Greetings from California… our trip is going just fine with one small caveat: the children do not get along. Now, I know I’m biased but, I think the situation is actually more like this: my friend’s 2 1/2 year old is not nice. He is a hitter, as in… hits M constantly with his fists or any object he can get ahold of. If he’s not hitting he’s pushing. And if by some miracle he isn’t hitting or pushing, he is at least poking her obnoxiously. The very few times he’s not doing that he’s shouting “bang bang bang” and playing guns. And no, I’m not the least bit upset at M for “whining” whenever he gets near her, now. I would be whining, too. So my friend and I are a bit at odds about that, as well, as I don’t agree with scolding my child for whining when she’s being beaten half the time and harassed the other half. She doesn’t even hit him back and I totally wouldn’t blame her or mind at all if she did. In fact, I sometimes really wish she would.
I’m trying to spin it in a positive light, the way I did last December. He makes M look good, at least. After a flight on which her behavior was rated at about an F-, I was feeling more than exasperated with my three-year-old. She even pulled some punches of her own (at me) while I battled with her about sitting down and being still on the 4-hour slog across the country. But after a few days of hanging out here, M now seems patient and kind, a child who is able to be polite, play nicely with others, follow directions, and concentrate with a truly decent attention span. She never hits or pushes, and expresses her feelings so well with words. Instead of fighting at all, she removes herself from the situation and is able to independently share and compromise.
M is a joy when it comes to staying busy all day. Sure she gets tired and upset and has her meltdowns, but they pass and she is easily pacified with something new to look forward to. She went on her first real hiking trail with me today and bravely climbed rocky paths and boulders, and then enjoyed a lovely view with me at the top. We just sat up there chatting with other hikers passing by and talking to one another.
She’s probably my best friend, even as I have to guide and parent her as well as play and hang out with her. Maybe that’s kind of sad… I have no one I feel connected enough to, no one friend I feel like I can text or call about random things, no one to vent to or chill with, except my mom. So it’s my mom, me, and my daughter: the three musketeers.
I still miss our fourth and original musketeer (my grandma) so much it’s hard to breathe. I feel like I’m the worst granddaughter not having called her yet on this trip… and then I feel the worst pain in my heart because she’s no longer there to call.
Back to the never-ending drama at hand though: it doesn’t look like staying here during travel nursing would be at all feasible from a stress-level perspective. Hopefully this is just a long phase for the little guy and he grows out of it.