okay, my intro. i'm going to really describe all the kids. i waited because i really want to say more about reed. he is one of the original forces.
i'm 35, my dh is 30. my folks are both from taiwan and i was born here. i mention this because in most ways, i am learning to parent myself or learn how i want to be, in a direr way than some. i don't go to a job. i earn half of what he makes
we all sleep on two queen mattresses and the rest of the house is used up - my kids don't have rooms and this is starting to be an issue, though i do believe in the communal living.
i've been wallowing in the role of mamma since reed was born. certainly his personality demanded it. in my mind i have been working towards continuum concept ideals for years, to focus on the family and do what i'm doing as i raise the kids, rather than being child centered. but i am just finally starting to claim more for myself in the past six months. like bathing regularly. growing my hair. listening to music. it certainly has much to do with ruby being so "old" as three. i truly believe that most tough family dynamics with littles deal with being three and younger and spacings.
i still plan to be a rock star one day, hope to start some type of nonprofit with slings and birth and postpartum. will probably end up starting some kind of catering or restaurant eventually because that's where all our job experience is in. and i happen to have a talent for cooking. i've always had sleep disorder and am a twitchy type person that must be feel busy and creative all the time. i'm loud and blunt. i have a compulsive artistic type personality that is learning how to regulate better for the greater good of my family.
past six months have been a definite emotional upswing for us, mainly because dh got a job at whole foods. financial is rather icky (please explain to me my new 550 electricity bill?), but i finally feel like the battle of where we belong and what the heck are we doing - for the past 7 years - is gone. it's another story.
we are unschooling. started as a combination of reed and terrible local alternatives. but also our need for control and lack of faith in the lack of village where i live. i see it as a natural extension of being mamma - being a guide to the world, helping when needed. theoretically. actuality is very loud and messy. as life can be.
we are loud and not that well behaved and usually dirty. we are fun though. it's never boring here. right now is about learning to live with each other, finding the balance on regularity and spontaneity with all our personalities, figuring how to make the household run to our liking, how we deal with the world outside our microcosm. being a family as a team as part of the world: that's my curriculum.
reed is the pure heart. has the ultimate typical male attributes. he is big - a head shorter than me and 75 lbs and clumsy though he can focus the gross motor skills above and beyond and has been able to truly physically hurt us for years. he is uninterested in emotions and interchanges outside of him. he wants to know how objects and nature work, but is oblivious to the regular parts of life. like he has just started getting out of the bathtub when he is done instead of yelling and me informing him that he could step out, where he would say, oh, okay like it never occurred to him all these years. in our local school setting, i think he would be given all the labels. adhd. aspergers. oppositional defiant. this is the kid that would ask me to make it quit raining. that began to understand after 6 that we go to bed every day. that i worried he would beat up every kid he came near including my own until this past year. he has a sensitive radar to fear and anger which he has converted from striking back to behaving like a foul mouthed gorilla.
he has been my biggest teacher. his ego is so strong. he is as solid as a rock physically and metaphorically. he needs less sleep than i do and this was a bigger issue before....though this week he's been waking them all before dawn..... he still hates to be alone but can stand a bit of it now. he rarely self starts and is playing alone better. he is just starting to read. funny, because i have quit sweating it. i was worried that he was feeling powerlessness due to not being able to read, tell time, interpret people's cues easily, my waning attention on him. now i figure i have preserved that innocence since his body wasn't ready - which i relate to the fine motor skill he genuinely lacks. he can now build a suggested 10y lego. it is rare for him to write and draw he still gets mad because it is not exactly what he pictured. his hands amaze me he lacks the big muscles for the thumb and side under the pinky, and between the thumb and index. for me, my hands are close to everything.
on top of it, he is not dumb. he understands math and abstracts intuitively. he has been speaking well - enunciating clearly at one. he was one of those kids that spoke like any adult at three, just mostly about himself. this and him being the oldest and so big really fooled me since i had little experience with kids before him. i really expected way too much from him. and now, well, if i want him to quit dripping all over the house after that bath, i will have to rub him holding his arms with the towel and show him the pattern until he gets it. i feel bad sometimes that now at 7.5, i am finally feeling able to do these things.
clay just turned 5 and he is in the general sense the opposite of reed. he is also the main source of angst in the family now - some of it due to his age. where reed and ruby's personalities resemble damen's, though they look more like me, clay has all my bred in issues. so reed is teaching me about life and my husband, clay is teaching me about myself. ruby is teaching me about being a girl.
i would call clay the big secret treasure. he is bright and all too aware and the most fun when he is up. he is sneaky and conniving and agile and highly sensitive and knows what to do and is able to do it if he isn't worked up. i think the main problem is that he is not feeling useful, though he mainly complains about reed and dh. all the things they do that irritate him, i have learned to live with and accept, but fundamentally can grate as on me as well. so i don't know what we are in for in that respect. we got him a new computer....and his requirements for emotional space have dropped dramatically. but he worries about the things he wants, the things that haven't happenned, remembers every way he has been slighted. combined with reed and dh's obliviousness, it gets messy. clay is, for now honestly, my favorite child. he is layers and layers of beauty which is sometimes lots and lots of pain and anger that he hurls onto everyone else. i know it has to do with rediscovering myself, learning to turn my faults into assets. but deep down, we get each other. and it hurts too, trying to figure how to cope and help him. it's very different from the understanding ruby and i have, which is just as deep, just female. i've never had to live with me before. yikes!
ruby is a bright star. her charisma oozes everywhere. she sounds like a cartoon character. she can do everything. she wants to do everything. then she just suddenly can't and i have to remind myself she just turned three. she has the propensity to become the biggest nag ever. she does stuff that none of the males had picked up. like she permanently took over feeding our outside cats after she turned two. it's been like having a light turned on for me - seeing how the female can reach her mind in so many directions, be sensitive to mood, and multitask. i thought reasoning with kids was a myth until her. i won't know how much is girlness and rubyness unless i have another girl. but it is like having a mini me. and girlshrieks are definitely worse in some ways. lately i keep telling her to quit it or go away due to her demands and meddling. yes i need a pattern to do better. her curiousity combined with her ability and awareness at this age is a new parenting experience for me. especially in the kitchen.
example: yesterday i woke up to the smell of burning toast. she had plugged in the toaster, which involved some climbing of course and toasted about fifteen pieces of bread, fooling with the dial, and toasting some pieces repeatedly. then was forcefeeding it to everyone persistently. yes, i'm proud and annoyed.
that's enough and too much. oh yah, clay and ruby are still nursing. not much; mostly to go to bed.
and yes, i want more. i have an iud though.