I'm sitting in the shade with my feet up, laptop in my lap, enjoying a light breeze while dinner cooks. It's still a hundred freaking degrees in the shade ta 6:37 p.m., but every time the wind blows it feels almost comfortable.
The kids appear to be playing "swim class." It was assumed by both parties that Claire would be the coach, which both cracks me up and makes me nod because of course, and she is directing Landon's activities with great authority and a surprising amount of swim drill knowledge.
I vowed on Sunday that I would be a better mother this week- that I would have more patience and energy and less yelling and not-patience. But it appears the energy situation is not something I change through will alone, causing my patience levels to remain about the same, so instead, I've changed my approach to evenings. Now instead of going straight to the couch and leaving the kids to kids play and scream and hurt mommy's head, we have plans and activities! For example, yesterday we all went straight to the big table and colored in work book pages (well, they colored, I answered emails on my laptop in between bouts of "grading" their papers). Tonight I made dinner as fast as possible, threw it in the oven, and took them outside to swim without looking at the couch once. I'm still in my work clothes because going in my bedroom might make me lay down in my bed, but I'm sitting-- sitting and watching them tire themselves out while laughing and giggling and thinking mom is awesome instead of the meanest. I can only blame the exhaustion for why I didn't think of this sooner.
Not that free play is a bad thing- I'm all about kids entertaining themselves, it's just that at the end of the day, they pick constant fights with each other because they've missed each other so much that only the comfort of the others' screams will fill the holes in their hearts. It goes much better on the weekends.
Here they are playing doctor on Sunday. Again, it was assumed Claire would be the doctor.
JP and I were watching with soft smiles on our faces and then Claire whacked the hell out of Landon's knee with the wrong side of a toy hammer and our sweet smiles turned to belly laughs.
That girl- loving, sweet, EXUBERANTLY affectionate. Fierce, smart, funny, VERBAL, and extremely polite and well-behaved.
And Landon, so great with her. I still owe him a birthday post, but in case I don't get to it soon enough, I have to capture what I think is the most special thing about him right now (and really, for the past few years)- every time he gets something special, EVERY TIME, even if Claire is nowhere around and the thing he has is small, specially for him, and/or not something that lends itself easily to sharing, his first question is always, "can Claire have some?!" It's such a generous and sweet thing about him.
Yesterday JP had to run an early errand, so I dropped the kids off at their respective camps in the morning. Landon went first, to a new camp near our house, and when it came time to say goodbye he gave me a brief hug and started to turn away. Claire marched over, yelled, "Bye Bye my Yandon!", gave him a fierce hug, and then grabbed his face with her chubby little hands and pulled him down for a smacking kiss on the lips. Claire turned around, ready to march off to her own school, and Landon ran off to the ten new best friends he was about to meet. The two of them crack me up in the best, most heart-bursting kind of way.
Which is almost always true, but man, it is so much easier to remember after a long day at work when their screams are outdoors and accompanied by splashing.
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