Here we are, three weeks in the summer vacation. And I feel like i’m starting to check out. I find myself in the mornings sitting at the kitchen table practically hugging my coffee and hoping that the girls can get along today and play and let me have my coffee in the relative quiet of them playing nicely and not screeching at each other.
I am thrilled it took three weeks to get to this point. It would have been nicer had we not gotten here at all, but I was putting money on it only being 2 hours into the summer before the girls started in on each other. Leading up to the last day of school in the few hours before and after school they had together I experienced so many arguments I began fearing how our summer break would go.
Is was beginning to assert herself more; She began doing a good job using her words. Is would say ‘Emmy NO!’ multiple times getting louder with each one. But Em didn’t seem to hear her and would continue on with whatever it was she was doing. I would intervene when I could, but before long Is learned to use her hands in order to get her sisters attention. One evening as we climbed the stairs to bed, Em was following Is closer then Is liked. Again Is yelled ‘Emmy NO’ and before I could ask Em to stay back three steps her sister took a swing at her, and her tiny fist landed square in her sisters left eye. Em burst into tears. I swept Is up in my arms scolding her and turned to comfort Em. Thankfully Is doesn’t have a strong punch and Em was fine. But it was a real lesson to Em that she needs to listen to her sister and respect her space like she wants to be heard and given space. We’ve had a few little tiffs about sharing toys and who picks the show but nothing like that morning.
This morning I woke to both Em and Is sitting on my bed watching a show on Disney Junior. I laid there quietly and waited for my body to wake up more. I didn’t have to jump up to get ready for anything, so I stayed there wondering if they would let me doze off for a bit longer. Who was I kidding? That wasn’t going to happen. We finished the show and proceeded to start the day.
I sat at the table once the girls had eaten and gone off to play, hunched over my coffee staring into its creamy brown goodness and chatted with Mark. I could hear the girls playing with a Strawberry Shortcake toy, Em asking Is to leave her alone and at one point she said ‘Shoo, Scram, get out of here!’ Greeeaaat. I looked at her and said ‘Not nice’ and Em shrugged. I called Is over to play with her princess castle and happily she came and played for a bit. Before long Mark was off to work and Is was wanting to play with her big sister again. And again Em is asking her sister to leave her alone and let her play by herself.
It then dawns on me that they have barely had a moment apart for the past three week. All three of us have been together pretty much non stop since the beginning of July. Em needs a break to play with friends her own age without her little sister under foot. Is needs to get out and run with kids her own age too. And me, I need a nap and some adult conversation.
I feel bad that i’m checking out and not taking the initiative to make up games for all three of us to play, or crafts to do, or even outings to go on. We’ve been to the park once this summer. I’m exhausted and that all seems like too much work. So i’ve found myself sitting at the kitchen table with a coffee and the laptop staring at all the pictures my good mommy friends are sharing of the wonderful things they are doing. Or i’m browsing Pinterest Pinning activities to do with the girls. Or just staring at my design work feeling totally uninspired. We’re in a funk.
Good news is, we are going to the beach with our family this weekend. Mark’s mom, step-dad, his two sisters, a brother in law and 7 more kids! So hopefully the girls having an opportunity to run and play with their cousins and the addition of 6 more adults, me and the girls will get the break we so desperately need.
Maybe then Monday we can do some of those cool activities i’ve been seeing on Facebook and Pinterest. Maybe then they won’t fight so much over toys and what show to watch. Maybe I will check back in and be a better mom.
God I hope I check back in.