A while ago I told you all about the challenging experience that Casey and I had with my niece Ashlynne for a weekend, I also alluded to an upcoming challenge to have her for a whole week. We had a strong game plan in place soon after Ashes arrived. We gathered at the kitchen table to discuss the household rules. After signing the agreed upon standards of behavior, we developed the schedule of activities for the week. We wanted to be proactive so we didn’t hear the dreaded words “I’m bored.”
Even a great, fun-filled schedule like this couldn’t immunize us from the pains of parenting a preteen. For 3 nights in a row, I not only went to bed late, having to tuck her in, but was also woken up in the middle of the night. I love my niece. I love my husband. But after a few nights of little sleep, rising early to make lunches, working all day then fulfilling our schedule at night, you would have thought otherwise. Although exhausted, the week went really well. Casey and I stuck to our behavior rules and really enjoyed the quality time we spent with Ashes, who was loving camp.
The goal of the trip was for Casey and Ashes to have some bonding time. It seemed they have a unique way of bonding. Their game of choice, banana whack. Similar to punch bug, but with yellow vehicles. It opened up the door for “goodbye slap” from Ashes to Casey that didn’t go over very well. Needless to say, we’ve learned it’s hard to draw a line of acceptable and not. We discovered that preteens are all about privacy, even with their illegal Facebook profiles. We also gained an new appreciation for parents, especially working parents with preteens. Thankfully, even if we got pregnant tomorrow, we have 11 years to learn from this week.