As for most, the summer has kept us occupied. Between camp, visitors, eating, sleeping and my brother's wedding this coming weekend, we've been busy.
We've made some changes to our days which seem to have helped the boys have fewer conflicts. Basically, every morning before Al and I totally awoke, H and L would play together in their room with Legos, drawing supplies, etc. Every morning we would be forced out of bed by L crying "Habtam no! Stop it! I no like that!" Um, probably these phrases would be repeated 15-20 times a minute. We would enter their room to find H stony-faced while L sobbed in frustration over a taken toy, a push off the bed, or 3 Legos to H's 103.
Every day H's chart would be all happy faces -- except for the early morning section. I began to separate them as soon as I heard the first cries of injustice. No punishment, no chidings, just asked them to play in separate rooms. Quiet. After 2 days of this, we decided to ask H (who wakes up a full 45 minutes before L most days) to go into the extra room we have as soon as he awoke. There are toys in there, books, drawing supplies, and writing supplies. We've been doing this for almost a week now, and the mornings are quiet, the boys are happy to see one another after their early morning apart (what you do, Habtam? Cool! See what I make? Good job, Lire!"), and Al and I can sleep an extra 45 minutes or so!
Another change is that we give H simple writing exercises in the mornings. He practices writing his letters and copying new words. He really likes it and it seems to focus him like nothing else. Even more than drawing, which he has been off of for a few months. H is a basically practical person who likes for the things that he does to be for a purpose. He knows that letters make words, and that words create the books that we read. Writing is more grown-up, as well, in his eyes.
I'm not sure how long it will last, but for now the peace is very encouraging. Both boys can have time to play/create without competition, to have a successful and quiet morning before breakfast and the rest of their day. And we get to sleep more.
And now for their latest album cover:
And the liner image (for those of you who actually remember albums...