This past week has been particularly challenging with Andrew. He can be willful at the best of times – he has a strong personality, and is very determined. I was exactly like him when I was little, so I understand where he’s coming from, and I know he comes by it honestly! But I’m so used to him being SUCH a good boy the majority of the time. He has his moments, as all little ones do, but he’s generally quite easy going, very affectionate, relatively easy to please – and has been his whole life. He smiles often and shows compassion and care for others. He’s a genuinely sweet little boy.
Because of his usual good-naturedness, I think it has been extra challenging to have him be not-so-good-natured this past week. Between myself, James, and talking about it with my mom (and her witnessing the behaviour first-hand), our conclusion is that he’s acting out because of the babies in Mommy’s belly.
Sometimes Andrew will talk about the babies excitedly, or discuss how the babies in HIS belly (he’s got 3 now, apparently) are going to pop out and all be his friends. He’ll tell me he’s happy about the babies, or he’ll pick out toys from his bedroom and say, ‘I’ll give this one to the babies….but not THIS one!’
But in the past week, there has been more resistance to the idea of ‘the babies.’ And he generally takes it all out on me, specifically. I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s resentful that our routines have already started changing to accommodate for them. I’ve been Andrew’s #1 since day one, and having been home with him his whole life so far, he’s grown accustomed to me being a certain way with him. I try to be as close to that person as I can be, but it’s true, I’m not quite the same now. I can’t be. I’m often so sick, that all I can do is lay down. He doesn’t like how that cuts into our together time. I don’t particularly enjoy it either, so I can well imagine how it makes him feel. I also can’t do some of the things I would normally do with him, some of our horsing-around type play, because I have to be careful to protect my growing belly. At least several times every day, I hear myself say, ‘Be careful of Mommy’s belly, Andrew.’ I’m constantly reminding him of the babies, because I have to be careful when he’s playfully kicking me or wanting to jump onto my lap. I can’t even hold him on my lap the way I would pre-pregnancy, because my belly is already big enough that it’s uncomfortable to have him leaning right against it.
I try to compensate for what I can’t do, but I’m also so tired most of the time, often very nauseous, or having to say, ‘Ok, we can play that game, but I’m going to have to go throw up first!’ which kind of puts a damper on the fun of things, I’m sure.
As a result, there have been more tantrums, more outbursts, more yelling out, ‘I don’t like you, Mommy’ or ‘Go away!’ He’s started telling me he outright hates me, and that he doesn’t want any babies. Did I mention that yesterday he said I would only have one of the babies, not both, because two was too many considering he didn’t want any at all. Today we went to my mom’s because I was so exhausted and he had me at my wits end by 10am. After I got him a snack in the morning, I actually went into the bathroom and sobbed for a good 5 minutes. It’s mostly just hormone-related (I can’t even remember the last time I cried before that, so I’m doing pretty well all considered!) but I’m sure it had something to do with the way he’s treating me. Just as he’s grown accustomed to me being his #1, I’ve grown accustomed to him being mine.
And ultimately, I know I still AM his #1. He still wants Mommy when it comes down to a lot of things. And he still usually tells me he loves me, particularly at bed time, without me having to necessarily say it first. He loves me, and I know this is just him acting out because he’s feeling weird about the changes that are taking place. It’s going to be a tough transition to suddenly have to share me, and it’s a double whammy with it being twins. It’s going to be challenging for all of us. I just hope this behaviour changes for the better soon, because I’m not sure how many more bad days in a row I can handle!