Friday, September 25, 2009

Z'Bout Time

I know I'm due for some kind of update around here. It'd be so much easier if I'd just jot down a note or two every day rather than let everything build up inside for a month. Sheesh.

Our daughter is out of rehab and back home now, adjusting to the "boring" life again. She says she really, really enjoyed the program and is glad she did it. She admits now to having reservations about it all the way up to the front door, and even for a couple days after that, but she met some good people and is better for the experience, I can tell. She even received the Award for Best Client (out of a group of about 25 people),'s the shocker...the award for the Cleanest Room!! This is HUGE! She's never made her bed, never picked the clothes up off her floor, never put trash in the trash can. My solution has always been to either a) close the door, or b) wait until she wanted something and use this as leverage...clean up your room, or else. I'm a bit of a neat freak so the fact that she got this distinguished award gave me goosebumps. :-)

She is still doing good (still happy with her decision to live a sober life, still focused on recovery, still interested in getting her old job back and starting school, more interested in actively parenting than she has ever been), but we've also had our moments of frustration adjusting to life together again.

We'll spend some time in family therapy sessions along the way so that we might hash
out the difficult issues in the company of professionals. From my perspective, the difficulty is we are either offending her by stepping in her way and not letting her "be the mom," or she loses her patience and gets frustrated because she doesn't want to parent and then we're not helping enough. She is very sensitive about the fact that she's not been here for so long and trying to preserve her role of
"mom." To avoid skirmishes, I've taken the position for now that I will let her do the caretaking unless she asks for help, and when she does, I am going to try and remain as neutral, loving, uncritical, and helpful as I can, trying to teach her what I have learned along the way without getting mad when she dismisses me (her favorite line is "don't be so paranoid"). We've agreed that I won't tell her how to parent if she won't tell me how to grandparent. I'm frequently told that I'm spoiling him...grandparents are allowed to "baby" their grandchildren when they fall and pick them up when they cry, right? Her counselor told us that we should just be prepared to parent while she is recovering because she can't do both simultaneously. Agreed! To this end we try to let her do as much as she's comfortable doing but without expectations. We try to step in when a diaper needs changing or when he wakes up in the night rather than calling on her (she never hears him cry at night anyway, and she's never seen him wake up in the morning ...which is a shame because seeing his happy little smile in the morning is the best part)! So you can see the dilemma. It's not easy. I should have studied psychology.

Julian, for his part, is doing great, glad to have Mommy home. He is
babbling, sometimes non-stop, and sometimes cussing us out in Baby,
like when we try to make him go to bed or take away the remote control. But he is still the most good natured little guy. He is practicing his walking with a push car and going faster every day.

We gave him a soft serve ice cream cone at McDonalds for the first time and he shoved it up Mommy's nose, then in his eye. He finished off with a heroic squeeze of the cone which, of course, resulted in much mess all over himself, but he was thrilled with the results, and quivered with delight. We captured lots of hilarious laughter on my cell phone. Wish I could upload the video.

We have been spending our weekends going to garage sales and thrift stores. Sparky now has more clothes than anyone else in the house and lots of toys. We've found a few deals for ourselves as well. I've vowed never to spend full price on clothes again (except for underwear and socks), not even at Wal-Mart.

And we are looking forward to our first airplane trip with Sparky in October (to Tacoma for a visit to our boat). I'm making long lists of all the necessities for traveling with baby. So much for traveling light! I'me resigned to having to check some bags this time.

Tha's about it for now. Until next month. Let Go, Let God.

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At 7:12 AM, September 25, 2009, Blogger beth said...

Yay! Even with the difficulties it sounds like things are looking up and doing great. :)

At 7:30 AM, September 25, 2009, Blogger Eric Siegmund said...

Ah, great update! You're obviously on that great Roller Coaster of Life, but at least you're able to occasionally take your hands off the safety rail, raise them above your head, and giggle with delight (even while dealing with a little bit of motion sickness).

At 10:01 AM, September 25, 2009, Blogger Gwynne said...

Eric, that's exactly right...being able to take our hands off the safety rail once in awhile is a real blessing! Which makes me wonder, truly, how single parents (or their children) survive.

At 5:54 PM, September 25, 2009, Blogger Library girl said...

Glad things are on the up and up! That is good news indeed!

At 5:52 AM, September 28, 2009, Blogger Sisiggy said...

Wonderful that she's back on track, albeit a bit wobbly.

But you've got to be experiencing some separation from Spartacus, even though he's still there (which probably makes it all the harder) and for that you are in my prayers. You get extra points for not dwelling on it.

At 6:26 PM, September 28, 2009, Blogger Gwynne said...

Sisiggy, I expected "wobbly" so that's okay. I actually expected worse (we experienced much worse when she was using). I'm pleasantly surprised that she's as willing to parent as she has been, so now it's just a matter of finding the right balance...and yes, that requires me to let go a bit. But as long as he is in our home, under our watchful eye, I don't mind sharing him. It's been nice to have an extra pair of hands. I will be a basket case however, if and when she ever moves out on her own and we have to surrender guardianship. If she is clean and capable, that is absolutely what we pray for in the long run, but it won't be easy.

At 9:31 PM, October 06, 2009, Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Have fun on your trip! i'd love to see Sparky videos~
Have you thought about linking your blog to your facebook? You could post twice times that way!


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