A busy, emotional night

Background: Many times a day, Elliott says “I’m not in a good mood.”  Today/tonight was one of those days where he especially wasn’t in a good mood.  There are things that Natalie does to provoke him – e.g. getting way too close to his face or kissing on him or “parenting him”.  We often try to ask her to give him space.  Sometimes she is as sweet as can be, other times totally inflexible.

Tonight: After dinner, we played freeze tag – one person is “it,” another is the “unfreezer,” and another is just regular.  Natalie let Elliott go first.  He was “it” for a long time – and didn’t get to tag Natalie as many times as he would probably like.  Then I was “it” for a short time, before Elliott wanted to be “it” again.  Natalie’s unfairness radar went up immediately – she wanted to be “it”.  A lot of argument around this – she got a short turn, then Elliott wanted to play superheros, then he got a short turn, then Natalie agreed to play superhero freeze tag.  However, she tagged him 3x very close to each other, so he was frustrated and wanted to quit.  And that made her frustrated.  E has a tantrum.  N has a mean face, says he’s acting like a baby, etc. Fast forward to Natalie time out.

In Natalie’s time-out, she is feverishly working on writing him a message on this super cute stationary that she got from a rummage sale in Chicago.  Meanwhile, Elliott is picking out a book – Mo Willems’ “I’m invited to a party!” (with Piggie and Gerald the Elephant).

I tell Natalie she can come out of her room whenever she wants – she insists on finishing up the letter to Elliott.  She simultaneously tries to convince me not to read to them together – I explain that I have to read to them together, there’s only one grown here; Dad is all the way in Europe!  She responds: “What?!? Europe?  I thought he was in London!”

She hands the envelope to Elliott.  The front mini envelope says: “To Elliott”.  The inside says something along the lines of You need to lrn you lesin (“You need to learn your lesson).  She gives Elliott the envelope.  He is THRILLED!  He exclaims: “I’m invite to a party!”  This infuriates Natalie…  “It’s not a party.  It’s a note about learning your lesson (insert mean face).”  Elliott is coveting this piece of paper and jumping on the bed.  He is excited about the stamps on it, which gets Natalie a little excited and she decides she does want to kindly share the stamps.

Now we’re reading books and Natalie continues to work on her messages. (She is just writing constantly nowadays – I swear she writes through every meal.)  She decides to write another message where she does invite Elliott to a party.  Although Elliott likes this, he is very bothered by the fact that Natalie got this stationary kit from a rummage sale in Chicago.

E: Where was I when this was happening?
M: Sleeping
E: Why was I sleeping?
M: B/c you were one year old and slept 2x a day
E: What did you pick out for me?
M: A lamp with trains that’s in your room now! (Thinking very much so this answer was a strong one)
E: It’s not trains – its trucks.  And lamps aren’t fun!
{back to reading}
E: But I still sad about not having what Natalie has.  Its way too long til my birthday! (WAH)

A few minutes later, Natalie starts to talk about having a club…. a home club, where we can have parties.  (It’s a snow day tomorrow so we decide that the home club can have a PJ breakfast party.)

<Background – The kids love the idea of clubs.  It sounds like there’s a couple clubs going on at Natalie’s school and/or through playdates.  Our 5th and 8th grade neighbor also started an outdoor club, which the kids were THRILLED to be invited to.  We haven’t had an activity yet.>

Somehow, Elliott knows that clubs have leaders.  He wonders if he can be a leader.  Natalie decides she has to take a bathroom break and she will consider his request while in the bathroom.  He is jumping on the bed, eagerly waiting her “permission” to be a leader.  She emerges triumphantly – she has made her decision: “You can be a leader in the home club!”  Elliott is ecstatic: “I a leader!  I a leader!”  He jumps over to give her a kiss and a hug.  Now Natalie is ecstatic!  “He’s never given me that big of a kiss ever!”

Natalie seems to feel bad for me and offers me a leader spot too.  I say that’s so nice but that I’ve been a leader of a lot of things so I am happy to just be a member and follow along with their rules.  Natalie agrees with this; Elliott is skeptical.  Then I tell him, “Remember you say kids rule, moms drool so kids really should be the leaders.”  This sound rationale works for him.

The kids are so excited about being leaders in the home club – Natalie alternates between talking non-stop and quietly working on a membership card for him.  By the time the story ends, she has finished a membership card: “You are ficily a ldr.” (You are officially a leader.”)  Elliott gazes at the card, starts jumping again, with the coveted messages in hand.  Then Natalie finds ANOTHER bigger envelope to put them all in.  Elliott thinks this is all great.

At bedtime, Natalie wants to cuddle with Elliott while I sing to him. (He NEVER allows this and did tonight.)  She offers to sing him Paw Patrol – or a leader song.  He obviously chooses a leader song.  It goes something like this:

Elliott’s a leader.  We follow our leader.  We follow our leader everywhere.  He plans stuff for us to do.  He’s a leader, leader, leader.  We follow our leader everywhere.  (x3 – I’m forgetting the rest of the words.)

And then she throws in Paw Patrol for bonus – finishing with a little jazz of leader at the end again.

So much emotion, sibling rivalry and cuteness wrapped up into 90 minutes.  I never have time to write a story this long, but I’m lucky that my work has a snow day tomorrow too, so I don’t need to work tonight!  I can save that for the snow day – after the pancake breakfast party and likely some science experiments, of course!

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