The first few days after we officially “moved in” to our house were admittedly tough. There were piles of boxes to unpack, we had to put the kids to bed later than normal because there were no blinds on their windows, and everyone was overtired and overstimulated. Parker was bugging his sisters like crazy, Fiona found an extra-loud decibel to scream back at him, and Madi…well, Madi was a bit harder to figure out.
She told us repeatedly that she didn’t like the new house, because it was too new, too fancy, and she didn’t like sleeping in a room by herself. She whined about everything, woke up crying because she was sweaty from hiding under her covers, and had an attitude that registered off the normal chart in every way possible. I didn’t know what to do, because she typically doesn’t act out this much, and I wasn’t sure if she was hitting a new cranky phase or whether I could blame it solely on the move.
How do you help your kids work through big changes while still parenting them appropriately? It’s tough, because you know that there are external forces at work and you want to be sensitive to those, but at the same time, you don’t want to send the message that every time things are tough, it’s carte blanche for behaving badly. Not the best lesson, in my mind.
So, we worked through some major temper tantrums, survived lengthy crying sessions, and refused to tolerate the attitude. It was only a week, but it felt like ten. I can’t imagine being a family that has to work through a really serious upheaval. To that point, it gives me a greater appreciation for what my parents had to deal with when we moved after my sixth grade year, and I acted just like, if not worse, than Madi…for almost two years. Yikes.
But then, today rolled around, and I came home from work to find two little cards that Madi had made for Ben and I…
So sweet, in a perfect seven-year-old way. It did my heart good, and made me relax just a little bit more. Now…if I could just figure out how to get Fiona to sleep through the night?