Today was definately one of the more of the trying days that we’ve had since the boys have been on winter break. Unfortunately we have no one to blame for this problem but ourselves.
We spent New Year’s Eve with Matt’s family. It’s something we’ve done just about every year since we started dating. Our “celebration” generally involves dinner and an evening filled with laughter and board games. Probably not exciting to most people, but to us it can be a whole lot of fun. Besides, when you’ve got small kids going out and partying isn’t necessarily the best idea. Last night was no exception. We ate, we talked, we played games, we watched the ball drop on TV and toasted the beginning of a new year.
Through it all, the kids were wide awake and running around the house with their cousins. Just after midnight we packed up the kids into the car and headed for home. We knew that today might be a little rough with them having stayed up so late, but it’s not like its the first time this has ever happened. We figured we’d all just take it easy today. As long as we don’t require too much of the kids the next day, we can usually get through a late night with little to no problems.
I wish I could say that today worked out that way, but it didn’t. Brendan rolled out of bed first around 8:00. He seemed to be in a really good mood despite not going to bed until close to 1:00 in the morning. I let him switch on a cartoon and he was quite content watching that until his brother and sister got out of bed. They finally got up around 9:00, I fed them all breakfast, and then the day went to hell.
We hadn’t done much grocery shopping over the break, so by the time today rolled around we were out of just about everything. As the kids were eating their breakfast I was working with Matt to put together a grocery list so I could run to the store. We were close to being done when they finished eating, and asked the kids to go downstairs and play for a few minutes so we could finish up and get me to the store. Brendan however decided that he was going to have no part of this. He flat out refused to play with Cameron and Kaylee and if the tried to follow him into his bedroom or down into the basement he’d screech in indignation.
Well to make a long story short, we spent the next hour dealing with an angry and uncooperative 8 year old instead of completing the grocery list. Our hope was that this one meltdown would be it and that we could move on and have a nice day. It wouldn’t be the first time that he’s had a rough patch and been able to turn it around. But it seemed that was not in the cards. Brendan had meltdown after meltdown today. Most of them surrounding playing with his brother. We don’t ask him to be the sole provider of Cameron’s entertainment, but we do ask that he play with him once in a while.
Brendan is constantly complaining that he has no one to play with. He and Cameron both ask Matt to play with them on a regular basis. And he does play with them, but there are times where he either can’t or just doesn’t feel up for it at that point. What doesn’t make any sense to us is that Brendan never considers Cameron as a playmate. He will come up complaining that there is no one to play with, when Cameron is right at his heels begging him to play. I understand that sibling rivalry is an issue that is faced by every family, I know my own brother and I went around and around for most of our childhood. But I’ve never quite seen anything like what I do between my two boys. If I didn’t know any better I would swear that they truly despise one another. They can’t even fight without fighting about fighting.
But we made it through the repercussions of keeping the kids up late. We’ve decided that it will be a long while before we do that again. Here’s hoping that a good nights rest will rejuvinate and recalibrate Brendan so that we can start the second day of the year on a better note than the first.