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Exact Change Only

Transition. I hate it. This is a character flaw.

Not that I don’t have my reasons. Wednesdays are often challenging because the kids go from one house to the other. Syd, in particular, rails about how annoying it is to have to figure out what essentials need to go back and forth. Things get left behind and calculations have to be made about whether or not another trip back and forth is worth it.

They have to go from one state of mind to the other, too. Rick and I agree, in broad outline, about parenting principles, but we are different people. I am the hard-ass. I post lists of to-dos and give bed times and enforce flute practice. Fortunately, I am also the one who takes T. swimming and Syd to the gym; otherwise, I’d be seriously unpopular.

The kids deal with the change by picking at each other. For extra bonus points, they get a long car ride cooped up together to do it in. I often arrive home from Wednesday pick up thinking that maybe my next stop should be the looney bin, or at least somewhere quiet where I can be all by myself. And this is in spite of my best efforts to breathe deeply and prepare myself. I try to think of calming conversation topics in advance, to keep things light, to put on music that everyone likes.

The thing is, Wednesdays are just an extreme example. I’m always in transition. It’s not just about whether or not the kids are with me. It’s about the transition from being a parent of an elementary school kid to one with a middle-schooler. From brown-haired to gray. From overweight and flabby to overweight and less flabby. From asleep to awake and back again. Stuff just keeps changing.

I am in transition between not coping and coping. Please be patient with me.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Maybe give the kids iPods so they can ignore each other?
Apr. 24th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Tried it. One more thing to forget... Sigh. But thanks for the suggestion... ;)
Apr. 24th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
No one likes change except a wet baby. And our baby doesn't like it even when she's wet.
May. 5th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Heh! Although she seems to be coming around a little on that issue, at least when I saw her last. ;)
May. 5th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's much improved. Although just this morning, when she wanted to put her shoes on and was still in her diaper and clothes from all night, I said, "Let's do a diaper change first," and she said, "Mama, I not wet." Needless to say, she also didn't want me to check.

My latest scheme for getting her onto the diaper table, hatched in desperation when she kept trying to climb up it (so much for my theory that she's a good judge of what's safe to climb), is to give her an elevator ride from floor level to table level. It's working beautifully at the moment.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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