The school calendar is giving us a break this week in honor of the season, and it's been fun having Abi more in our days. True, we need to strike the right daily balance of activity versus down time to appease all of us (which seems easier with Braeden alone), but it's been an adventurous balancing act. Monday there was too much out and about. Tuesday there was too little. Today was spot on, and I could tell it by the way they got along.
They have reached their disagreeable sibling phase. Until recently, Braeden was the sweet little one who often followed Abi's instructions. Lately he has discovered the joy that is found in frustrating and irritating his big sister. She also has developed a very short fuse in dealing with him, which really just fuels his fires. Though this is a new phase, I do want to say that I am impressed they have done so well for so long, and I feel they still do well by each other quite frequently by any normal sibling standards.
Back to today, for example. We spent the morning terrorizing the Stride Rite outlet so the kids could actually have clean sneakers that fit them. Once through, we had a quick lunch, then set off for home. The kids wanted to go to a playground, and in fact started shouting at me about it at lunch. Well, I certainly wasn't going to tell them we would play straight away after they humiliated me so harshly at such a fancy restaurant as McDonald's, so I made them a deal that we would not go anywhere until after Braeden had taken his nap. In the car, however, I did tell Abi that if he slept on the way home, we might go someplace for when he wakes up to take advantage of the warmth of the day. Braeden knew that he needed to nap before anything fun happened, so he relaxed in the car. Abi asked me to turn off the radio and immediately began singing Hush Little Baby, Don't Say A Word to him. Over and over again for 10 minutes she sang until he fell asleep. She was so proud of herself. "It always works for him!" she whispered to me when he had dozed off.
Well, I thought it was such a sweet thing for her to do. Granted though, it was a bit self-serving. She knew his sleep was the key to her playtime... go on and temper the credit you give her for this kindness, she'll earn it back as I tell you more.
We went to the playground for an hour as Brae woke up. The kids had a great time and really didn't even fuss when it was time to leave. On the drive home, Braeden looked over to Abi and said, "Abi? Can you sing to me the song that put me to sleep?" She was only too happy to oblige, and when Hush Little Baby was over, she sang other songs she had made up for him all the way home.
I couldn't help but smile as she sang. Despite the more frequent tears and tense voices, when the stars are aligned it is nice to see they still have these moments of leaning on each other.