Sunday, November 11, 2012

sister sunday

note: i never did manage to get this one posted, back in September, so I'm using it now.  I'm not even sure it was truly "finished" but this is the web, and "finished" is for old farts and sticks in the mud (with more time on their hands than I've got). It seems complete enough to give you a good sense of that first week of school, so I present to you:

Twisted Sister Sunday, the better late than never (and today I've got excuses!) edition


How I had a great photo of the girls planned for Sunday morning, but events conspired to make me late posting it, and then life conspired to create events that needed writing about, but I was too shellshocked to do so.

"not having fun" at Jack Block Park

So, this last week has been a long one. First week of school (starting Weds) for one thing. We've got a 2nd year preschooler and a 1st grader!

And I know I've already written a post about this, so I won't go into it further, but the complication this year was that M had an event that meant she was working 6.30a to past 10p Weds/Thurs/Fri, which meant I was working from home and both dropping the girls off and picking them up. And for those of  you at home who aren't paying attention, or who, perhaps, have no kids or don't remember what the first week of school is like, what this all means is that we were running ragged by the end of things.

The girls did quite well. M and I dropped them off together on Weds morning, and I picked them up that afternoon. Everyone was in a good mood. We made it through both afternoon, dinner, evening, bath, reading and bed without too much trouble.

The evening routine is complicated when it's just one of us. The girls like significantly different things read to them (Bedtime for Baby Bear vs The Boxcar Children - the Lighthouse Mystery, for example). And we're at a point where both girls like to be laid with while going to sleep. This means that K has to listen while I read to L, and then L has to chill while I read to K. On Weds, L fell asleep while we were reading, which simplifies things greatly.

Anyway, Thurs morning went fine as well, as I dropped the girls off without them even seeing M. That afternoon things went fairly well as well, with the usual conflicts and yelling. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was getting tired though, so while the girls played in the tub, I scrambled to get some stuff done online and in the kitchen, and that was a mistake.

There were conflicts in the bathroom that resolved themselves (the girls are actually pretty good at resolving conflicts, though often it means K compromises in the face of tropical storm L), but when I went in there was water everywhere. Mind you, the girls were fine again with each other, but I got cranky and said something like "Ok, that's it! OUT!" and K hopped out in order to get her reading, but L laid in the tub and refused to budge.

I dried K off and then managed somehow to coax L out, but her mood had turned, so that evening we took forever to find pajamas that would work. In contrast, on Weds night we went up and both girls grabbed PJs and were dressed and brushed in minutes. On Thurs, L went through literally 5 different sets of clothes over the course of dressing/brushing teeth/reading book, and every time she realized that her pajamas weren't going to work, K had to sit and stew, waiting for her chance to be read to. I got frustrated (first week of school quiz - Q: What's the worst thing you can do in a situation like this? A: Get frustrated and show it.). Somehow we managed to muddle through, but there were tears, great fountains of tears, and K got bent out of shape which was one more thing to get me, and finally she started having her own personal meltdown in retaliation, which of course made things worse. And when she has this sort of meltdown, she hisses and gets in her sister's face.

In retrospect, I wonder how things would have gone if I'd kept my cool better in the bathroom when faced with .... but that's all just water over the floor.

The upshot is that we managed to get ourselves into bed, with me lying with L who was stuffed up from crying, and K thrashing in her own bed muttering (loudly) things like "Well, I guess you're not going to lie with ME tonight!" and me whispering that I would be right over once L fell asleep, and K loudly opening and drinking from her water bottle and then kicking the wall and saying "You don't even act like you want me to be your daughter!" and me whispering that I would be right over to her bed once L fell asleep (you can see that once I hit upon a winning response I don't change it).

Luckily L fell asleep quickly, so I managed to crawl in with K before she  fell asleep, and we snuggled and she thanked me and said she loved me and then she promptly fell asleep and I crawled out of her bed and downstairs to clean the kitchen.

Friday morning M was here long enough to see K (or was it L...? The whole thing is a bit of a blur now), and then she was off again to work and I was going to make the girls pancakes but didn't have baking powder so we fell back to the usual (toast, egg whites, some cinnamon cereal with chocolate milk in it), and somehow things spiraled downhill with K actiing up in major ways, getting into her sister's face and hissing, hitting her, and doing other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. The upshot of this morning was that K lost the privilege of video and books on Friday, and video on Saturday as well. I wasn't too worried about Friday because my company picnic was that afternoon, so I figured we would be busy anyway, but the Saturday thing was a case of shooting myself in my foot because I could have used the distraction on Saturday, and I knew she was going to be pretty distraught about not getting to watch something. Her response though, on Friday morning was "I don't care!" and as she sat on her bed in a timeout, she wanted me to know that she didn't even like me as a father.

I don't even remember how I got them off to school, but I did it, and then got about 4 hours of work done before picking them up. I was leaving it up in the air as to whether or not we were actually going to go to the picnic, based on behavior on pickup, but they were both fine, and we went to the picnic and they had fun and didn't eat properly and then we went home around 7ish, which is later than they are usually out and is about the time we're into pajamas, but they were filthy and M was home and so we did bath and then bedtime was rotating tap of meltdowns with first one and then the other girl in screaming tears, each setting the other off, while M and I lay with L and K respectively. It was.... a special evening after a long week. Oh yeah, congratulations on being done M, and welcome home!

Saturday was M's birthday, and we had presents for her and had foolishly (?) arranged for to host a few folks to celebrate that evening, which meant cleaning and prep work... without video. Needless to say, we had a few meltdowns over the course of the day, but somehow managed to get the house cleaned and food made and were ready to celebrate M's birthday. That went well, but the girls got into bed late (9-ish) and didn't sleep as long as they ought to have and so....

Now we're to the point I really started writing about, Sunday.

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