Yesterday was the third day in a row that we had three kids in addition to Ax over at our place for three-hour playdate after camp. Towards the end of the day one of his buddies came to me and said, “Ax locked us out of his room.” I walked down the hall to his room and knocked on the door. “Honey, what’s going on?” I said. Through the door, he said, “I just need some quiet time.” I said, “Needing quiet time is fine but you can’t just lock everyone out without telling them what’s going on. They think you’re mad at them.”
As I said this I realized I’m holding him to a rather high standard of communicativeness. When I need to shut down, to close the door and lock everyone out, when I’ve hit the wall and am done-done, I don’t always have the grace to tell those around me what’s going on. Sometimes I just have to go.
Ax said, cracking open the door, “I did tell them but they didn’t hear me.” I said, “Ok, well next time try to make sure they hear you. Why don’t you come on out, they’re going home soon so how about you finish up playing while they’re still here and then we can have some shows and some milk after they go?”
So he slonked out and got back into the swing of things briefly and then everyone left and I put on his show and he ate a large bowl of pasta, then two scrambled eggs, then three servings of spoonwich (peanut butter and jelly in a bowl), and two cups of milk. Then we did early bedtime routine and passed out.
Today is the last day of the first week of camp. We have no after-camp playdates scheduled and Ax has already requested “a quiet afternoon.” I think it’s okay that we pushed our edge a bit this week. And I’m curious to see if I can do a better job of balancing up time and down time for us next week. I don’t want to get to done done too often, I’d rather cruise in the sweet spot of energized, stimulated, relaxed, breathing.
So I’ve got to notice fatigue before the sirens go off, before my child is locking himself in a room and I’m wild-haired gasping for breath. Balance. Staying balanced, rather than tipping from one side of the teeter-totter to the other and calling it even. Avoiding touch down altogether, sensing needs, addressing them, floating, being okay. It’s doable. I’m gonna give it a whirl.