. No gifts, no stress, just food and family and viciously intense card games with Zach's siblings and cousins. They are not above cheating, so vigilance is required.


Gayla said...

My name is Gayla and I adopted my two children (Abby from Kazakhstan in 2004 from the same agency you guys used and Henry in 2007 from Vietnam). I'm so happy to find your blog as I followed each of your adoption trips!

I literally just ordered a white noise machine after reading your post as my just turned two year old has recently begun waking up anywhere from 3-6 times a night.

Your kids are all adorable!

Jess said...

My friend's daughter was having headaches and it turned out to be molars coming in. Might be worth a look in the mouth.

Jes said...

I also love Thanksgiving! It's nice to get together with family and have a little card game rivalry.


Lori said...

There is NOTHING better than a sweet little boy with a sweet little soul! I can totally tell which of my students are going to make great husbands one day because they are the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate little children. They are thoughtful and introspective, and just like your Kai, ass-over-tea kettle on the black-top is no worry...but look at them as if you are disappointed or let one of their friends tell them that they are not going to be friends any more and it is a flood. Heck, one of my kids got caught stealing someone's snacks yesterday and his FRIEND cried uncontrollably...he was so worried about his friend--the choices he made and the trouble he'd get in to. I quote--Mrs. Ennis, I'm just so worried about (kid who stole's name)and how he must be feeling. I know he made a bad choice and I bet he regrets it. I hope he does, at least.

That kid is 7. Amazing.

RossVix said...

Hello April
Good to see you and your little ones doing well. They look happy and thriving. I know what you mean about missing those things that "feed you". I started weaving (on a small lap loom) last year...and am discovering how challenging that has become with 10-month old twins. I do love those babies kisses...and still try and sneak a few colorful rows in when they sleep (which is rare these days!)

(from Bellingham)