It's been a busy couple of weeks! Let's get updated.
I got that job that I talked about in my last post so I am now officially employed part time. I've only worked 2 days so far, but it seems to be going well. At the same time, I'm also trying to do a few hours of the work at home job per week. And still at the same time, a shop owner contacted me about doing some wholesale for my pottery, so I've been producing like crazy to fill her first order.
For about a week, any minute that K was home, I was in the studio making mugs. I have missed that so much! It's one of those things that you forget how important it is to you until you start doing it again. But now that the spark is back, I don't really have time to do it. Fortunately this shop owner is talking about a Valentines order, a Mothers Day order, etc etc. I found that with this first order, it took me only a couple of days to get it all made, but now I have to sit and wait for it all to dry before I can do the next step. So I'm hoping that every 2-3 months, I'll have an order that takes about 3 solid days of work to fulfill like this one. But we'll have to see how well things sell in her shop before we start seriously talking about future orders.
Scheduling has become a major issue around here. K works retail so his schedule is never consistent. On top of that, the way things work at his store have changed, primarily delivery times and frequency and other managers going on vacation, so just as I'm trying to establish some sort of schedule with my new job, everything we knew about his scheduling patterns have been thrown out the window and things are in too much of a state of flux to establish a new pattern. This is totally stressing me out. My boss is flexible which is great, but I can't even give him some sort of pattern to flex around. Never knowing what days I can work the following week until we're right on top of it, well I'm nervous that the patience for this isn't going to last very long since my new boss doesn't know my value as an employee well enough to put up with it indefinitely.
Anyway, this all culminated into about a week or two where I was running like crazy and the girls and I barely saw each other. It was kind of refreshing for me, rushing around accomplishing things, having responsibilities other than what the girls want of me at any given moment. I've started feeling like a person again rather than just a lump that serves food. It's also making me more interactive in the time I do have with them.
However, Middie Biddie isn't handling the change very well. She's always been somewhat clingy and I think these periods of absence are giving her some separation anxiety. She's crying a lot more during times that I need to tend to TT (like diaper changes). K says that yesterday morning she was crying at our bedroom door, he thinks because usually when he gets them up, he's letting me sleep in a little bit and he thinks she thought that's where I was.
Last night was just awful. She cried and screamed at bedtime and for a long time after lights out. Usually when we put them into their cribs, Teeny Tiny snuggles down and is happy, Middie Biddie protests and cries. We leave the room and within a minute she stops crying and starts singing or babbling. Sometimes TT will join her and it turns into a giggling slumber party for a while. Then TT gets tired and lies down to go to sleep leaving MB alone so MB starts crying. Or if there hasn't been a party, MB will sing and babble to herself for about 45 minutes before starting to cry. We check on her to make sure she hasn't pood (she does that at nap time, as soon as she relaxes, she poos, and then she gets a rash). How she responds to the diaper check is what informs us about how to handle her not sleeping. Usually, she's very smug and wants to chat and has a perfectly dry diaper. In other words, she won. We give her a minute or two of snuggles, tell her it's night night and she either goes right to sleep, or she cries until she figures out it won't work a second time.
But last night was different. Her crying last night wasn't her trying to manipulate, it was genuine fear and distress. So I spent about 4 hours trying to find the balance between not teaching her that manipulation will work, while at the same time calming her distress. When I would go in and hold her, it would take her a couple of minutes to calm down (with manipulation, she's fine the moment one of us enters the room). She would flop on me and start to relax but kept holding onto me. The moment I would try to put her into the crib, she would scream just as stressed as before. So until she finally passed out after midnight, I spent the night pacing around trying to figure out if I should let her fade out and it just might take a while, or go into a cycle of soothing then distress, soothing then distress, which would ultimately last a lot longer. I ended up with the latter because I decided that fear of abandonment wasn't going to be cured by being abandoned.
I just put them to bed and it sounds like it's going to be the same tonight.*
In happier developments, itsy bitsy spider has become a number one hit. TT keeps asking "again???" when I do it, and the other day MB busted out with "one more time!" I laughed for quite a while from surprise on that one.
*Update! She screamed a bit and after a few minutes, I got on the monitor and told her that I was here, and I needed her to snuggle down so I could sing the night night song again. It took her a minute to believe me, but she sat down. I told her to put her head on the pillow so I could sing. She did, I did. Didn't hear another peep out of her!!!