The kids have been going through a relationally rough patch in the past few weeks. After two+ years of struggling in their relationships, the past number of months saw massive improvements in their ability to play together for relatively long periods of time without a lot of, shall we say, incidents.
But the last few weeks have been tougher again. I think there's been a correlation with the ongoing cold weather because, up until recently they've been playing outside regardless of temperature; but in the past 2-3 weeks, they've been putting up a fuss and have said they're just tired of being in the cold. So they've had energy to burn and not quite as many options for expending it.
I also think that there's a wear-and-tear factor going on. Around this time of year, many h/schoolers are tiring; and even though we're barely doing any actual curriculum work, we're still a little tired of all of the extra curricular stuff, the same-old-same-old.
I've been growing weary of intercepting fights these last few weeks, particularly between oldest and youngest. I've been tired of trying to manage my middle child's ongoing need to control his siblings and enforce the rules. And my general level of patience has been fast dwindling with bad or whiny attitudes coming at me; I've held it together, but it's been a challenge at times.
And then Wednesday hit and, maybe the snow flakes aligned or something, because they've been playing beautifully together again. Running, chasing, rolling, wrestling, laughing, playing basement soccer, building forts, pulling out board games, and so on. Kindness has mostly abounded, and attitudes have been just a little less difficult.
It's been such a reprieve for me that I had opportunity to clean out, wipe down, and reorganize my five-drawer smaller pantry, and do the same with my spice drawers and another three-shelf set of kitchen cupboards, and start work on cleaning out a closet. Plus, I went through, cleared out, filed, and/or shredded an embarrassing, a fourteen inch high stack of mail that I hadn't dealt with for a couple of months.
Granted, we've made few specific learning efforts in the past couple of days, but really, isn't learning to play with one's siblings and negotiate game rules pretty much the best practice one could ever have in anticipation of someday spending one's days in a workplace with other people??
Or maybe that's just an excuse to allow myself the pleasure of having cleaned out and organized some things in my home that really, really needed it.
Now, if they can just play like this for another year, I might actually get through my four-sided list of other projects that need doing around here.