Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 166

Sunday January 30, 2011

Nina woke up at 6 in the morning and said to me, "I want my pringles." I told her she was really funny and she said, no "No, I'm serious!" What can I say....the girl's got zing!!!

My parents relished in spending the day with us. My dad scurried around doing odd jobs, fixing outlets that had been out for who knows how long, patching this and that, any little task that could be done with relative ease. Todd hung out with my dad and the two chatted throughout the day. While the guys hung out, my mom and I played with the kids. It was so much fun but exhausting.

Keeping Nina happy is a full-time job. It has been my full time job for the past 6 months. Literally at times I am standing on my head juggling 1000 papayas and she is still unhappy. Eventually, thank God, I am always able to find something and we delight in the happiness we create.

Teddy was in a very imaginative mood and asked me what we should play. I suggested store in his room which he found to be an “awesome” idea J Periodically I can still be awesome. After he was all set up, he called us up. Nina was so motivated to participate. Of course, being a costumer wasn’t sufficient. She wanted to work in the store with Teddy. Teddy was not too thrilled because he hadn’t envisioned having any employees but after some negotiating he agreed to have Nina be his assistant. Nina was thrilled. Going up the stairs was a total nightmare; she might as well have been climbing Mt. Everest. The look of pain and sorrow was infinitely deep in my mother’s eyes. Eventually we made it up the stairs and Nina plopped herself on Teddy’s beanbag.

We had a great time playing store. My mom and I took turns shopping and we were very pleased by the array of merchandise: snacks, artwork, books, cars, and stuffed animals. Although we enjoyed the eclectic menagerie, the prices were outrageous!!! My mouth dropped to the ground when after ordering a snack of pretzels (no more than 12 pretzels were in that bag….although Teddy claimed there were at least 20!) I was charged $1!!!!! Supply and demand in full effect!!!! Teddy was very pleased with himself. Nina loved being the assistant, which meant she greeted the costumers and wished them farewell J

We had played store for about 40 minutes when disaster struck. From the beanbag, Nina noticed a stripped Dodger Teddy Bear and shouted, “My teddy bear!” Well, Teddy immediately freaked and said it was his and then two of them started crying and yelling. Nina hit Teddy and told him he was mean. That was it, he came unglued and really started crying. I took him into our bedroom and cuddled with him on the bed until he calmed down while my mom tried to settle down Nina. I knew what was going on. This wasn’t about some stupid bear. Teddy was in pain! I waited him out and when he was calm we eventually were able to agree that fighting over the bear wasn’t a good use of time and energy and that he and Nina could share ownership. As we were talking, Nina came in and apologized. Teddy struggled to accept it but did and even gave Nina a huge hug, which brought the biggest smile to her face.

After Nina left with my mom, I explained that Nina wasn’t trying to be mean to him but that the medicine made it hard for her to control herself. Teddy then went off on a tirade about how she is almost 6 and should know how to control her behavior and that he is tired of being her servant. This led to another 20-minute conversation where we discussed how even at 8 Teddy couldn’t always control his behavior and that even at 34 I still had to work on my own behavior. I explained that the key was owning our behavior and focusing on what needs to be improved versus deflecting things on others or trying to control how others behave. Teddy is an incredible boy for 8. He lay there in bed with me and not only tolerated talking to me, conceded and validated my points. I kissed on him forever and eventually we went downstairs and started a new craft.

This is how I spend my days. Going from activity to activity trying to build some happiness. It was fun doing it with my mom, who like me, had boundless energy. At one point my mom reached over and gave me a huge hug, petting the back of my head and in Portuguese said to me, “You are so strong….constantly trying to make them happy…oh my lovely daughter….you won’t stop trying to make them happy.” I swallowed back tears. She is so right!!! I won’t stop!

Before dinner, Teddy and Nina agreed that we should have another movie night. So….after I had made the popcorn and had it warming further in the oven with butter, Teddy shut off every light in the house and instructed all movie goers to find a comfortable seat J He was the movie theatre director after all!!

We watched Despicable Me (my dad loved it as I predicted). About 30 minutes into the movie Todd brought in the popcorn and root beer. I sat between Teddy and Nina on the mattress and we all snacked and laughed. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!

1 comment:

  1. Oh...the pictures of your mom and Nina are priceless! The one with your mom's arms around Nina's waist (standing) is so endearing. The love that Nina is surrounded by is what helps to keep her strong and safe. All of you are doing such amazing things for her and Teddy.

    My heart and prayers go out to all of you...may God continue to shower you with love, strength and support.

    Love, Amy