1. Although I have managed not to panic outright this week (as my father would say, “Never panic. It’s so unattractive.”), apparently insomnia is going to be my torture.
Had a touch Sunday night, couldn’t sleep for about an hour.
Last night (this morning?) was a doozy though. Up from 2:30 to nearly 5 a.m. To add insult to injury, just as I was finally falling back to sleep, after watching the horrible ending of The Dark Half — I’m guessing the whole movie was terrible, not just the ending; I like Timothy Hutton a lot, but that movie was a bad career choice. And don’t get me started on Stephen King book adaptations…
Where was I?
Right, falling back to sleep finally at 5 a.m. when Dan started to snore again. Then to heap insult upon insult to injury: his alarm went off at 6 a.m.
2. I have been able to cobble together lunches and dinners despite not shopping in the recent past. I even put together a picnic dinner for this evening, which is Flora’s first soccer practice if the weather improves. Hummus, carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter, cheese, and apples. I may have to pick up some crackers I suppose.
If practice gets canceled, we’re having a picnic in the living room.
3. The routine is starting to take, I think. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here. Last night went pretty smoothly (note: it was not a bath night). The school after care program has instituted a half-hour homework period for the kids. I told Flora to use the time! That will be a big time saver in the evenings.
Last night, TV went off at about 7:50. While I put M to bed, the girls came upstairs, put on their pajamas, brushed their teeth, and quietly occupied themselves in their room. Didn’t ask for another show. Didn’t ask for another snack. Just waited until I got M settled, then we read the next two chapters of the book we’re on.
They were asleep by 9:30, and up this morning by about 6:45.
I am hopeful.
Except for that damn insomnia.
4. Kate’s having little dramas, though. Sadness, bad dreams, spates of crying. I am being patient and trying to help her, listen to her, empathize. Last night was especially notable. She got very sad right before dinner.
As we were coming in the door for the evening, she said, “Did you ever have a dream? And then thought all day about the dream, and think you were going to dream the same thing again in the night?”
I said, “You had a bad dream last night?”
“And you’re afraid you’re going to dream about it again tonight?”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“It was too hard to describe.”
“Okay. But if you want to talk about it, I can listen.”
“It’s just that everyone was dead except me.”
Oh, this kid. Breaking my heart.
“Sweetie, are you feeling lonely? Are you afraid of being left alone?”
Nodding and tears this time.
“Do you feel worried about going to school?”
She shook her head no.
“Do you feel lonely at school?”
“Do you feel lonely at night?”
“Okay. So we have to figure out a way to help you feel less lonely at night.”
Then later that night, I tucked her and Flora in, and left the room to get M resettled (M is sleeping in the big bed in our room — not in his crib, and that is another story for another day), and she burst into sobs! Came into M’s room and everything. She was so distraught.
Maybe some of it is the change in schedule, the change in routine. Instead of the nanny and her siblings and cousins around all the time, she’s *is* alone, in a new classroom. She has had very good days at school, and hasn’t complained of a thing, even when asked. She’s not in a classroom with her “frenemy” from last year, although she sees her some evenings in after care. Maybe she’s a little more tired, and it’s darker sooner, and change, man. Change is hard!
I got her calmed down last night with some deep breaths. I’ve started doing a meditation with her at night too — I don’t know if I can call it guided meditation or anything fancy like that. I have her picture a big, strong tree, and I describe the bark, and the leaves, and the light in the leaves. We’ve done it about three times, and it does seem to calm her.
5. I am using this weekend to regroup (ha! as if I’m grouped), make a weekly meal plan, look into freezer meals (thanks to @TwinMamaTeb for the tip), practice our routines a little more. Especially yoga. Who knew I would like yoga? I did not.
6. In another attempt to help Kate, I put a note in her lunch for today. I hope it cheers her up, and reminds her that she is always on my mind, and never alone.
What do you do when you or your kids are feeling lonely?