My studying seems to be going relatively well. Emotionally speaking I am all over the place, unfortunately. I am insanely worried about my professor not responding to me, but at the same time don’t really know when it would be appropriate to send another email or make a phone call.
Also, I have sort of set myself up for failure with the topic I chose for my first exam: Socialisation Processes in Families. Generalized, much? It seems impossible to cram everything I need to know into a few short weeks of study time. Again, this is where I am unhappy with how university studies are organized in Germany – or used to be organized, rather. Things have presumably changed by now, since the new Bachelor and Masters programs have been introduced in a mad scramble to keep up with international standards.
As ‘Magisterstudent’ (that’s me), you were essentially thrown headfirst into academia after High School, with not the slightest inkling as to how things work, what you need or what you should be doing. I have always said that it’s good to be challenged to figure things out on your own, find your way and learn to rely on yourself, but man! A little help to untie the knots in my brain, the occasional advice or nudge in the right direction would certainly have helped me out over the years. Especially now, after my ‘Elternzeit’ (parental leave) I am so detached from uni, I do not have much confidence in myself as far as the completion of my Masters degree goes.
Another big thing for me is the phase our Munchkin is going through at the moment. I am out of ideas, I just do not know how to make this better for us. While our days together usually set out lovely, the struggle starts when I pick our Bean up at Kita. She sees me and does not want to leave Kita – she used to immediately come to me for a hug and a kiss when I came to pick her up. I want that back, damn it. I always leave her enough time to finish whatever she is doing before I tell her that we need to get ready to go home. Still, she refuses to put on her coat and shoes and runs away from me when I come near her. More often than not, I end up forcibly dressing her, with the Munchkin kicking and screaming bloody murder.
After leaving Kita, I usually like to spend some time outside with the Bean before we go home, but nowadays sometimes have to cut this short, as she just seems to have days where she chooses not to listen to me. Her running around, completely unfazed by general traffic, is something I just can’t tolerate, living as we do, in the big city of Berlin.
When we do end up going home early, the Munchkin very often refuses to walk up the one flight of stairs to our apartment – something she loved to do a few months ago. If I do not pick her up and carry her upstairs, she proceeds to throw herself on the floor, screaming yet again. After a while, I calmly tell her that I will be waiting for her upstairs and she’ll eventually come after me, still screaming, of course.
The wailing and rolling around on the floor continue as we finally reach the apartment and I ask her to – oh, the horror! – take her coat and shoes off. At this point I already brace myself for the enraged screaming that will commence when I insist on her leaving her house shoes on, as we have a very cold, very hard tile floor in this here apartment.
When dinner time rolls around, I ask the Munchkin to clear up her toys before we eat and she just elects not to. She’ll sit and look at me and just not react when I tell her to please clean up – again, this is something she used to love to do a little while ago. When I eventually raise my voice in frustration, more crying ensues and at some point a ‘Mommy do it’ is uttered in a wavering voice. No, it’s not that she wants to do it with me – which I would be fine with – but rather she wants to go and do something else while I clear up her toys and books. This is something I assume I wouldn’t be too bothered about if her toys were scattered in her own room, but it’s our living space we’re talking about here. The Munchkin does not yet have a room to call her own, so every single toy she has resides in our living room.
The atmosphere created through the constant fighting leaves me quite exhausted and weary and I am assuming the Munchkin feels much the same. I am just SO incredibly sad about all this. I desperately want to find a way to deal with her behavior, but I am not sure how. I HATE that I have to get really loud with her so often before she does anything I ask of her. I am sure there is a way to handle this appropriately, I just can’t seem to find it.
What do I do when things get too much for me on occasion? I stay with my Munchkin, but settle down on the couch with a book and read until the storm passes. She is always close to me and knows she can come and snuggle or talk to me when she so chooses, but I essentially extract myself from the situation when I feel I can’t take it any more. Luckily, at one point or another my baby always does come to me, hugging me close.
Strangely enough, these problems don’t make me want a second child less, they just make me long for a better understanding of my firstborn. I am missing something, I just don’t yet know what exactly. I fervently wish I’d figure this out sooner rather than later.