What a Labour Day weekend I have had. That is all I can truly say. It was one for the record books.
We decided to take our new-to-us camper and do one more, end-of-the-summer camping spree with the gang. Worst.idea.ever. And now that summer is over, I cannot even look forward to a vacation from this vacation. This is it, folks. That’s all she wrote. Back to reality on Tuesday. I completely understand what sentiment in celebrating this holiday really is invoked in those of us who take the time to ponder it. And that sentiment is the end-of-summer blues. It is a labour of self-love with a hint of self-preservation at stake just getting your sorry little self from the Friday all the fun begins to the Monday evening when it all thankfully ends. Summer is over, and we don’t need a Labour Day weekend to remind us of all the reasons we truly want to return to work and school (a.k.a. what I mean to say is it is time for this idyllic family of six to get a little healthy separation from one another, as this being together 24/7 lost its charm around week two) And again I say it. What.a.weekend.
I truly have wanted to sit down with my husband and ask him where the heck we went wrong raising our four children. But currently he is snoring/sleeping on the bottom bunk of the children’s quarters of the travel trailer. And he is lying there beside our youngest rug rat because she happened to be scared that she might be too far away from Mommy and Daddy’s communal bed when she comes looking for us in the middle of the night. Which she will, because she does so quite frequently. And to which, the bed that is, she makes such regular appearances sandwiched in between the two of us that we have come to believe we are model attachment parenting advocates, without actually subscribing to the philosophy on any other terms. Suffice it to say, I no longer have the energy I once had to get up out of bed in the middle of the night to remove the appendage from my left leg that is my child. And that is the ONLY reason this child is allowed in our bed. I would rather have stilted sleep than broken sleep, as would be the case if I actually had to wake from my unconscious state of mind and return her to her bunk. A mother does what she has to do to survive. I am no exception.
But tonight, and after the weekend we have barely made it through alive, although not unscathed and without permanent battle wounds, I have had this recurring, and persistently nagging little thought whispering through my mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little adult conversation for a change? Just for a change, LITTLE PEOPLE WITH WHOM I CO-EXIST?????
Sadly, the reality is that Husband and I are mostly trying to referee our four children’s bicker fests and keep them from killing one another in broad daylight than having any kind of intelligent conversation out under the stars that might stimulate us to consider camping again next summer. And even then, the times we have started a conversation during daylight hours, our inquisitive twelve year old has interjected without fail after the first comment has been made so as to get clarification on whatever content he didn’t quite GET. As in, he usually has some sort of question about whatever it is we are discussing. As if he was the sober second thought on all things privately exchanged between Husband and I. Whatever happened to the good old days when kids just eavesdropped from behind a bedroom door while their parents had a discussion about some pressing matter of concern? Kids used to actually subscribe to that age old philosophy that children should be able to HEAR without being SEEN. I know I found this philosophy to benefit me when I was twelve.
I don’t care what anyone says. Raising four children to adulthood will be a sheer miracle for this family. A miracle, I say. MIRACLE. And I for one shall be thoroughly amazed if our children end up being friends with each other after they have all left the nest. Because the rate we are going, things are not looking very good and nor is my own relationship with said offspring looking very promising either.
So about tonight’s dilemma. We decided to allow the kiddos to pick the bed they would sleep in for our last night camping. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I now know what I did not know then. That is what life is all about. Live and learn. There has been a pecking order thus far, and everyone has personal preferences. Of course they do. Our kids have a preference about EVERYTHING. Nothing gets by them, and everything matters. They cannot let ANYTHING go because that would mean they would have to concede a victory to one of their siblings. And we wouldn’t want that, now would we????? But I thought we would try for one more night to give everyone a chance to try out a new bunk, in case it ever came up again in future arguments, I could say that they had been given a choice. I like to cover all my bases.
The deal was that the first one to volunteer to brush their teeth was able to have first dibs on sleeping arrangements for our last night in the camper. Last night, last choice. But it was the first mistake for us as parents. As in: it was our first mistake as parents to give our children the last word. FAIL. Or maybe it was our last mistake, considering the way the day unfolded in its entirety. But who is keeping track.
Back to the sleeping arrangements. Son jumped to get his bathroom routine over first. So while everyone else screamed/cried about coming in second, third and fourth, we had him give us his pick as to where he wanted to sleep. He chose, much to my chagrin, the bed our youngest had slept in every other night previous since we purchased the camper a little over a week ago. I held my breath waiting for her bloodcurdling scream, but she was okay so long as she got second pick. Unfortunately, our second oldest had volunteered to brush her teeth second, so you know how it goes. The youngest was not going to get her preference.
What followed next was nothing short of world collapse. Chaos, confusion, crying. I couldn’t even begin to sort out the whole ordeal, so I corralled myself into our postage stamp sized washroom and let them sort it all out. And then, after deciding that hanging out in a washroom the size of a small closet which was incidentally next to the crying child was not the best option, I left to walk the quarter of a mile to the campground washroom and finish up my business there. Far.more.peaceful.
But suffice it to say, as pertaining to the final sleeping arrangements, several people were less than thrilled, and Husband eventually volunteered to sleep with the youngest, as I was in no mood to do so when I finally returned from my respite spent in a restroom cubicle.
I must say that the more choice our kids have, the more problems we seem to have. And that this arguing about choices has gone on all weekend has made this mama a very tired, frustrated cranky parent.
Night all. Peace out. Happy Labour Day weekend.