Today being the 5th of the 6th month after bringing H and L home, marks our 1/2 year point with the guys. When Al and I were in the thick of it -- the screaming, the running away, the wonky sleeping -- I remember that people who had been through it told me to hold on, that in a few months things would improve. They also said that by 6 months, we'd begin feeling "normal."
I think that this was mostly an accurate assessment. Things have improved drastically, for sure. We still have some pretty intense moments with H., but they happen less frequently, and now he can communicate with us more effectively (and vice-versa), when he chooses to. I can drive them in the car without Al being there, Al is able to go to the city when needed, with only a few tremors here and there. The boys can spend a couple of hours without us with family members, and soon we'll try out a babysitter. H. is in school and is loving it, and L. is getting more and more independent, and loving that, too.
Al and I are "normalizing," I think. I'm finally able to concentrate on a book, or a project, and not feel like there is always unfinished business lurking somewhere. Al is getting work and painting done, though he still is having painter's block a bit.
My fuse is still way too short, but I'm working on lengthening it, and I still have infrequent anxiety attacks, but they're becoming more infrequent. Things are better, but different too, and we are always adjusting our parenting tactics. Specifically I'm trying not to get into bad habits with my reactions/responses to the boys' challenges to us, thus creating bad habits in them. Which means I'm trying hard not to react, but to breathe and wait before something comes out of my mouth.
These little men are helping us to grow, to look at ourselves as humans more carefully. They're making me think about what hurt is, and how we humans hurt one another way too easily. It's almost as if they are a time-travel ship, taking me back to my own 3 year old self with a force I never imagined. I actually found a photo of myself at around 3, and we three look at it and discuss that yes, I was a little girl once, and I wore small clothes and played like they do.
Lire just ran in from a walk with his bro and Dad and Chauncey -- "Mom, Mommy! Fun!" Five minutes later he ran in again and reported, "Mommy! Habtamu jintay* outside!"
*jintay = peeing