It's been quite an adjustment coming home after a month overseas. It's hard on our bodies, changing 7 hours of time zones in one night. Michael and I are both TIRED. In addition to being tired, I brought home a lovely upper respiratory ick and have been under the weather since about Saturday afternoon. I'm not just tired from the time change, but feeling bad and overdrawn from being sick.
When two parents are tired and six kids are excited to have us home but have been under "grandparents rules" for a month, it can make for a bit of chaos.
Kristopher, who I understand has been great while we've been gone (thankfully!), is having a hard time realizing that he's not in charge anymore. He's been bossing the littler kids around, telling them what to do and not do when Mike and I are standing right there seeing the same things. He's also blatantly ignoring us to do as he pleases, such as taking us saying 4 times to him to BUCKLE in the car and him standing and "supervising" everyone else instead. He smacked Micah's hand yesterday. And dinner time both nights over the weekend he popped away from the table at least 3 times each night to "do something quick," which, during our family dinners, isn't allowed.
And so, he's having some adjusting issues, going back to what Michael's and my rules are, and remembering that he's NEVER allowed to be a disciplinarian to his brothers and sisters as well as having to listen the first time something is said.
I hope this doesn't come across wrong, especially since I know that my parents and Michael's both read this blog :). We are both VERY THANKFUL and would never have left our kids with ANYONE else for that amount of time!! We are SO glad they were able to keep the kids on a somewhat normal schedule, keep them all HEALTHY, and to help us out not just in the previous month, but in the afternoons when I go back to Ukraine.
In no way do I mean that these things are negatives against grandparents, they are just facts of life adjusting back to the idea that Michael and I are home, and their routines that we had before leaving are picking right back up. 30 days off, 3 days on... we'll get back where we were eventually!
James is the other one that has seemingly "forgotten" what some of the expectations are for him. Getting out of the car this afternoon he wandered over to the garage and started banging it. Um.... no.... We get out of the car and walk to the front door. Not wander the front driveway and bang on the garage! So, it took some encouragement to even get him in the door. Then he walked across the room as I asked him to come to me. He didn't come to me. He ignored me and went to the sliding glass door leading to the play area. I called him 2 more times, giving ample time between. He ignored me. So, he ended up with a time out (next to me after I went and got him and had him walk to where I was calling him from) and he sat. I took off his jacket and backpack-- which is why I was calling him in the first place (and yes, I'd originally told him WHY I wanted him too. He didn't care!).
After that he listened pretty well the rest of the afternoon. He curled up with me on the couch and we snuggled a while. He did pretty great until he refluxed up 1/2 his dinner. He did it at lunch as well. And he did it most days while we were gone, while at school (and possibly regularly at home too, I didn't catch that very well). So, off to baths, with a tired dad who had a meeting tonight, a tired and sick mom, and 4 siblings who also need baths before they go to school the next day.
James and Krisotpher seem to have taken the most 'getting used to' in readjusting to the boundaries and expectations of the house. I think their personalities are definitely the ones that will take a mile when offered an inch, and because of that are able to "talk people into" going with their way for thing,s or even sometimes just tell the others that "their way is right" when someone isn't sure what normal for a situation even looks like.
Lynae is connected at my hip. She is doing great, though, and at home will give me a bit more space than when we're out and about.
Emma is nonchalant about me being home, but gives extra smiles and snuggles in really good when I grab her and snuggle her!
Brianna understood we were leaving and that we were coming home, and was the most verbally sad about it while we were gone (I think) but she's done great since we're home. Today I was in her classroom for a little bit and was afraid she'd be sad when I left, but after a hug and a high 5 she went off to their "hello" circle and did great!
At the moment, Kristopher is on the couch trying to go to sleep, because he couldn't stop crying. It's those big crocodile tears that need sympathy and, in my opinion, a good NAP. He was so upset because a toy was broken beyond repair and went in the trash. Seriously?? Yes. Yesterday we got a similar set of water works because we were changing toothbrushes and his old one had to get thrown away. Pack rat in the making, ohhhh my!
Everyone really is doing ok, though, and I'm sortof glad we're having this transition now, and for the next 2 weeks it will be Mike and our parents with the kids, so a little more "normal routine" will be there since Mike's home. Then, it will be even more of a range of adjusting as we bring Wesley and Aleksa into the mix!
Again, SO VERY VERY VERY glad that we have grandparents that are not only available but willing and able to help us with all of the kids while we were away and during this next trip too! We are so thankful for their help! I'm sure that if it was anyone else watching the kids that we'd have even MORE issues coming home than this! In the great scheme of things, a crabby kid and one that's not listening... those are super minor compared to what could be if we had taken them all out of their routines!