This one boy… my number 2 boy… named Cooper Leroy, is exhausting me. Not annoying, or frustrating or anything like that, but just really wearing me out!
Everything about him seems heightened right now – emotions, his frustrations, his appetite, his need for attention and approval. If I’m not comforting him for his feelings being hurt by his brother (or from seeing something he didn’t like on TV), I’m comforting him for the toy he dropped on his foot.
If I’m not battling with him about putting warm clothes on to go outside, I’m battling with him to pick up the messes he’s made or to eat something other than fishies or a hotdog for lunch. If I’m not getting him something to drink, I’m getting him something to eat (because he is ALWAYS hungry!).
This boy can cry at the drop of a hat. He was reduced to a puddle after looking at a scrapbook that I made for Matt 8 years ago. He didn’t know why, but looking at the photos ‘just makes me cry!’
And all too often he concludes that if he’s not getting his way, or if I’m doing something for one of his brothers rather than him, that I don’t love him as much as the others.
On top of that, he’s into asking questions about everything. The ‘Why’ stage is upon us, and while I love my kids being inquisitive and wanting to understand and know things, his constant questioning literally make my brain tired!
He asks so many questions that he often times doesn’t even realize he’s asked one. Yesterday he asked me something during lunch and after I’d answered him, I saw that he wasn’t listening. I told him, “Coop, if you ask me something, you should listen to my answer, okay?” He looked at me and said, “What did I ask you?” Doh.
And for whatever reason, he’s been waking up in the middle of the night, usually right at midnight, and coming into our bedroom. He wakes me up with any explanation from his sheets are messed up, to he has to go potty, to he needs me to blow his nose. A few nights ago, I woke up with him in my bed, nuzzling as close to me as possible (that was actually pretty sweet…)
I have to figure that this one Cooper Leroy-boy is feeling the anxieties of being the middle child. He sees Gage’s big boy capabilities, but isn’t quite there yet. He see’s the attention Kaden gets as the baby and sees what he gets away with and wishes he was a baby again (he tells me this often). But I also know that this is part of his personality and I have to work with it, or I’m not caring properly for my son.
So, I think the thing that tires me the most right now is figuring out how to make sure that he KNOWS he is loved and cherished just the way that he is. That he doesn’t have to act out to get attention or to feel like things are unfair because he gets a sp*nking for scratching but Kaden doesn’t.
I know that none of this is anything new to other parents – there is nothing easy in parenthood except loving your children. I absolutely know that. Its just hard to remember that when you’re tired. And what parent isn’t tired when they have little ones ruling their roost? It’s a viscous cycle.
Like I said, though, every area of Cooper’s being is heightened which includes his love giving. When he’s ‘down’ he wants to snuggle and rub his silky face against mine. (Kind of like a cat). When I am down, he wants to do the same. He gives these amazing hugs and when he sees a chance to be the big boy he is incredibly helpful (like vacuuming!) and receives much praise for doing so. Oiy. I love this boy.
So, as in everything in life, there is a positive flip-side. You just have to be awake enough to see it. Again, viscous cycle.
(and thanks Julie, for the vacuum. He (obviously) loves it!)