What is it about summer that seems to bring out the worst in my kids?
Is it the change in routine? Is it being out of school and therefore ALL UP IN EACH OTHER’S BUSINESS for even more hours of the day? Is it just an age-related phase that coincides with the build-up to their birthday?
I don’t know, but it’s a pain in my ass.
Whereas before they would sometimes get on each other’s nerves, now both of them are actively poking, bugging, and pestering each other. But can they ever leave each other alone? No, of course not. Some kind of sibling/twin/magnet-force is in play, requiring them to be within three feet of each other for 98% of their waking hours.
They’re crankier, bossier, more possessive. They’re much more physical with each other than they’ve ever been – suddenly there’s a lot of wrestling in my house, when there had been next to none, and you know that never ends well.
Daniel continues to have zero impulse control, which results in many a head-bonk. Of course, with the breath-holding wail and instant river of tears, you’d think he was dropped in a vat of acid. Oh, the hysteria. On the flipside, if I tell him to stop doing something (for the 900th time), he’s just as likely to cross his arms in a huff and glare at me from over his angry pout. There’s also quite a bit of stomping.
Rebecca has a certain manic edge to everything she does and says right now. If Daniel is being reprimanded for something, she goes into full-on brown-nose mode. Daniel says he doesn’t like green beans? Suddenly they’re Rebecca’s FAVORITE FOOD!!!! Look like you might be getting grumpy with her? I WILL TACKLE YOU WITH A HUG AND KISS!!!! But when she’s not being frantically “good,” she is whiny and fragile, frequently falling apart and claiming she’s “tired” if she feels anxious about something. She is incredibly bossy and particular, and getting sneakier – all but waiting until my back is turned before she gives Daniel a swift kick in the shins, and then trying to negotiate her way out of it.
Like I said, I don’t know if this is an age thing. A lot of kids seem to go through a rough patch somewhere around the 3/4-year mark, which would be us right now. It could be that our summer days have a less-predictable structure, or that they aren’t getting as much space from each other (OR FROM ME). It could be some anxiety about turning five and starting Junior Program (aka kindergarten at their Montessori school) next year.
I’m trying to roll with it, trying to do fun things and make the most of summer. But it would be a lot easier if my kids were in a better damn mood.