I'm finding that in a lot of ways, I'm not the mommy I want to be. I feel like I don't spend much of my time playing and teaching, but rather spend my day refereeing and putting out fires.
The girls frustrate each other a lot. Middie Biddie just wants to sit and focus on something, but Teeny Tiny immediately wants to be involved so she practically shoves MB aside from what she's playing with and takes over. Then she gets frustrated quickly and throws whatever it is and goes into melt down. By that time, Middie Biddie has either sought solace on my lap or has moved on to another toy and the cycle starts over again. TT wants to play with MB, and sometimes attempts to display some affection towards her, but MB has become so accustomed to TT just stealing her toys outright and ruining her games (we're seriously trying to stop this) that TT is simply not her favorite person at the moment.
Yesterday MB refused to nap so I got her up and we played with a clock puzzle for about an hour. I haven't had this puzzle available to the girls yet because it's a toy that requires a lot of small pieces and around here, that means the toy will be destroyed quickly as the pieces are flung into small unreachable corners. But with just one child, I was able to keep track of the pieces and she really enjoyed learning how the puzzle worked, and finding success in identifying numbers and where the shapes go.
I want to do more of this kind of thing. Middie Biddie really enjoys the quiet concentration, and I want the opportunity to teach Teeny Tiny better frustration coping skills so she can enjoy it too. But as it is, I don't get to do that, I just have to deal with the fire that springs up, get the children pacified, and then wait to spring into action for the next one. As a result, we spend far too many days with the TV on because it greatly reduces the amount of tantrums. Of course, it also greatly reduces the amount of learning and playing going on as well.
My folks are coming over tonight to watch the girls so K and I can go out. I think I'm going to talk to them about finding an hour here and there throughout the week to take one of the girls out so I can play with each of them one at a individually from time to time. K and I were going to try to do this on days that we're both home, but this really hasn't come to fruition. Now that I'm working on the days that he isn't, on the rare occasion that we're both available as parents, we generally want to spend that time as a family of four rather than splitting up again. So maybe if my parents can come and retrieve one child, take her back to their place for an hour to play, we can all get more one on one time that every child deserves, and I can spend more time being a better mom. And maybe once they've had a little time apart, they'll enjoy each others company more when they're together.