I thought once Jake got a little older things would be different as far as my work-at-home job, being able to complete my household chores, and even taking a shower. By different, I mean less interruptions-that since I could talk to him, reason with him, and make him understand what my job is, that he'd know not to interrupt. Not only has that changed only a little as far as Jake is concerned, but last night was proof that the other adult in this household can't seem to go 10 minutes without my attention.
First of all, I had been to the dentist yesterday for an impression redo that I wasn't expecting to have to do, and on top of that I wasn't expecting more Novocaine and my jaw was hurting pretty badly last night. Once we got home from dinner out, I just wanted to rest on the sofa. I asked P if she'd trade nights with me putting Jake to bed so that I could rest. I got a maybe on that. Not a "Sure, I'll do it." but a maybe.
The minute my rear end hit the couch, Jake wants more Sponge Bob cutouts. (More on those later.) I explained to him that I did not feel well and that I'd help him with this the next day. It was after 8:30 and he was about to have his pre-bedtime meltdown where he's very sleepy and doesn't want to admit it. I told him that if he did not stop his behavior that I would not help him with what he wanted and that was that. With him finally okay, I then have to get up and put aloe gel on someone's back who didn't use sunscreen at the pool. I go back to the sofa and the phone rings. I tell my friend I'll call her back once everyone was in bed.
Now P knows that Jake is to be in bed no later than 9:30 for the summer months. Instead of getting him ready for bed, she decides she is going to sit and watch the show I wanted to watch at 10 pm even though she "hates" the show. Meanwhile, Jake is asking for a snack. I get the snack, grab the phone, and head to my office to call my friend. I'd had enough of trying to rest.
I'm talking on the phone and hear comes Jake and P. She's decided to clean the Hamster cage at 10:30 pm. Jake is on the hippity hop. I can barely hear my friend and I look down and Toot the Hamster is in his ball right under my feet. I go to another room in hopes to hear better and thinking that bedtime would be next. Instead, I get the meltdown cry, my name is being called, and P is yelling. My friends says she'll let me go, but I told her to hold on. I finally round both "kids" up and shut them in the bedroom telling them GOOD NIGHT!
By this time, I'd lost all train of thought, missed my show, and a phone call that should have taken no more than 15 or 20 minutes had lasted an hour and I can't remember a damned thing I was going to tell my friend.
There's such an imbalance when it comes to our responsibilities for Jake. I forsake even my job to take care of him. I can't meet production requirements because of the constant interruptions, and although I'm not working right now and in the process of starting a new job, I still have a few weeks before school starts that could make or break my position with this company. I don't get up for every little request, but there are times when I have to respond to what he wants or needs.
At night, I only get quiet time once EVERYONE is in bed, and even then I sometimes hear squabbling going on between P and Jake before he finally falls asleep or gets up and comes running to me. Then what's the point of taking turns with bedtime? I may as well do it all the time.
I'm the mom and I know that comes first before anything. I know this. My looks, my personal time, anything I want to do or need to do all get put aside until my obligations as a mom are fulfilled for the day. There has been better balance between Jake and me lately. He and I tend to have easy days, no fussing back from him when I ask him to do something, and even if there is, I can usually handle it without it escalating. He's never been an unruly child or temperamental. He simply wants the normal attention any child would want from his parents.
P knows she lacks patience at times and that her reactions are sometimes the cause of the arguing between she and Jake. What I don't get is, if that's not working for her (as Dr. Phil says) then why doesn't she change it? She says she wants him to react to her the way he does me. I've told her my thoughts behind how I respond to Jake, but still there's no change.
I want her to handle things on her own without my having to come in and referee. I want her to respond like a parent and not a sibling. Most of all, I don't want to worry about this when they are out together or when she takes him to Wilmington to see her sister. I don't want to worry that her impatience and lack of empathy to the fact that he's a 5 year old turn someone who has always been a well behaved child into one that isn't. I see it happening though because he wants to argue back not just with her, but now with me, and I have to undo this somehow.
There's no good way to end this post because I could keep going and going. Hopefully someone will say I'm not the only one dealing with an imbalance between themselves and their partner or spouse and how the kids are handled. UGH!