I survived Mom's visit. I'm recovering now. It went okay. She had a great time playing with Bugaboo. Munchkin was whiny and a bit mouthy. It's a stage she is going through, and we're working on it. But it didn't sit well with mom. I felt like a rubber band stretched between doing the "mom" role and correcting Munchkin versus the "cheerleader" wanting to say, "you give it to her. Say all the things I never said," versus the "oh my gosh, she is rocking the boat" versus the "Mom will not see me as a good mother now. Whatever will I do?" versus the "honor munchkin's right to feel like she feels" versus "correcting any disrespect by Munchkin." Needless to say my head hurts from all that boing-ing around. Munchkin thinks my mom has a "mean face." That struck me, because mom doesn't smile a lot. So she does look kind of fierce and stern. Interesting that Munchkin picked up on it.
Mom remarked to me that "munchkin seems to think she is in charge." I don't think it's that - Munchkin is just very bossy lately. My Husband got into a bad habit of doing things for her when our morning routine changed and we needed to get out the door quick. Easier to dress her, brush her teeth, comb her hair, than insist she do it herself. Only now Munchkin is demanding, "you bring me my shoes." At one point she made a very smart-alec remark to Mom and my Mom said, "hey" in a stern voice. Munchkin ran and hid, which is what she does when I say something to her. I let Munchkin have her space, and then went and talked with her about her tone and needing to be respectful. Munchkin just snuggled up and said, "she is mean Mommy. She doesn't like me." She wouldn't elaborate as to why she felt that way. I told her it was fine for her to feel that way, but she did need to not talk back. If she felt something was wrong, she could come talk to me and I would handle it.
If Munchkin had acted the way she did and no one was visiting, she'd have spent the day in her room alone. But I didn't want to do that when Mom visits so infrequently. On the other hand, I don't want her getting away with back-talk. Then too, I think my daughter is confused. When I picked her up yesterday, she was super excited about seeing Grandma. When we pulled in the driveway, she jumped out and ran over, pointing at her fishing pole. Grandma said, "hi, can I have a kiss and hug?" Munchkin just pointed. She wanted Grandma to ask about it. Grandma thought she was being ignored and so ignored her back and came over and focused on Bugaboo. That started things off on the wrong foot.
Munchkin is very protective of Bugaboo. She likes to help out anyway. But when others are around, she really wants to help out. So when Mom tried to feed Bugaboo a bottle, play with him, rock him or anything, Munchkin wanted to do it instead. Mom then said "no I'm having a turn." I know that if I let Munchkin hold him, he fusses about 1 minute later, and she is done. I often let her start helping with the diaper changes or bottle. She gets bored quick and then I can finish up.
Munchkin really likes imagination games. They are not my favorite but I play along sometimes. We went outside and she wanted to play pretend school or house. She wanted to be my baby and have Bugaboo be Grandma's baby. My mom does not engage in imagination games. Mom prefers board games, but does not tolerate cheating. And since my husband thinks it is great fun to cheat and get away with it, teaching Munchkin not to cheat is a lost cause.
Mom wants to talk to me and catch up. Which is great, but Munchkin isn't able to be patient for too too long. She does say "excuse me" and wait a minute. But that's about the extent of it. Husband and I have worked on making her wait a little bit longer - at first we stopped when she said excuse me, then at the end of a sentence, then at the end of a thought. Mom just kept talking and talking. Husband and I have the ability to talk in between playing with Munchkin. Mom isn't used to multi-tasking like that. So Munchkin got impatient and felt ignored.
At night, I was reading with Munchkin and had her read a bit to me. She turned and said "Grandma can't see the picture." Husband said, "why is that?" Mom said, "she's being mean. She's been mean to me all day." I wasn't sure how to take that. Munchkin was being irritable. But who is to say she can't be like that sometimes. I want her to be able to express herself but in a respectful manner. And my own emotions get all entangled where Mom is concerned so I'm not sure where to draw that line.
I was really glad to see Mom go. I was exhausted. Bugaboo took a really long nap yesterday evening. I went to VBS. Did not take mom. She didn't really want to go, and I think she wanted some time with Bugaboo without Munchkin trying to be all in the middle. So Husband stayed home and did some yard work. Mom took Bugaboo in the stroller to the end of the street and back. He fell asleep and slept a long time. So he was up almost all night. I'm exhausted. But the sleep issue is another long post and vent.
When Grandma left, Munchkin ran and got in the car. Our routine is to see who can get in and buckled up faster. It's me and Bugaboo versus her. She looked a bit sad and said "I don't want Grandma to leave." I asked if she wanted to give a hug and she said, "Have grandma come here." So I relayed that to Mom, who walked over. Munchkin was playing at hiding her face. She wanted Mom to tickle her or play back. But Mom took it as rejection. So she said, "you don't have to hug or kiss me, but I'll give you one." All the way to school, Munchkin was saying, "I want Grandma to stay."
I see in Munchkin such a mix of feelings and emotions. I know I have the same mix in me.
So it's recovery mode now. Trying to find that delicate balance between processing thoughts and emotions, but keeping from being overwhelmed versus stuffing them and never dealing with them. It's a very jittery day.