This is day two of down time after a stressful week. Down time in this house is never terribly calm and must still have some semblance of predictability and structure. Yesterday ended decently enough and people seem to have recovered moderately. This morning started acceptably with the regular requests for food before my eyes were open.
However, it devolved by 9am because of arguments over Transformers. Mack and Will had been playing wonderfully until Will chose to make an adjustment to the game without considering Mack's feelings. After several meltdowns, we decided that a break was in order. Mack also revealed that he wanted his own Transformers like Will had his own. But that returning some of the community ones to his room (he'd previously lost them due to inability to use them without breaking them) was not an adequate solution. I had to break his heart and tell him we were not going to buy him more nor was he going to take his money from the bank to purchase any. That earned me another massive explosion.
Once he recovered, we were able to play a family game. It was supposed to be rather short, but took two hours! Unstable Unicorns is not supposed to be that consuming, but it was. At least we all had fun!
Then, lunch. I need the leftovers out of the fridge, but the three younger children argued about it. As usual. They ate them anyway, though not happily. Then, we packed up everyone and went to a new hiking spot to get out some energy and enjoy the sun. We're in MI, so those days are coming to a swift close. We can't just walk though. There are questions, whining, and more questions. Plus, we are leash training the puppy. What could be a relaxing hike through the woods along a river becomes an educational setting wherein we discuss foliage, ice floes, graffiti, and more. We tried to skip rocks on the partly frozen lake to elicit a cool noise, but it didn't go as well as we hoped. Not everyone had more than one rock to throw either so we had to address the meltdowns and promise a next time. Will also gets anxious about trees. Especially dead ones. So he needed lots of reassurance.
As soon as we got home, we got immediate demands for more games and food. JUST WAIT! Relax your minds and bodies. Give us a minute to breathe! We love these explorations and time together as a family, but the special kids wear us out consistently. Nothing is ever relaxed and with the flow. We can't just enjoy nature because we are talking about it constantly. Maybe my husband, Leigh, and I need to go on a hike just the two of us. But, then, where would the kids be?!