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The Night my 3 year old gave Me an Emotional Bitch Slap

by Deborah Cruz

The past week was spent preparing for and celebrating my ,now, 6 year olds birthday. It was very emotionally draining and, quite frankly, physically exhausting.  The big Guy worked form home last week so that he could be here for Bella’s birthday. Last year, he started a new job out of state on her actual birthday and  missed it. He was devastated and Bella was inconsolable so he promised her it would never happen again. He was here. Now, the last year and a half has been incredibly intense for all of us, as a family. We have been separated by distance, then moved our entire lives only to be sent home once we stared getting comfortable. We returned and after a couple months of the stress of the unknown, the Big Guy found a job..out of state.And into a forced commuter marriage we went. Into a forced commuter parent/child dynamic the Big Guy and the girls were thrown. It’s all been very hard to adjust to. I knew this. I know this.I hate this. But the end is in site. The house in on the market and once school is out, we are moving..no matter what.

Since the original move away, new school, move back episode of early 2010, I’ve been focusing my attentions on Bella because she was the one old enough to verbalize her anger, confusion and resentment at the entire situation.Good Mommying, right? The only problem was that I got so tunnel visioned about Bella’s emotional state that I completely glazed over the ticking time bomb that is Gabs. I’ve known for a couple months that Gabs is having a really hard time with the distance from the Big Guy. She cries for him, literally, every night before bed.It truly breaks my heart but what can I do? This was the stimulus for putting the house on the market earlier than planned. We are all ready to drop everything, pack our belongings and go.But the finish line is in sight.

I keep reassuring the girls that the minute the house sells we will be reunited with the Big Guy.I promise them that as soon as school ends, we will be in the same house and he will be tucking them in at night. He calls them. He Skypes them.He bought them little Teddy Bears that have his voice recorded in them to tell them good night, so they can hear his voice before bedtime. I’m trying everything I know to bandaid this situation until June. But honestly, its felt like putting my finger in a crack in Hoover Dam. Basically, it’s not going to hold. I’m just waiting for the dam to burst and for me to drown.

I know that when the Big Guy is home, it seems to be worse. I think it’s because they know this is not permanent. That again he will be leaving. All last week, Gabs was like  a preschooler on the edge. Constant meltdowns and tantrums ensued. I knew exactly what it was from. I tried to soothe her fears. The Big Guy tried to comfort her but nothing worked. She’s no dummy.For three years old, she is remarkably insightful even if her chosen mode of communication is crying and whining.

Then Friday night happened.You know the night before the party, or as we refer to it in our house, “Hell Night”. It’s called Hell Night because the Big Guy and I spend the entire day running around like chickens with our heads cut off due to last minute details and decorating. I’m sure this is the norm for most households, right? Tell me we’re not the only ones. Then we usually have a house full of out of town birthday party guests. On top of that, I , not unlike Gabs, was feeling a little annoyed with the whole situation of knowing that he would be leaving again in a couple days. I was biting his head off from all the stress. Then bedtime for the girls rolled around.

Gabs wanted us both to lay down with her but we had a house full of guests and her sister who we had to make sure didn’t escape from her bed. I made the mistake of asking her who she wanted to get her to sleep. This was enough to trigger a meltdown of epic proportions. She lost her ever loving little mind. I spent the next 2 hours down on my knees as my 3 year old hyperventilated and hit at me,sobbing as she told me in speech as broken as her little heart, that I was not good enough. That she missed her Daddy and I need to spend more time with her.I’m with her 24 hours a day but I’m not always present. I do admit that. Apparently, with the Big Guy being physically unavailable , I have to be present..mind, body and soul at all times. I’m not going to lie, this is going to be hard for me. I have my own issues with this situation. I need to zone out a little bit to get through the days. I am overwhelmed ,lonely, and I miss my husband. But,I am the adult so I have to suck it up because she can’t.She shouldn’t have to. After she got it all out and we both cried really hard and ugly, she went to bed and got the first full night of peaceful rest that she’s had in a month. I was drained. Now, I’m wondering do I get an all expense paid trip somewhere when this is all over to recoup from the past year and a half? I hope so, because I have a feeling that I’m going to need it.

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Jess@Straight Talk 2011/03/14 - 3:20 pm

Oh babe! I’m so sorry! This breaks my heart. I pray your house sells asap and you guys get home with him soon!

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/14 - 11:26 pm

Thanks Mama! I am hanging on. I just wish it wasnt so hard on Gabs. Pobresita!THis is the worst part of it all.

Krysta MacGray 2011/03/14 - 3:48 pm

Such hard stuff. Poor Gabs. Poor you!

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/14 - 11:27 pm

Thanks Krysta. I now the end is near to all of this. Praying this house sells soon. Im ready to get started on the next chapter of our lives!

carlie 2011/03/14 - 7:09 pm

my heart is breaking for you! I also had a commuter marriage for a year and a half. I don’t know how you do it with 2 kids that are old enough to understand the situation. When my husband was working out of state it was when my son was still an infant and wasn’t old enough to know what was going on. I promise it will get better! Your kids will be fine, you and your husband will be fine, and everyone will be stronger for the experience. And something that might be nice for your girls, my friend’s hubby is in the service and lives on base 5 days a week. her boys each have a calendar and they mark off the days until daddy is home. It really helps them because they know they can look at the calendar and see how many boxes until there is a colored in “daddy day”. You can ask them at any time “how many more sleeps until a daddy day?!” and they get so excited. Good Luck!

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/14 - 11:29 pm

That is an awesome idea! I am going to have to try that one!They do ask and it would be helpful to have a tangible countdown versus just saying ” a few more nights”. Great idea! Thanks for the idea and the encouragement!

Mommy Nani Booboo 2011/03/14 - 7:24 pm

Sending your house sparkly thoughts- so it will outshine any other house that anyone has ever thought of buying!

Big hugs. My son is going through the same thing with my hubs working full time during the day and going to grad school at night. He sees him one day a week… and my child is changing because of it!
Be gentle on yourself, though.

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/14 - 11:33 pm

I know the worst part is seeing that it is affecting them.Bella had a hard time in the beginning and we had some outbursts and emotional breakdowns. But we talked about it and he talked to her and now, she doesn’t like it but she can somewhat understand it. But poor little Gabs, its been half of her life..since she turned 2 really. I think she is just had her fill.I’m just hoping we can get her through until June. Pray for that baby.I hate that she is hurting so much missing her daddy. I hope your little guy doesn’t take it too hard. Poor Mama, you have your hands full too.Thanks for the sparkly thoughts on the house. Here’s hoping it works! Xo

Tim@sogeshirts 2011/03/14 - 9:47 pm

Sorry that you and your kids are away from the Big Guy. Hope when school ends you can sell the house asap and get that new place by him.

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/14 - 11:35 pm

AS soon as this house sells, even if schools not over,we’ve all agreed we Have to be back in the same house.Thank God we have a marriage strong enough to survive all this time and distance. I just hate that my girls have to miss their Daddy, even for 1 second. I hate that he feels like a visitor in his own house. It’s just been enough.

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