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Vacation

October 28, 2015 - Stacey Sacco
Ron took the boys on a weekend adventure, leaving just the three of us girls at home for 48 glorious, I mean LONELY hours. While the boys were expressing their masculinity in the woods, we did things that we fun for little ones without worrying about complainig older kids.

I forgot how easy it is to have two children. I got so much done! And Anelise experienced something she never has before- there was no one older than her in the house.

Anelise has an oldest child personality in many respects. Since the only ones older than her are boys, she’s taken on the responsibility of being the driven, independent child. She’s determined to keep up with someone who is two years older, and does a pretty good job of it. Even if she can’t do something independently at the moment, she will try her hardest until she is able to accomplish it to her satisfaction. Admirable and difficult to live with at the same time.

This personality also means a lot of conflict between the siblings. If anyone attempts to do things for her, there is a meltdown. And not just any meltdown- a THREE YEAR OLD MELTDOWN. I know you know what I’m talking about. Terrifying.

Her big personality must invite taunting from the boys. They know exactly what to say in just a few words to create a tantrum of epic proportions. She still has almost no control of those big emotions so they all just pour out of her little body in the form of shrieks, objects thrown across the room, and teeth bared.

For the two days she was actually the oldest kid in the house, she had one tantrum. ONE. She was so pleasant, easy to get along with, fun to talk to, and enjoyable to take out of the house. It was like a magnifying glass was placed over all of her best characteristics. Surely, part of the advantage was that my attention was only divided by two instead of four.

But surely, most of it was getting a break from the normal family dynamic. Iris is not a threat to her. Iris is still the baby, which in her mind has nothing at all in common with a three year old. Any threat to her autonomy and free will was missing from the equation. Her life, and by extension my life, was so much easier for the weekend.

So I learned a lesson on how to make it possible to live peacefully with Anelise. How do I translate that to our normal life? I have no idea. I can’t eliminate her need to cohabitate with her older brothers. Getting a break is the exception, not the rule. I have a feeling it’s not simply a problem of being an impulsive irrational three year old. She’s going to be driven and competitive regardless of her age. Only experience is going to help her learn how to control her emotions.

 
 

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