Saturday, July 5, 2008

J-Man is Home!

J-Man came home on Tuesday. I held him for such a long time. He cuddled with his siblings, and we were all very happy.

He got to his room to find the Nintendo DS he has been wishing for. A courier arrived, and we discovered Princess had won tickets to the Dora Live show on Saturday. We couldn't believe it- she had only entered the day before it was drawn, and with tickets nearly $40 each (and 3 of us wanting to go), it was looking like a very unlikely possibility.

So, J-Man was home, he had his DS, we got free tickets for a show fro the littles, and everything seemed right with the world.

I nearly got on the computer to write about it.

Then it all changed.

I'm not sure what it was over exactly...ordinary sibling stuff. Princess and J-Man argued, at then yelled, then I stepped in before it got really ugly, but J-Man had already seen it coming, and stormed off to his room.

I let him simmer down for a bit, and cuddled Princess and reminded her (as I had done in the morning) that J-Man was going to take a bit of getting used to us all again, and we needed to be patient. I went to see J-Man, and he was upset about several little things.

I had been trying so hard to really be with him, I'd missed him so much, and I wanted to be utterly there...but it was impossible with 2 other children. He missed his Grandma and Poppy. He wanted to go back. I felt devastated. I could see what the attraction was- they are very good to him, and there are two of them, and they are not pulled hither and thither by two smaller (and usually louder) children.

I thought he would be upset, but it hadn't been that way initially, and when things changed I was surprised. We talked plenty, and he talked to Grandma (and later, Poppy) on the phone.

I remember an unschooling mum saying that it was not her responsibility to make her children happy. I had thought that sounded harsh, and I didn't know if I agreed...but I saw on that day that I could look for ways to make J-Man happy...but they would only be temporary. he was sad, really upset, and feeling mixed emotions, and he didn't know what to do with them all. He desperately wanted to see us again, but he also missed his grandparents. He wanted to be with his sister, but she drove him batty. He loves his little brother to bits, but he breaks things, and sometimes won;'t leave you alone.

He didn't need to be made happy, he only needed me to understand he wasn't.

Daddy got home, and there was more excitement showing the DS, and discussing all that he had done while he was away. We ate dinner together, and he announced he really did require the same sized plate as us, since that was what he had at Grandma's...I've served the kids' dinner on side plates for ages since they seemed about the right size.

Things started to feel more normal, and J-Man became happier as the evening went on.

By Wednesday morning, he was nearly back to his usual self. He still missed his grandparents, but he knew he would see them again soon enough.


Schuyler said...

Sometimes all you can do is listen and be there. As they get older there is less and less that you can do in the midst of their problems to solve them. It becomes much more about being present and not fixing things.

Shell (in NZ) said...

Thanks Schuyler :0) It was a tough realisation for me, but a good and necessary one I think.