narrated by: Benjamin
We recently had to move Isla into Ainsley’s room, something that made Ainsley super excited. We picked out bunk beds, and let the girls help pick out accessories. But when the time came for Isla to move out of her toddler bed, and into the bunk bed, it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be such a smooth transition.
Everyone says that it gets easier the older the girls get, but Isla is not proving that to be true. She is outright rude to Ainsley, and rejects any type of affection or friendship from her. Ainsley was heartbroken over the relationship with her sister, and sharing a room turned out to brew more fighting.
Isla loves her room, she tells us, she just hates sharing with Ainsley. This makes her sister upset, and then Isla smiles gleefully from it.
Isla doesn’t just jab with mean words, she gets physical with Ainsley as well. Grace will go outside from laying Tillie down for a nap and find the girls in the throes of battle.
We were glad when Ainsley started fighting back, just so she wasn’t always the victim. Isla didn’t appreciate being beaten by her big sister, but it didn’t stop the fights from happening.
We send Isla in for time out, we take turns talking to her, grounding her, nothing seems to get through to her.
There isn’t peace at night ether, we think we got all the girls to bed, and sneak outside to watch the rain fall, and then Ainsley is coming out to tattle on Isla.
It is enough that I am happy having just three girls, and am grateful that Tillie is very sweet in nature. Ainsley was always very easy to raise, and Tillie seems to be following in her footsteps. It still doesn’t make Isla any easier to handle though, and we really don’t want her to grow up and be like Grace’s sister, Emma.
It didn’t help that the summer was ninety percent rain, it made the girls all stuck inside during the day at home and at the farm where Grace’s Dad babysits them while we work. They behave only slightly better over there, not enough that we can just blame ourselves for the behavior.
Nicole talked to Grace about it when she came to pick up the girls one night, she’s also worried about Isla, but also how it will hurt Ainsley in the long run as well.
Generally, we don’t listen to Grace’s parents for advice, they seemed to flounder and push their agenda more than we are inclined to do with our kids. But sometimes it helps to hear others ideas, especially when there seems to be nothing else left to try.
Nicole suggested that we take the girls up to the Cascade Mountains for a long weekend, her and Finn would keep Tillie for us, so we could just focus on the older two. Her idea was that we could do team building exercises and fun, and help them find a common ground to relate to one another.
We really liked the idea, Grace was so onboard that she arranged for our accommodations before I got home from the station that night. Tillie is only one, and used to being with her Grandparents, that she didn’t even bat an eye when we left her there. Grace was more upset by the separation, but she was determined to help Ainsley and Isla connect, that she didn’t mope too much over it.
We started with some games, and it seemed to be going rather well, the girls were enjoying themselves and even encouraging one another.
But when Isla lost, she threw a giant tantrum, and started kicking her legs and blaming Ainsley for it.
I guess it was too good to be true that one simple board game would solve all our dilemmas. I made her leave with me to the arcade for a breather, and that seemed to help. She told me that she isn’t perfect like Ainsley, and I believe that is where the animosity started, but we don’t believe any of the girls are perfect. Telling that to a four year old doesn’t seem to get me far though.
I was able to get her back to the game, and in better spirits over her loss. Sometimes I just have to take the small victories and enjoy them.
Grace put them in an art class together, and they enjoyed that. Neither of them were great at painting nor particularly in love with the class, but it still allowed them to connect and for me and Grace to sneak away.
It’s beautiful up in the mountains, I know we aren’t alone in visiting and then instantly wanting to buy a cabin up here. We checked out some local sites, and even looked at some reality, but it’s not in our budget anytime soon. I told Grace we could look into it when Tillie was older and could actually enjoy herself on vacation.
The rain seemed to follow us, and we were scared to be trapped into our small two bedroom cabin with fighting girls and no cable television. But we had a covered deck, so we could at least sit outside for fresh air, and Ainsley taught Isla how to dance like the kids at school do, and this pleased her.
By the end of our vacation, the girls were getting along almost the entire time. The dancing seemed to show Isla that her big sister could teach her a few things, and then they built a sandcastle and Ainsley took Isla’s ideas.
Nine years ago, we came to this very beach, staying in the tiny cabins behind us, celebrating our honeymoon, and plotting when to start a family. Seems unreal all that has happened since then, and the amount of daughters we’ve accumulated since.
I’m looking forward to coming back to the lake with Tillie when she’s old enough, and grateful that Nicole suggested this weekend.
Their favorite time was the campfire at night, Ainsley was interested in how it all worked, so kept me company while I got it started.
Isla only cared about the marshmallows so stayed in the cabin until it was all set up for her. Grace is the same way too, it was chilly in the mountains, it even hailed one night.
Grace thinks we need to add a fire pit to our patio now, so we can do this at our leisure. I think it would take away the specialness if we did, but I have to admit it would be nice to just relax at our own home instead of driving three hours to the mountains to have a s’more.
It was late by the time we returned home, and raining. Ainsley is generally very calm, but got very upset with the rain. She has reached her limit it would seem.
All in all, the trip seemed to work. The girls were playing together nicely, and leaving each other be, when they wanted to play alone.
Grace is now able to enjoy Tillie on her days off instead of separating the big girls, it’s making our quality of life much better.
Notes: As soon as Isla transitioned into a child, she started fighting with Ainsley. I don’t know why, I just know that I was updating DNA strings and they all ran off to watch the fight. When I came to play, Isla was angry with Ainsley, and had a very low score, while Ainsley had over 60 score with Isla, and no anger. Ainsley would try to tell secrets, play catch, or give her a hug, and Isla would always reject, poor Ainsley was very sad! But the trip did fix it, the anger went away, and while they aren’t technically friends, they are much closer to that.
Benjamin’s IFS is 3, and Grace’s is 2. I want them to have a fourth, another little girl, and so I did not set their IFS this time, nor give them birth control, and naturally they did not try for another baby. Of course. I just think Benjamin is the perfect Dad of all girls. ❤
Hope this was a nice update after Annie's fate. It felt good for me to play something more cheerful. Thanks for reading!