I know you all remember that I told you that my friend, Just Aimee, and I headed off to a mutual vacation last week with our collective kiddos…we lacked only one, making it a total of 7 chil’rens. Aimee’s 15 year old couldn’t make it because he had some English makeup work to do to be able to pass. We were a little bummed about him not coming. I was more than a little anxious about having the two little ones to contend with on my own. They behave much better for Zohrhubby than me. In addition, Little B does not usually react well to changes in his routine. I had a hard time figuring out if even this fun change would bode well for him.
My anxiety was unnecessary, as it turned out. The kids were actually very good, even considering how excited they were to be there and to have so much stuff to do and see. What struck me the most about the entire trip was how awesome Little B behaved. He was so engaged in everything that we did, from swimming to bug hunting to cavern exploring, that he really didn’t have much idle time to get cranky. Even transitioning from one activity to another he handled with style. It was very impressive. I credit much of this to Aimee. She’s heard all the stories, read all the blog posts, and took some time pre-vacay to read all that she could on PDD, and quite frankly, she handled him much better than I ever have. Even though I know that the best way to handle him is with redirecting, I forget sometimes, in the most frustrating of moments. I get nervous about what is about to happen, and instead of shifting his focus, I try to remove him from whatever situation we are in with the least impact on those around us. She was a God-send. Seriously. She talked softly and calmly with him, and explained things and got really good results. She figured out quickly what he really liked, and used that each and every time when redirecting was needed. She handled him so well. He trusted her and he listened to her, and he remained calm (for the most part) because she remained calm. In the pool, he got more and more confident with his ability to not drown and die (as he put it) and began creeping into the “deep” end of the pool, which was about 5 ft. Aimee decided right away that we’d better teach the boy to swim. She worked with him for about 3-4 hours over the course of a couple of days. By the time we left, he was like a fish in the water. It was so awesome to see.
Little A, on the other hand, presented some typical little girl problems that Aimee set out to resolve during their time together, which didn’t quite pan out. Little A is a runner. She will shoot out of your hands and take off running toward a street or parking lot at breakneck speed, and not even hesitate when you yell out her name. She might even turn to look at you and giggle all the while. This drove Aimee insane. And she set about to teach my runaway girl why she shouldn’t do this, and how dangerous it was, and how angry and upset it made her just because of that. I had given those explanations a shot early on in her running career, without success. Zohrhubby and I’s parenting strategy then thusly shifted to “don’t let go of her.” This has been mostly successful, except for those occasions when we forget and accidentally let go of her. It’s hard to spank a giggling angel, but we certainly do that a good portion of the time. It gets easier over time. I think Aimee finally figured out that she wasn’t going to cure Little A of this affliction in 5 days, and she conceded.
I have to give Aimee props. She taught me a lot about motherhood and patience and strength during our vacation. It was a great experience for me and my kids, and I can’t thank her enough for our time together.
The oldest boys (Big E and Cody), decided that next year we are going to Florida. Cody is a ginger-headed freckler, and Big E is the whitest person on the planet. I can’t imagine them on a sunny beach trolling for bikini babes, but that’s their plan. I personally hate sand. But I’m willing to make some concessions. I hope that Aimee had as good a time as she said she did. It’d be really cool to see our kids together for a little while once a year. Watch them grow up and interact with each other. Aimee and I were so close when we were growing up, and we agreed that it’s a shame that this was the first real experience that our children shared together. I’d love to do it again.