My kids are growing like the proverbial weeds. Gabriel is 9; Mikaela will be 8 in February. How did this happen?
This phase in parenting has its ups and downs. They are both a lot more independent. They can both fix sandwiches, toast in the pop-up toaster, or pizza rolls or macaroni in the microwave. Gabriel is doing the family’s laundry, including putting everything away. Mikaela is washing our dishes. We’re giving them small allowances for the dirty work, but they still have to clean up after themselves and keep their rooms clean for nothing.
They both have cute senses of humor, although Gabriel is a bit of a wise-ass. We’re working on that.
The kids both have their strengths and weaknesses in school. Gabriel is doing phenomenally well in reading and English. The only thing that’s a bit of a struggle is math. Well, okay, it can be a LOT of a struggle at times. But his 3rd-grade word problems can even confuse me, so I can’t blame him.
Mikaela is struggling somewhat in math as well, but still doing well overall. She doesn’t have to try very hard and doesn’t like to put forth a whole lot of effort, which frustrates me because she really is very smart. I guess we’ll keep working on that as well.
Gabriel is really into legos right now. His room looks like a shrine to the plastic creations. There’s no telling how much $ we’ve spent on those little plastic bricks. Well, he’s good at it, and I know it fosters creativity and his hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, so I’ll go with it. He also likes playing computer games – and is very good at them, but we limit that on school nights.
Mikaela doesn’t like playing by herself very much, but she plays independently now more than she ever has. Her favorite thing to play is still school. She also likes turning her room into whatever her imagination can make it – a shoe store, a restaurant, the doctor’s office, etc. I think she has more fun doing the actual room transformations than playing whatever she was setting up for, though. Maybe she’ll be an interior designer. Her creative gene is really coming out. She has also recently been cutting scraps of fabric and trying to assemble them into clothes for her stuffed animals. I got her a “first sewing kit” for Christmas. Now I need to find someone who can sew to teach her.
The bad about this phase … sibling rivalry. Oh LORD, help me. It’s awful. From sunup ’till sundown. I really am at a loss. I’ll keep praying about it and hopefully we’ll get it figured out before it drives Jay and I absolutely insane.