Saturday, June 9, 2012

Brown Rice

I can't cook rice on the stove. Especially brown rice. The problem is that brown rice takes at least 40 minutes to cook and I always manage to either boil it over in that time or boil and dry and burn the bottom. Nothing says "yummy dinner!" like the smell of scorched brown rice. 40 minutes is a long time to be mindful of something, especially because it isn't like rice is the only thing I am making for dinner. Usually an evening meal for us includes a protein, carb, hot veggy, and salad. So really the problem is that rice is only 1 of 4 things I am trying to manage which is why I love my rice cooker, perfect rice every time.

And so goes my life. My children are my brown rice. New born babes just take a lot of managing to keep them happy. He is not a particularly hard baby, but he is still a baby. He eat every 2 ish hours and poops at least that often. He loves to be held and rocked and prefers to sleep on my chest. The problem with that is he is one of four "things" I am trying to manage, not to mention my house (which, frankly, right now is unmentionable) and everything else in life like laundry, bills, shopping, and OH YEAH my husband...

The other day I had an epic fail/ I-am-an-awful-mother moment. Eliana said she was going to walk around our neighborhood and try to find a friend. Ugh. What a gut punch. We have acquaintances here in Jersey, but have had a hard time making a lot of deep connections, which just take time. Since baby came we have been solo most of the time. Eliana is lonely...and bored. She is a trooper, usually with a great attitude and plays wonderfully with her sisters. But she longs for her real friends, just as I do. I would love to get together more often with the kids we do know, but none live very close and frankly just making it through the day with everyone fed is an accomplishment many days. Elie longs to connect and to do this she talks non-stop, asking questions and trying to engage. In my sleep deprived state, more often than not she gets short answers. This makes her push more, trying to connect. It is a madding cycle.

Annabelle has not adjusted to having a brother very well. No one is surprised by this. She is my least adaptable child, thrives on status quo, and really has no desire to be an independent "big kid". She held the baby for the first time today, he is 3 weeks old. She has been clingy and whiney, if I am not holding Jamison then she wants to be in my lap. I have a child on me most of the day. I know it is a phase, she will adjust and she is already, I just hate that I feel like I can't give her more help in the adjustment.

Addilyn Joy is so happy and go-lucky...until she is not. When all hell breaks loose and she is being ugly and defiant, it is almost always because she is feeling neglected. The sad part is, she usually is neglected. She flies under the radar, not whiney and clingy like Annabelle and not in-your-face chatty like Eliana. She is independent and helpful, but even she has her limits. The other night, after a particularly rough evening of ugly attitudes, I crawled in bed with her after lights out. We snuggled and I told her all the things she had done that day that had made me so proud of her. She glowed and woke up a different child. She is one whos heart must be captured instead of disciplined.

I have heard it said that motherhood is choosing to have your heart walk around on the outside. With four little hearts to guide and manage, some days I feel like there just isn't enough of me to go around. My children are such a blessing in my life, I enjoy them more than words. But every morning I wake up wondering if today is the day I will screw them up beyond repair.

Grace. Knowing that God knows them, loves them, treasures them more than even I do; I guess makes God my rice cooker. And maybe they won't end up boiled over and scorched, but perfectly cooked with just enough dysfunction to make them interesting.


Honeycutt Family said...

Great post and analogy, Gretch. We all worry about what therapy costs we are creating for our kids as we raise them. :) Your girls (and son) are going to be fine.

I can relate to the endless chatter of Elie. Oy...Grace is constantly jabbering on and asking a gazillion questions!

Can't wait to get out there in 2 weeks and give you a BIG HUG and love on all of you! :)

Sarah said...

Hang in there! You are a great mom, and so insightful about your girls and there unique personalities. New baby is an adjustment for everyone including mom. Grace all around. You will all figure out your rhythm in time.

Love you!