Wednesday, March 9, 2011

After the Deployment

So I've been without a computer for about a month.  My wonderful little pink netbook has died.  It just ... DIED.  No warning or anything.  And a replacement has been really low on my list of things to purchase.  I had more important things to buy... like a couch.

You know it's pretty bad when a couple of guys bring a couch into your home and your toddlers jump for joy saying, "A couch!  A couch!"  And your 4 year old jumps on it, hugs the pillows and says, "I missed you, couch!"  Thanks, Caden!  Now I feel like such a jerk.  :P

We're all moved into the apartment and have been just getting things settled and organized.  It is nice having my bed back!  And it is especially nice having a washer and dryer hooked up.  Oh!  And speaking of the washer, I was quite proud of myself.  I hooked it up all by myself.  I even figured out how to balance it.  You know how the washer and dryer wobbles when you first get it in?  Well, I learned (and not by accident, but by actually Googling the answer!) that you have to tilt it towards you at about a 30 degree angle and let it drop.  It balances itself.  How cool is that!  So I got to finally do my laundry!

Since I've been back, I've focused primarily on getting the family back together and settling in our home.  I didn't realize what a job that would be.  Whew.  And there is one big thing that has identified itself as an unfortunate deployment side effect.  Kids and separation anxiety.

The first night I was home, Caden woke up at midnight whispering, "Mommy?"  When I opened my eyes, I saw him creeping up to me really quietly.  "Yes, honey," I answered.  He gave me a big hug and said, "Thank you for getting me."  During the remainder of the week, he'd wake in the middle of the night and say, "Mommy?  You're home?"  Talk about breaking my heart.  As sweet and innocent as it was though, it escalated rapidly.

If I leave the room, he follows me just to make sure I'm not leaving the apartment.  He'll say, "Mommy?  You'll be right back?"  And if he and Sean are doing something naughty, all it takes is for me to say, "All right, guys, we need to have a talk about this" and Caden is quick to run to me and say, "Mommy please don't get mad!  I don't want you to get mad!"  The look on his face is something stricken and panicked.

Daycare is getting harder every day.  In the morning, he cries because he doesn't want me to go to work.  He wants me to stay at daycare with him.  He cries about it in the car on the way to daycare.  And then he cries on his way to his class room.  When I leave the room, I hear him screaming "I want my mommy!!  I don't want her to go to work!"  The poor little guy. 

What I've been doing about the daycare anxiety is simply encouraging him for going, asking him about his day, showing him how cool it is that he's in daycare.  When I drop him off, I tell him I'll be back to get him before the sun goes down.  It seems to be making a difference.  When I pick him up he gets excited and tells me, "Look mommy!  The sun is still up!" 

Sean, on the other hand, is going through his terrible two's.  So Mommy leaving him at daycare doesn't upset him at all.  He had far more important things to scream about.  Like other kids having a ball and not him.  Or that his Buzz Lightyear toy can't wear Woody's cowboy hat.  Or that Charlie licked him.  Or that Caden has an "aircrane" and he doesn't.  Whew.  I can't wait for him to get over this phase.

I've got so much more to write about this post-deployment transition.  But I'm using my work comp and if you tell on me, I'd be in a bit of trouble.  ;)



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