The sixth summer of Madeline has probably been the most trying one in recent memory. If I go back farther into the archives of my brain, her very first summer was crazy, of course, but she was brand-new and didn't know any better.
Yesterday, she announced to me that when her sister was having her afternoon nap, I need to come up to her room. Apparently, Madeline decided that I needed some "How to Be a Good Mom" lessons, the focus of which was on ways that I should be making my children happy. From the sounds of this, that means unlimited access to sugar, television, video games, and a certain birthday scooter. I explained that the focus of my parenting was more about ensuring that she was offered healthy foods, a good education, and reinforcement of manners and positive behaviours, but this seemed ludicrous to those little six year-old ears. She'd rather have a stockpile of chewing gum and a Nintendo DS with a battery that never runs out.
It's been a transitional summer, and I know that is at least partly influencing Madeline's super-hyper behaviour. We were without her dad around for about six weeks, she said goodbye to her friends in Thailand, and we are in a new-to-us city and home. That is a lot of stuff to pack into a three-month frame of time.
It's difficult for me, but I try to remain patient and not let my disappointment show too much. I think that the hardest part is seeing how Madeline could not be bothered to practice her reading and writing skills over the summer. I feel very stressed, thinking about how her penmanship will hold her back in the first grade, and wish that I could find some sort of way to convince her to sit down for fifteen minutes with her Handwriting Without Tears photocopies from her old teacher. I have trouble understanding why she doesn't care (won't even exchange a completed worksheet for time to play her beloved Super Mario Bros.!) and I am internally appalled with this manifestation of laziness in my six year-old's body.
School resumes in fourteen days. I think that we are both looking forward to the change of routine.