Caroline is smart, organized and amazes me with the things she notices. (I never timed commercials on TV. But she does. Did y’all know that the Andy Griffith show has commercials exactly 15 minutes into it?)
Claire is snuggly and polite and constantly compliments me. It’s like I have a little cheerleading squad following me around. That is pretty cool.
But. Oh. My. Goodness.
They have been fighting non stop. Arguing about every little thing. Sometimes it comes to wrassling and then someone comes wailing to me. That someone is usually Claire, as sassy as she can be she refuses to fight back…unless there is a stick. She will/has totally hit Caroline with a stick…then it’s Caroline doing the wailing
Mommyyyyyyyy – she won’t let me use the pink crayon!
Mommyyyyyyyy – she’s not sharing the paper!
Mommyyyyyyyy – she tried to wear my socks!
It’s enough to drive a sane person batty. And I’m not sure I was sane to start with.
The craziest part of it is, if I separate them, within minutes each is hearbroken missing her sister. And the tears and wailing start again. I miss sissy! If only I could play with my sister I would be so happy! We will never fight again!
I’ve totally tried to teach them positive conflict resolution. None of it has ever been heard.
So waving the white flag on teachable moments and clinging to my lucidity my solution is typically to send them outside, where their shrieks and complaining are muffled by the great outdoors. Usually I ban them from the back porch where I perch to survey them and only intervene if bodily harm looks imminent.
But they are learning conflict resolution, right? Right?!
But at the end of the day when I’m at my wit’s end, they say their bedtime prayers.
Caroline says the prayer, and Claire with her eyes closed puts her hand on her sister and prays with her. It’s a glimmer of hope that someday, the things we are teaching them might sink in.
I think my next step will be to make them wear a big “get along” shirt and do things together every time they fight. We’ve not done that in a while.
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am terrible with machines. Copy machines, lawn mowers, all weedeaters… whatever. They just quit working when I come around.
It’s not my fault! I swear! Machines just die when I come close. I am innocent of any wrongdoing. It must be my elecromagnetic field or something. That’s a real thing, right?
Needless to mention, if there is an expensive thing to drive…I don’t get to drive it.
The absolute worst is the terrible old 4-wheeler. On a good day it splutters and jerks with the farmers. With me it’s much worse.
Today I was delivering lunches and rather than good old fashioned healthy walking, my well meaning but terribly wrong husband insisted I take the piece-of-junk … I mean 4-wheeler. It never, never, never goes well when I take this 4-wheeler.
I don’t know why I didn’t argue.
I get to the bottom of the hill to drop off a lunch and BAM it jerks to a stop while simultaneously dying.
I tried, and tried and tried to restart it. NOTHING. It’s much easier to walk up a hill than push a broke down junk heap up.
I so wish I’d walked.
My father-in-law came over, punched the same starter button I had been working on what seemed like forever and the wretched, evil thing sprang to life.
It makes me grouchy to have to be rescued. Even worse when it makes me seem inept.
Off I went, halfway up the steepest hill and BAM the thing jerked to a dead stop again….but THIS TIME it started furiously rolling backwards. Oh fun.
I squeezed the hand brakes as hard as my hands would let me. Nothing.
Oh yeah, that’s right. This glorious chariot has non-working brakes. Fabulous.
I was by this point picking up speed backwards down the hill.
So I cut the front wheels to the right as fast as I could.
After precariously leaning over to the left and almost tipping down the hill the awful scrap-worthy thing stopped.
Ugh. I wished I could just get off and leave it in the field. A HORSE would never do this to me. Neither would my feet. Definitely never driving this worthless trash again.
Despite being an office-working, nearing middle age, deadfully out of shape, mother of two I’m decently strong so I tried to push it up the hill. Big fat NOPE. I didn’t even move it in the direction I wanted to go.
Wish I’d walked.
Finally, I got it started. I gave the rickety-old-bucket-of-rust heck and got back to the barn as fast as I could. The motor jerked and sputtered the entire time.
I silently dared it to die, like Arnold Swartzenagger I challenged it to “Go ahead, make my day”. I wished I could make it explode like on the movies so I’d never have to use it again. The farmers wouldn’t be thrilled with me about that though.
Lynn was walking my direction with a smirk on his face. HE KNEW. When I got closer to him, I could hear him chuckle.
Glad I could be of some entertainment at least. Must be boring driving the tractors in circles for hours spreading fertilizer.
Not that I’m ever asked to drive a tractor…I wonder why?!?
Next time? I’m walking. Or riding a horse. For sure I won’t be taking the 4-wheeler.
We helped Lynn feed cattle today. After all the rain it is muddy. So muddy.
Claire has established her interest in tractor driving. Sometimes she forgets where’s she’s going though and Lynn has to get it back on track.
At one point neither Lynn nor Claire had their hands on the steering wheel and panicking Caroline yanked the wheel screeching “nobody is driving the tractor!” The tractor jolted and bounced and Lynn steadied it.
Caroline is thrilled to get out and take net off the bales of hay. I’m pretty sure her goal is to get as muddy as possible – and she is very good at it.
She tried to climb the hay…but had to stop when it was time to feed it.
After that it was a good day for a very long Sunday afternoon nap, especially since we lost an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time.
I occasionally, on Sunday mornings wonder if it is worth it.
Do the kids hear anything at all in church? Aren’t they too little?
Wouldn’t my time be better spent catching up on sleep so I can be kinder?
We brush hair, tell them to brush their teeth at least 6 times, and as the mean parents we are we insist on them wearing a jacket. Then I try to get myself dressed while settling kid arguments as I hurriedly slurp down my coffee.
It can seem like a lot of hassle. ESPECIALLY since we go to the “early” 8:30am service.
I don’t like mornings.
This morning Caroline sat with my father-in-law. I heard them giggle several times in the row behind me. I heard candy wrappers rustle. Once, during a prayer Caroline said “R!” I turned around and gave her the stink eye. To which she smiled sweetly and batted her eyes.
After service was over she showed me what they had been working on so furiously.
With Papaw’s help she spent the service taking notes on the bulletin.
It made me grin. She definitely had a lot of help with those words thanks to her partner-in-crime…but it appears she IS paying attention.
That makes getting ready Sunday mornings easier to manage.