Landisdad is out of town for a few days, including at least one school day, so I’ve been at the house, staying with the kids. The first night I was here, landisdad was here too (he had an early morning flight, so I stayed over in order to get the kids off to school after he left). I slept on the couch.
The second night, he wasn’t here, and I slept on the couch again. I’m not sure why. It just didn’t feel right to sleep in the bed.
I don’t think he would’ve cared. It just seemed weird.
So I slept on the couch again, and sometime in the middle of the night, the Potato came downstairs and crawled in with me. I’d been sleeping in a sleeping bag, wrapped up in another blanket, which is not really a combination that a 7-year-old boy and a 42-year-old mom can share. He ended up with the sleeping bag.
At dark-o-clock, he jumped out of bed to Potato around, and went up to his room. After a few minutes, he came back down and covered me up with his special blanket, the one he has had since he was a baby. He is such a sweet, sweet boy, and I know that the separation has, in some ways, been hardest on him. Not just the separation–the whole family situation, with mom and dad fighting more and more visibly over the last year. The Bee has been using the tried-and-true I’m-almost-a-teenager avoidance technique of putting her iPod on and staying in her room. The Potato a) doesn’t have an iPod yet and b) still wants to be engaged with his parents.
We had a kid-counseling session this week, and I talked to the therapist about some anger that the Potato has been displaying recently. She told me it wasn’t surprising that the kids had difficulty managing their anger appropriately, given that landisdad and I are not modeling healthy expressions of anger (which, ouch, though not inaccurate).*
We talked about some things that could make him more comfortable with the whole situation (and dammit, it looks like I have to get a TV after all!), and how to talk about feelings. On the plus side, she thinks that both the kids are doing okay and are going to be able to adjust, over the long term. It’s just all still so new.
*disclaimer–rest assured, this does not mean that landisdad and I are lashing out at each other in front of the kids–she just made some observations about our long-term habits about expressing anger in the course of our relationship.