Today James and his dad took the three boys to Canada's Wonderland. They aren't home yet, but all reports so far have been outstanding. Other than when, halfway through the day, a ride operator insisted on re-measuring Caleb and measured him 1/2" shorter than when he was measured at the gate. Then he demoted his bracelet, which meant there were a bunch of rides he could no longer go on, that he had been riding all morning. TERRIBLE! I wouldn't have minded had they measured him that in the first place, but to take away rides from a kid? Caleb had a meltdown for about an hour. I probably would have, too. Have some consistency, Wonderland. Rant over.
With all three boys gone today, it was just me and Juliette. A little glimpse of what September will hold. You wouldn't believe all we did today. I drove down into Brampton to shop for her birthday party supplies. I painted the front steps. We went on a 2 hour walk, and a 30 minute bike ride. Juliette rode in her bike carrier seat on the back of my bike for the first time. We did a mini photo shoot. We played the guitar and sang songs. We cleaned up the house. We had lunch and dinner together.
You know what I realized? How incredibly draining Benjamin can be. I wrote a couple of days ago about having a non-compliant child, and some methods I'm trying to use in dealing with him. But I didn't realize just how much of my time and attention (like, all my time and attention) he demands every day until he wasn't there to demand it.
Benjamin requires 100% of your attention. Half of the time its because he's asking for something or needing something, and the other half of the time its because he's going to do something that will harm himself or someone else. You literally cannot drop your guard for a second with him. And trying to get him to do anything requires either a genius level kind of mental coercion, or a really great trick, or good old coaxing and bribery. Simple tasks like getting dressed, eating dinner, or going to the bus stop are great sources of stress because it's never a matter of just asking.
To sum it up, for one entire year now, Benjamin has demanded every moment of my day, and Juliette has demanded every moment of my nights (she still wakes every 2 hours.) Well no wonder I'm zapped! At any rate, while I'm sure I'll miss his cheery smile, infectious laugh, and my sports/outdoorsy companion, school in the fall will provide the first break I've had since Colin was a year old. It will be a treat to spend some one on one time with my little girl.