We’re approaching the end of the summer here in the Northeast, and the kids have been together for approximately seventy days straight. They have swum, rode bikes, looked for starfish, played tag, and jumped on the trampoline…together. They have explored, hiked, and gone out for ice cream together.
And they have had enough of together. They really can’t bear to be in the same room. Or house. or preferably city, but what am I supposed to do?
Yesterday, they had an epic battle over their positions on the couch. Very emotional stuff. Screaming stuff. Howling, apocalyptic stuff.
I went outside and took some deep breaths.
When I came back inside, I calmly told them that they could have dinner (pasta–their favorite) as soon as they sat on the couch and held hands.
JJ dropped to the floor. “Noooooooooo! Why, Mama? Why?”
Mia howled, “Noooooo! Nooooooooo!”
Once again, I calmly stated that they were not even being punished for their terrible behavior. All I was asking was for them to hold hands.
JJ began writhing around on the floor, “Mama, please! Please, no! Make me do something else. What else can I dooooooo?”
Mia sobbed even more hysterically, “How could you do this to me? You are so mean! This is the meanest thing EVER!”
“You know what you have to do,” I said and went outside.
Five minutes later, Mia came outside. “We’d like to hug instead,” she said. “Is that ok?” Her mouth twitched in a little smile.
I returned to the house and told the kids to start hugging. I started the timer for thirty seconds. They fell to the floor in a big pile of snuggling. They started laughing and couldn’t stop. They rolled around. When the timer went off, they were still hugging and laughing.
Love always wins. (Usually.)