Mimi was in a major funk today after school. She's been in a mood for the week since school started: everything is "booooring" and "toooo haaarrrrd." She wants to come home from school and sit in front of the tv until bedtime, basically, and gets terribly angry at me when I won't let her.
Today I got home from work shortly after my mom picked up both girls from school, and when I came in I could tell it was going to be one of those days. Mom was tired and cranky, Mimi was tired and cranky, and Boo was pretty much the only one glad to see me. I let Mimi finish the show she was watching, and then reminded her that it was time to turn the tv off and have quiet reading time. She is very stubborn about reading, and still wants me to read for her most of the time even though she is perfectly capable, so I am trying to encourage her as much as I can. But reading? It's BOOOOORING and TRIIIICKY and TOOOO HARRRRD. I understand her frustration, and I was ready for it so managed to stay calm and offer to help her with her book. Instead of listening to what I was trying to tell her, she ran across the room and burrowed into a blanket, totally hiding herself.
I know she's stressed and anxious about school and changes and all the new things. I don't know how to help her through this right now. Eventually she came out from under her blanket, after I started reading to Boo. She said she didn't know what to do, so I suggested several options: reading, drawing a picture, coloring, writing a story or a letter. None of those were acceptable. She finally decided it might be ok to go outside and do chalk drawings on the driveway. Boo was thrilled with this idea, but once we got outside Mimi threw herself down on the ground and just stared at the sky. I asked if she wanted me to make a chalk outline of her we could color in but no. I asked if she felt ok, and if something was worrying her, and she said no. Then she thought for a minute and said "I'm just not myself, mom. I don't feel like myself."
Later we came inside and cut out pictures from magazines to paste into a collage. Boo didn't want to come in but was convinced when I told her she could use scissors and a gluestick. Mimi at first just wanted to watch, but she shortly got into the spirit of things and produced a fantastic collage of a peacock on a spaceship exploring the solar system. Then she gave me a big hug and said "Mom, I'm myself again! I'm so happy. I like being myself." Then we put on some music of Mimi's choice and danced around the living room, and both girls dissolved into hysterical laughter while they watched me. "Mom! You are shaking your booty!"
Crisis averted, for tonight, but oh, I am so tired. I don't have the energy for this sort of intense hands-on Mimi management every single night, and keeping Boo entertained at the same time. The evening eventually devolved into fights about coloring and what color a certain princess's hair should be so I had to cut things short; Mimi accuses Boo of copying her but when Boo wanders off to do something else Mimi can't leave it alone and keeps poking at her until Boo comes back and "copies" some more. This is fairly typical sibling stuff and I can manage it, for the most part, but when it's on top of all Mimi's emotional issues, well, I'm exhausted. Mimi will be fine, I know, and Boo totally is fine, but me? I don't know if I'll survive.