Today was the last day of school for our wee ones, and the panic has arisen. Summer vacation is wonderful, because no more 6am. Sadly, at whatever time they awaken, they will be together all day, every day, day after day after day.
The Mister dealt with them yesterday mornin, and he was quick to tell me they cannot sleep together anymore. They need time apart, he said. Then he added, “How shall we accomplish this over summer break?”
I lol’d and said we won’t, it will be like every other summer.
You see, I have dealt with all these same issues before, because Bubba and Sissy had exactly the same dynamics. Introverted Bubba could spend all day building impressive things, reading, or playing in his room, only ever coming out to eat or because his presence was required. Sissy, on the other hand, was never content to play alone, and needed nearly constant companionship. She was, depending on which phrase you can relate to, up my butt or on my hip all day, day in, day out. Other little girls might have preferred playing with their toys, but Sissy preferred to fold towels, cook, clean, watch cooking shows, garden, or eavesdrop. Some four-year-olds are very content to sit and have coffee with adults, even when they don’t like coffee, and our Sissy was such a child.
I should mention, our children are not permitted to claim boredom. Boredom will be fixed with chores, so our kids are never bored, except that one time a few summers ago, Sissy forgot, and said, “I’m bore– Nope, I’m fine,” but she was too late, and had to clean the tops of the bookshelves, poor thing.
Bubba and Sissy could never play games without fighting, either.
Bubba did not want to be bothered and all Sissy wanted to do was bother him. Just like Sassy and Moo now.
Me: Why did you poke your brother in the eye with your wand?
Sissy: Because I wanted to!
Bubba did not want to play kitchen, and Sissy did not want to play alone.
They fought most of the day, just like Sassy and Moo, and then they, too, wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep at night, when they suddenly remembered they loved one another.
This gets easier, once the younger, more extroverted child achieves the liberty that promotes a real social life, but until that time comes, it’s fairly exhausting for all parties.
Oh sure, I take em to the park, the zoo, the pool, the splash n’ play, the children’s museum, the library, and to play dates and sleepovers as well. We have other kids over. They go to day camps here and there, or VBS, and Bubba even went away to scout camp for a week. The Mister and I have “dates” with the children to break it up a bit. We take trips. We play games. We do arts and crafts. We have spa days. We have family come and stay for awhile. But all roads lead back to fighting. Fighting is their favorite.
We even got boxing for the Wii so they could virtually beat the crap outta one another.
The Mister loves to fight with the children, but he doesn’t do it daily, and he never screams bloody murder nor does he spout out hate speech. Do your kids “Stupid Baby!” and “Big Bully!” one another too?
The only real piece of advice I have is this: If you get mad, start blathering about how you just can’t take it anymore. Try to appear a bit more emotionally unstable than you actually are. Whisper. Grunt. Randomly yell here and there. Say things about how you love them ALL so much, you just caNNN’t stand THE way they trEAt one anoTHER. Work up a tear or two by thinking about how flat your tummy usta be, or how they ruined the interior of your car. Use your loud Italian hands to wave something nearby, but non-threatening, like a book, a phone, a remote control, a throw pillow — never a hot iron, never a paring knife, and never ever a cat. Begin mumbling incoherently, perhaps even in another language, to the ceiling, the window, or to an obscure spot on the wall. This will completely freak your children out and they will leave you alone for at least an hour. The more calm and reasonable you usually are, the more time you’ll get. Sometimes they will pair off, and sometimes they will send the youngest out to test the waters. The helpful one will come to make sure you still love her. The oldest may try to escape, in which case you can say, “Huh uh, Buddy, we’re all in this rainy day together.” Talk through your teeth if you need more time. Use the crazy only as needed, in case it gets real.
Happy Summer Vacation!