Jamie Lee Curtis wrote a great book called "It's Hard to be Five." It talks about the struggles five-year-olds go through as they move into bigger bodies and bigger emotions. It gives examples of how hard it it to control those bodies and emotions. I think I'd like to rename it "It's Hard to be Seven."
The girls are just struggling these days. They are so tired from school that we've cut out most after-school activities. They are anxious to learn everything and get frustrated when they don't get it right the first time. They are frustrated because the favorite pants/shorts/skort/skirt/shirt/dress they wore last week doesn't fit this week.
The blond twin expresses this mostly when she's doing her homework. She's a perfectionist who catches on quickly. She works hard to make sure she not only knows the answer, but understand how to arrive at it the next time. Her frustrations show up when she doesn't understand something the very first time. This morning the blond twin threw her pencil on the breakfast bar and started crying because she misspelled the word kayak. I keep saying, "You're a little girl just learning all this stuff. You're not supposed to get it right every time." It doesn't seem to help her, though.
The brunette twin is sitting somewhere between "I love Disney princesses" and "I'm too old to play with princess stuff." She's frustrated a lot and doesn't know why. My "what's wrong?" Is usually met with "I don't know." Yesterday we were walking Oreo when the blond twin started crying. I asked "what's wrong?" She replied, "Sissy pushed me down." After a long conversation dragging information out of her piece by piece the brunette twin finally admitted pushing her sister because she thought the blond twin farted as we were walking. I said, "For this you pushed your sister down? Why didn't you just tell me so I could handle it?" She replied, "I don't know."
These are the times I want to take them back to earlier days when it was all carefree and fun. I know this is part of growing up. I know that the way they learn to deal with these things will impact how they deal with frustrations in the future. I know that "this too shall pass" is a great phrase to repeat when we're in the middle of these frustrating days.
I just want to make it easier for them. I don't want the blond twin to cry because she misspelled kayak. I don't want the brunette twin to push her sister in frustration. Still, I know we cannot make it easy for them all the time. They need to learn to deal with life's problems in a way that is constructive. If they don't learn it now, it won't get any easier to teach this lesson when they are older. I still don't like it, but I understand and hope we'll be able to help them find ways to grow into their growing bodies and emotions.