Today I took my kiddo’s to the park; despite my better judgment and my desire to stay home and write. I don’t know what the weather is like in the rest of the country, but here in Jersey it’s hot and humid. So here I am, out in the nasty, sticky heat with my 10-year old son, 8-year old niece and 4-year old daughter. After stopping at a convenience store to get drinks I take them to a local park that I know has trees. That in itself is a double edge sword. Yes, it helps keep the sun off them, but then I’ll have to check them all for ticks when I get home.
Anyway, I’m sitting at a picnic table watching the three of them play; completely amazed at my 4 year olds ability to keep up with the older two. Before long I find myself smiling as I study their interaction. They’re getting along. My son is doting over his sister, pushing her on the swing, playing with his cousin on the teeter totter and generally being the young man he’s slowly becoming. My reservations about the day out slowly begin to fade and just as I begin to think that the day might not be so bad after all, the mood turns.
Of course my niece was the first to start the bickering. She usually is, but my son quickly took the bait and before long all three were arguing over who was going to teeter totter with who. Baffled by the sudden change in tide, I did the only thing I could and took them home. While we ate lunch in silence, I struggled to pinpoint the moment when things went from good to ugly. For the life of me, I’ve yet nail it down. Maybe my life wasn’t normal before my niece came to live with us because my kids rarely fought. Now the arguments and bickering is a daily routine and it’s driving me insane. So I’m asking those mother’s out there to tell me. Is what I’m experiencing with my kids normal or should I be seeking a therapist for my family?