Finally it all makes sense!
I'm losing my mind. It has been one thing after another lately, and last night I reached peak overload. I threw in the towel and called everything off. All of it. Homeschooling. Motherhood. Cooking. Cleaning. Breathing. I. Can't. Do. This. Anymore.
Have you ever been there?
My resignation lasted all of a few minutes. Of course I can do this, I just seem to have temporarily misplaced my sanity. It all started with the car accident and not being able to do much of anything physically. Just trying to situate myself to pee took my breath away the first few days. Then girls started acting out-- Sunburst with her open defiance, and Moonshine with the incessant whining. Kitty Bill started climbing on the tables and whacking things off the counters. No one was sleeping. Our rhythms got totally and completely whacked out, and then came the vomitting. All this and Christmas, too!
Moonshine vomitted all through Solstice. There was no greeting of the sun or gathering of friends, reverance, symbolism, and candlelit spiral bliss. There was just vommit. It subsided just in time for Christmas morning, thankfully, but by then we were simply worn out.
Since the vomitting sickness, Moonshine has been less than agreeable. She has been throwing a tantrum a day. These are all-new tantrums. Special tantrums. Flailing, kicking, screaming, shrieking, crying until you can't breathe, vomitting, and then crying some more tantrums. We have had at least one-a-day for several days now, and the slightest thing sets them off. Last night was perhaps the pinnacle of tantrumness, just as dinner was put upon the table. And that was it for me. Maximum overload. I threw in my proverbial towel and had to step away from the child.
There's a lot I don't understand about my kids. Now, I cried a lot as a kid. I did. You just had to look at me wrong, and there I would go, off like a sprinkler. But to kick and scream and cry hard enough to vomit? When I've lost people I loved, I've cried that hard. But at four? Over a lost sticker? A piece of candy? Dinner?
It's too much to deal with. It's too much for me. It's certainly too much for Moonshine. She gets on this roll, and she can't stop herself. Seriously, she shrieks and cries and flips out for over an hour until she literally can't breathe and starts gagging. And the only thing I've found that works is if I get down on her level and hold her close to me with a hand covering her eyes and tell her a story. I have to block out reality... the smells, the sounds, the sights in the room, and I have to give her this illusory world to live into. As quickly as I can come up with something. A story of Jenny, the weaver's daughter working on her wedding shawl. Hear the shuttle breathe against the warp threads. See the pattern of doves on the fabric. A story of the whirring snowflakes, sparkling in the moonlight and all the animals and fairies gathering round for a wintery party. Oh look, there's Mr. Squirrel peeking out of his nest. Won't you come join the party, the fairies cry to him? We've plenty of nuts! And Ms. Mouse scurries out wearing a red silken gown. She's brought a plate of the finest gingerbread cookies to share, and the fairies catch scent of them and squeal with delight...
And on I go, for half an hour or so. As long as it takes to get her breathing and still and safe. To get her sorted out and functioning back in our world long enough so I can clean up the vomit and wipe her face and get Kitty Bill off the table again.
In thinking about it all, it's no surprise to me that I'm going crazy. I feel like my world is imploding, that everything is coming to a head. And it is. Apparently it's supposed to be. I'm 34.
I've been reading this book, Taking Charge: Your Life Patterns and Their Meaning, by Gudrun Burkhard. It's an anthroposophy book dealing with biography work, similarities, and life stages. Supposedly there is a life crisis somewhere between the ages of 30-33. You know, plus or minus. At age 35 you begin a new life phase. This crisis is a catalyst for that new phase. A change, a metamorphosis, a becoming... and apparently this is mine.
Biography work is amazing stuff. I've gone through a lot of major changes since I turned 30. We got rid of almost everything we owned and moved to Texas. My dad died. We simultaneously had a baby, sold our house, and moved to the midwest. Things were going swell, and then WHAM! Car crash wake up call. And this summer, we will move again, and start over for the third time in four years.
Einstein is ecstatic about that. He can't wait. But then again, he's 37. He's at that major turning point, according to the book, where people change their jobs and plod forward with bold enthusiasm. Me? I just want to stick my head into the sand. Call me when it's over. When the kids stop screaming and the floors get cleaned and my body stops hurting. And I'm not coming out a moment sooner... I wish.
Today I woke with a plan. Starting with getting our rhythm back into place. I walked on eggshells around Moonshine today and spoonfed her syrupy words and catered to her every need. I fed her before she knew she was hungry. I held her before she knew she needed to be held. I coddled her in every imaginable way... and there was no flailing and crying. A few shrieks, yes, but no knock-down, drag-out vomitting freakshow. It was a GOOD day.
And what's more, I even managed to get in a few minutes of homeschooling time with Sunburst. I fed her some Anansi stories to match the soap-on-your-toothbrush antics she's been up to lately. And she lapped them up like honey and asked for more.
We're off to a better start just in time for the new year. And tomorrow, joy of joys, Moxy Jane is coming! Here! To my house!
Surely, things can only get better.