Thursday, August 06, 2009

Husbands, Helpers, and Heat

It's been one month since we arrived in Arizona. That means it's been one month since Jason has been living with us again. When he left in January I quickly fell into a routine without him. Day by day, I managed to take care of the kids by myself.

Jason is not a "baby person." By this I don't mean he dislikes babies. On the contrary, he loves babies. As long as they aren't ours. Maybe I should say that he loves the idea of babies but then I'm not even sure that is true. Jason is not a fan of diapers, crying, or general neediness. Like I said, he's not a "baby person."

Since Nathan and Ryan were born last September I have never asked Jason to change a single one of their diapers. Ever. He has changed Sarah's diaper but never changed the babies' diapers. It's not big deal for me because I've been changing diapers non-stop since Matthew was born over 6 years ago. But perhaps I'm becoming a tad resentful. And not just about the diapers.

Obviously when Jason was gone I was doing everything. I had no family nearby and I had no choice. I guess I sort of let myself hope that when Jason came back he'd want to make up for lost time and he'd be super helpful. That's just not the case. To his credit, I must admit that he has quickly resumed his bedtime duties which consist of changing the girls and making sure that everyone has brushed their teeth. In his mind this counts for a lot and must weigh more heavily than the tasks I do all day long.

I'm frustrated. And I'm frustrated that I'm frustrated! I only have a few more weeks here with Jason and then we won't see him again until the end of October. Even then we'll only have 2 weeks with him before he leaves for Iraq. I feel like I should make the best of our time together so I have tried to let things go when I get frustrated. Thankfully I have this blog where I can freely admit that I have recently been tempted to throw my husband under a bus. (Did I just say that?)
Thankfully, Matthew has stepped up as the big brother. This kid has really come around. There was a time when I wondered if Matthew would ever function normally in society. He didn't talk until he was almost 3 and he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome so I have never been sure of what to expect from him. Sometimes he has outbursts that still make me wonder, but for the most part I have seen huge improvement from this smart kid.

Matthew may only be 6 years old, but he's the oldest of 6 kids. He has learned to pitch in when needed and over the last 6 months I have seen drastic changes. He's able to help put dishes away and bring me diapers. He's even learned how to buckle and unbuckle his carseat so that he can help me load and unload the other kids. Matthew is my little helper.
Now if someone could just start changing Sarah's diaper... I really don't know where I went wrong with this child! Leila and Sarah are identical twins. Identical twins are supposed to hit milestones around the same time. But Leila has been out of diapers (aside from some regression when Jason left) since November. Sarah still won't use the potty. Matthew and Joshua were both out of diapers by 2 1/2 years old. What am I doing wrong here? Or do I just have the world's most stubborn child?
If Leila regresses again when Jason leaves I may need to be carted away by the men in white coats. For now, I'll stick with my title of "somewhat competent mother."
This somewhat competent mother dragged her 6 children out into the desert (again) to see the giant cacti. It was approximately 200 degrees outside, although I hear it was hotter in Phoenix. I believe the sun may have actually been close enough to reach up and touch. At least it's a dry heat though, right? Joshua was hot and cranky and would not let me take his picture. This was the best I could do. Like I said, I'm somewhat competent!
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