Last week was a mind-numbing, eardrum shattering, nerve wracking week of keeping the little lovelies. The older ones were out of school three days. Instead of sleeping in, like, oh maybe until 8:00, they all wanted to make the most of every hour of every day. So they were wanting to shake it a little, or a lot, to Just Dance before breakfast. Before my second cup of coffee.
My Granny Nanny daycare consists of two different age groups. Landon, Emma, Ava, and Paisley are in school. Aiden, Ivy, Casey, and Ireland are not. Some days the kids in the younger group fight enough to earn spots in the UFC. Some days the older kids have more drama than a high school prom. Some days, when both age groups are together, they dance together, play together, sing together…and some days they don’t.
The Sharks and the Jets. The Montagues and Capulets. The Hatfields and McCoys. They would all be envious of my grandkids’ abilities to make mountains out of molehills, lay blame, and scatter like rolling marbles when something gets broken. My grandkids are the champs. I need one of those bumper stickers to proudly display these abilities. Right along beside the ones that read “My kid can beat up your honor roll student.”
Just kidding about that last part. The school age kids are honor roll students. The fact they can defend themselves too shouldn’t be held against them.
The good days, when they’re all getting along, or even just getting along in small groups, does outweigh the cat fight days. By a slim margin.
I made a mental list last week of the things they fight over. Yes, these are actual reasons. They may not seem important to you (trust me, they’re really not but I have to at least act like they are) but they are life and death issues to a three, four, seven – take your pick on the age – year old. Here’s what I came up with:
1) Fruit snacks. It doesn’t matter if one is puking, or have just finished eating everything on their plate plus any of their siblings or cousins’ plates, if one kid gets a pack of fruit snacks, it’s a chain reaction. You might as well give in. You will not win that battle. Save the breath.
2) Vanilla wafers and/or animal cookies. The Jones’ have animal cookies, the Willis kids get vanilla wafers. Except the Jones kids eye the Willis’s vanilla wavers with watering mouths, while the Willis kids look lovingly at the Jones’ animal cookies. Switch them up, you say. That’s good until one of them gets fruit snacks. See above.
3) Shopkins, My Little Pony, and Hot Wheels. These have been known to incite near riots. Hair pulling, pinching, ear-splitting screaming…but they’re sooooo much fun!
4) Just Dance. With me! No me! I want to do it! My turn! Okay, you’re on my team. How come I get stuck with Casey?
5) Minecraft. See above. Except add he burnt my house down! Stop following me! Press X…Press X! PRESS X!!!
6) The playground. Four slides. Three clubhouses. Six swings. And they all want to slide down this slide, not that slide. At the same time.
7) Reading time. Rarely do they choose the same book so rather than reading one story, we must read four. Except, most of the time we can get away with three because by the second story Casey’s wandered away and is stashing the shopkins in his backpack while no one is looking.
8) They all have to touch the book. See above. Each one has to be the one to open the flap, pull the tab, turn the page, etc…
9) Running time. Yes, I let them run in the house at a designated time when it’s too cold or wet outside. I give them ten laps to run off some energy. Works great until one of the faster ones gets behind one of the slower ones (Ireland, not to mention any names). The slower one will get pushed down, knocked aside, and ran over.
10) Helping. Yes, they fight over this too. No one wants to help until one wants to help. When I asked one to hand me a diaper, I get five. When I tell one who has finished their lunch to clean their place at the table and put their dishes in the sink, I get fourteen forks in the garbage and a trail of spilled milk from the table to the sink. But they helped. And they were willing. Even if it was only because a sibling or a cousin did it first. But I’ll take it.