It can be very frustrating dealing with a toddler when you have older children. I’m thinking specifically about keeping them away from inappropriate toys- yes, I’m talking about Soren and Lego! At five, Jericho is starting to be interested in Lego and capable of handling it which is a very good thing. However at two and a half Soren wants to play with everything his brother does and adores the little Lego people and the Lego car and the tiny house, but just doesn’t have the manual dexterity to play with them. Which means we’ve just spent the most frustrating half hour with him squawking every thirty seconds because the people have fallen off the car or the door has snapped off the house or the little person’s legs and head have detached from the body and he can’t put it back together again.
All the daycare paperwork is in for Soren now. He’s going to start this Friday, then miss a week as they take casual bookings and have filled up that day, and after that he’ll be on the permanent list.
I know he’ll enjoy himself there, and I think he’ll settle in fairly easily. He clearly remembered it when we were there today, as I was talking to the director about the paperwork and start dates he was babbling on about play doh and little cars. As soon as Claire suggested we stay for another play to help the settling in process Soren was trying to open the door and then just charged in and over to the play doh table where he sat down and started work. He spent quite a while there, and then I kind of pushed him to go outside so he could play out in the yard while I was there to be back up for him if he needed it. He did come crying to me at one point (someone had shut the gate to the swing area on him) but he was easily distracted by the sandpit and when they rang the bell for the kids to come inside he just moved with the group up onto the verandah and lined up at the door without even looking for me.
When I take him on Friday I will probably stay for a little while until he’s happy and playing, and then leave and come back just after they will have eaten lunch. I think expecting a sleep on his first day is expecting a lot and he may well resist that, and I’d rather not try and then have an upsetting experience for him on his first day. Better to just have a good morning and have him happy to go back next time.
I also have to say how cute it is hearing him say, “I go to cweche (crèche) myself! Pay with pay-doh! I big boy like Jer-cho!”
Speaking of big boy Jericho, he is very excited about going on his first excursion tomorrow. They’re going on a bus to visit one of the little local primary schools. It’s not his school so Jericho’s not all that interested in that bit, but “my first bus trip ever!” has really impressed him and he’s told several people about it. At least the bus inferno that Nicholai experienced recently hasn’t put Jericho off buses as a mode of transport!
I had another appointment with the social worker from the mental health team today. She’s really a lovely person, although I’m always sick with nerves before appointments and I do find them difficult. I’ve never been around anyone who listens so well and picks up the slightest little thing and asks for clarification. She’s quite skilled in that, we’ve spent three appointments together and she probably knows as much about me and my life as anyone outside my family does.
We’ve been talking a lot about my past and how the depression has manifested itself up until now, but today we started talking a bit more about where we go from here.
It’s hard, because up until now so much of my depression has been bound up in being pregnant, nursing, getting pregnant, having babies and sleep deprivation, but now our family dynamic is shifting towards having bigger kids and yet I’ve suddenly spiralled down into the worst darkness of my life. I need to stop just waiting for it to all go away. Instead I have to accept that there’s a monster in my mind and I’m going to have to fight it until I can tame it, even if that’s a lifelong task.
There’s so much to think about. This depression episode was so dark and so frightening that a big part of me would like to pretend that it just never happened. I do not want to connect the word suicidal with me. I think it’s dangerous, a different danger, to ignore it though. I need to make changes so that it doesn’t happen again, or so that the effects are ameliorated if it does. We survived it this time, but I have a daughter who has been badly frightened even if she doesn’t really understand why, and I feel like I’ve been broken. I’m holding myself together but with such emotional fragility that I don’t know what would happen if I fell again.