Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seperations and kids

Separations suck.  Time apart from your spouse sucks in a very very big way.  However, time apart for kids sucks a whole lot more.  It's painful for them, its painful for us, pardon me while I use this word again, but it sucks for all involved.

I hate one uppers I do, and I don't mean to one up those of you without kids, but those of you with kids are all out there nodding your heads.

Dash-2 is in the thick of a very hard stage around here.  The "missing daddy to the point of irrational nastiness" stage.  It's great fun.  Just today I was told, in full on crying tears on the way to Target, that he hated me, after all, I'm the one who wants daddy gone and won't let him come home.

Really now?

He does have a point though, if I let daddy come home I wouldn't get to keep all the pooping, germies, night wakings, homework time, you know, all that fun stuff to myself.  I mean really, who wants to share poop duty?!  Ummm not me, I want all that glory to myself!

Yesterday in school he got his jacket on midmorning and stood by the door ready to go.  When they wouldn't let him go, because despite his convincing that he could walk the 5 miles home they made an executive decision to not let him go, he did the next rational thing, he took his shoes off.  

Bless his heart, its hurting.  I know this. I can see it, I can feel it, but damn it if there isn't much I can do for him. 

Dash-1 went thru this stage at about the same age, however I don't remember it being quite this painful.  I think its a combo of being slightly less sensitive than dash-2 and we weren't in the school cycle so it was easier for us to go visit family and keep him otherwise occupied.

I have hope, dash-1 made it thru relatively unscathed, I made it thru relatively unmarred, and my house is still standing, but I'm starting to doubt that all that will stay in tact with dash2.

Dash-1 is now in a good place, sure he misses flyboy when he's away, the constant coming and goings is hard on me and I'm 30, I know its hard on my almost 6 year old, but he gets it now: it's daddy's job, this is what he does he doesn't like to be away but he has to be, and he'll be back. 

Dash-3 is fairly oblivious, I'm sure he misses flyboy as well but his world pretty much revolves around who ever is here to feed and water him and right now that's me so I'm his everything.  If the cows ever figured out how to move into our house and feed him then he'd be more than happy to follow them around everywhere.

But dash-2.  Dash-2 is not ok with our life right now.  He flips from happy to sad and angry at the drop of the hat.  My master manipulator is not manipulating he is hurting.

I've done all the standard things, countdowns so that he can see when he is coming home {good until plans change, not something a 4 yr old gets or cares to understand}, I found a wallet size picture of flyboy to carry with him in his back pocket, I've told him when he's missing daddy to come tell me and I'll give him a hug, we name 5 things about daddy we miss, 5 things we can't wait to do when he comes home, we talk to flyboy when his schedule allows.  That's it.  I'm out of ideas.

Life is great when flyboy comes home and then as quick as he's home he's gone again, dash-2 goes back to hurting and I go back to being the scape goat.  I've given extra love, I've laid down the law, I've tried to ignore somethings and held him accountable for others, but much like him, I'm nearing the end of my rope.

The cow pen is starting to look like a relaxing, {granted very cold, snowy and smelly} place to live. 

Time apart isn't easy for anyone, yeah yeah yeah we signed up for this life, however in the trenches that doesn't really help much.  Even if it's our life, even if its the way its going to be for years to come, even if its the way it's always been, its hard.  And it can be really hard on the little guys, whom I'd like to point out, did not sign up for this, they are just along for the, room and board included, ride.

To those of you out there with kids, what things do you do with your kids?  Was there any particular age that seemed the most painful in dealing with separations?


  1. I'm not at this stage yet, so I have nothing helpful to say. But I wanted to let you know I'm sorry Dash-2 is hurting, and I do think you're trying as much as you can in that's in your power to do. Other than maybe trying to find him an activity he can let out some of his frustration on (in all that free time you have, I know), I really don't know what else you can do.

    I'm here if you need to chat. At least through the 8th, apparently.

  2. I am in the same stage as you with the Wee One. It came to a head the other night when he hurt himself and told me he didn't want me, he wanted Daddy. Then he talked to me for a good 10 minutes about how we were going to go to the airport and pick him back up. No amount of explaining that, that just wasn't possible would calm him down.

    He has also started whining and the mood swings are in full bloom here as well. The only things that are really helping us is the Daddy Doll, an outline of hubbies hand on the fridge to high five, and therapy. That's right, we are in therapy so that I can figure out how to help this situation.... I'm not sure if that is an option you are open to looking into, but it is helping me and the Wee One tremendously! I'm sure you could call Military OneSource OR your seek out a therapist that takes Tricare, once again if that is an option you are willing to look into.

    I am praying things improve for you and for Dash-2

  3. Your #2 is how I think my #2 will act this next deployment. He just turned 4 and he is so into Daddy right now. I am really worried about how he will react. A lot of times he will take his cues from his 6 year old brother so we will see. I don't really have any advice as I think I will need it as well.

  4. The only time I felt the seperation issue, is when they were dropped off to daycare. #2 had it bad...she wailed away for a good 2-3 weeks...and that was it. Know I just have three girls...and two of getting sassy. Poor lil guy and LOL...I know right..who WOULDNT want to share the poop duty...thats such a marvelous task.

  5. I have a 5 year old that is missing his dad right now. The worst is when he is in trouble and he tells me how much he hates me and how wonderful his daddy is.

    We have a paper chain that we are creating. I write on one side (usually about something that happened that day)and he draws on the other and we are going to see how long it gets before daddy gets back.

    He also has a daddy doll but when Daddy left to go back after R and R he gave our son one of his flag patches from his uniform and he keeps that in a pocket on his back pack. He is super proud of that.

    We also read the kissing hand and Daddy gave him a kissing hand before he left.

    He also now has a blankie. He has never before cared about his blankets but he became attached to one when this deployment started. He will sleep with it at night and carry it around the house. When we go places he knows it has to stay in the van and he takes it to school and it stays in his backpack except during rest time.

    He is now scared of the dark and has a flashlight and a night light (thankfully it has a timer) and a bear that plays colored lights that he falls asleep too when he is not sleeping with me. We have made a deal that he can sleep in my bed on non school nights. He says his room is very frightening and he also doesn't like that I am all alone in my room now.

  6. When my son was around the same age my husband got laid off. We had to move to a new state for him to get a job. I was alone with the kids for about a month before I joined him. Had to tie up loose ends and such. My son could not understand where his dad was and why he could not come home. I know it is not like you all dealing with deployment and such but I can sympathise with you.

  7. oh man, I know these feelings you're having. It's one thing to miss your hsuband; but watching the kids suffer is so muh harder. We didn't start having a hard time with them missing him until the recent deployments. When they were younger they didn't fully get the concept of time so i could answer their questions with "soon" and a chocolate chip cookie. That typically worked to get their minds off of missing Dad.

    Now they are older, they want to hang out with their Dad. Aged 9, 12 and 14, they are all Dad's Boys. They want to work on cars with him, learn tools and all the normal father son stuff. They see their friends with civilian Dads and they have a hard time not being jealous.

    We do a lot of different things to help them through the rough times. I've had them write lists of the top 10 things they want to do with him when he comes home. I've dictated emails from them to send him. I've given them the camera so they can send him pics. When it gets really bad and nothing seems to be working I will take them out. Spend money. Video games, ice cream, movies, anything that will allow them to forget how much they miss him; even if it's short lived because as sad as they can get, they don't usually hang on to it. If I can get them over the hump they can go back to being happy and fun.


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