We all went outside today. It is sunny and around 70 degrees today...a nice change from the crappy weather we've been having, and I just couldn't bear to keep the kids in. And you know what? They did GREAT! They played nicely and came in when I told them to, taking off their shoes and leaving them by the door as they went into the house. Wow.
I think Jake is a balancing force with the girls. He almost makes it easier... easier than just Olivia and Addie alone. Olivia is an instigator, always trying to cause trouble and explaining it away when she gets caught. "Mommy, I just trying to (insert seemingly reasonable motive here)." Addie is an aggressor and retaliator. If someone has something she wants, she grabs or pushes to get to it. If someone takes something away from her, she bites or hits in response. So, the two girls together just play into each other's games and irritate me all day.
Jake is a helper and a peacemaker. He likes to play with the girls, but he just wants everyone to be happy. So he will share and ask if he can help and look to me to correct wrongs when someone takes something away from him. If one of the girls steals his puppy (like his security blanket), he comes to find me and tells me what happened. He doesn't hit or push.
I'm SO not used to this type of kid, but he's so refreshing.
The girls seem to be following Jake's example, a little at a time. I think that playing together daily is teaching them all a little more about healthy conflict resolution, and I'm hoping that their behavior patterns will all be improved by the end of the year. (Jake's fault, in case you were wondering, is his timidness. If he's not over that after several months of dealing with these girls, I don't know what it will take.)
Also, Luke has been here three days, and he has not spit up on me...not even once! He eats, he burps the moment I put him into burp position, and he never spits up. I didn't even know that was possible.
Let's just say that it's not easy, but this is definitely easier than I thought it would be.