Below is an indicative photo. The background story is that Noah sprung nimbly across (and along) the creek. Can you see him WAY down at the bend? He's trying to find a log to ride while playing in the water. Fritz was helping Mattias scramble awkwardly after Noah. (You can barely make them out on the right side of the photo.) Trixie and I were stranded behind on the opposite bank. I can be adventurous. (Really! I promise!) But this water was a little fast and a little deep to carry squirmy Trixie through.
While the boys played in the creek, Trixie and I opted for playing in the dust. (Ha!)
[photo gone, sorry]
Oh, well, she plays in the dust at home, too. Despite my intentions to be more organized around the house this summer, it still feels like there's a lot of messiness. Nevermind dust. Look: we're not even going to attempt to tackle the dust for another year. Remember how I was all energized to instill my children with responsibilities to keep the house orderly this summer? I thought we would have scheduled clean up times twice a day. Hasn't happened. It's like our schedule isn't scheduled enough for this to really work.
[this photo removed, too]
I think in my head, things are always going to be planned and scheduled and organized like it belongs in a daily planner. But the way that it works in practice is much more strategic at the moment. If Noah wants to play with a friend, first I make him pick up all the legos in his room. If the boys tear all cushions off the sofa to make a fort, I ask them to put them back before we go the library. I suspect this methodology works better partially because 1) Noah's schedule does, in fact, vary greatly each week this summer with camps or not 2) Mattias' schedule is not scheduled 3) There's a ongoing influx of houseguests to change whatever schedule might be a schedule 4) There are playdates at varying times 5) Trixie is such a wild card in terms of her needs and when.
Let's pause right there. Oh, Trixie! I had hoped she would stick like glue to one nap a day. But, it's just not happening. Many things can upset the napping: teething (cursed molars!), wringing, beeping, buzzing noises, a car ride at the wrong time (oops! impromptu nap!), or some overly excited play ("Sorry, Mommy! I forgot! I'm sorry!" That's a lie: they're NOT apologetic. But let's pretend they are, because it makes me feel better.)
The last few days, we've been dealing with what we think is teething. Whatever IT is IT means Trixie is waking up all night long, cramming her fingers into her mouth, biting, not eating, with a snuffy nose, and a light fever. She refuses to take painkillers. She spits out fluids. She adamantly refuses anything crushed, coated or dissolved. Fritz dubbed her "Pointless Suffering" after she refused even this chocolate coated painkiller delivery attempt:
"I hope the next time you go through this you are mature enough to be reasoned with," Fritz told her.
The good news in all of this is that, the house isn't as messy as I thought it would be, even if our methodology isn't as planned as I thought it would be. I console myself with the fact that they ARE cleaning up (sometimes), but in a different manner than I thought. We are getting to do some fun things, even if the baby isn't sleeping as well as I would like. Lowered expectations are keeping me happier. Also: mental gymnastics (or a good spin) are key to sanity.
[last one gone]
Also in The Ups category, Mattias and Noah are visiting grandma and grandpa in Rhode Island. Just the two of them. With two kids gone, and only Trixie at home, life feels Easy. Which, of course, means it is all relative, because 5 years ago, when it was just Noah and no other children, life did not feel easy AT ALL. Going on a trip, feeling independent of your parents: I believe these are good summer activities for self esteem building. Grandma and grandpa, with just two kids (instead of all three) are better poised to do more age-appropriate activities with Noah and Mattias.
That makes me a little sad, actually. But, you know, NEXT summer. NEXT summer Trixie might be a little more ready for romping in creeks.