A couple weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I had very little to do compared to when the kids were little and was starting to feel superfluous in their lives.
I shouldn't have worried.
Doodlebug still requires all the parenting skills (and then some) that I employed when he was 3 - direct and constant supervision, redirection, discipline... and now, because he's older, consequences.
Between last Tuesday and today, I've had to deal with him:
-- Sneaking into his sister's room after lights-out time... twice... in a single night
-- Stealing his sister's iPod Touch and using it to watch Minecraft videos... after lights-out... while hiding in the game room closet... less than 5 hours after he returned from spending a weekend at my mom's
-- Trying to, yet again, reverse his days and nights by sleeping in the middle of the afternoon (this one is a constant problem and requires constant vigilance [CONSTANT VIGILANCE!] and redirection while ignoring the myriad squawks and tears and hooting and boneless flopping that go along with it)
-- Getting out of bed at 8:20 when he knows that school has to start at 8:30 if he wants to go to swim and still have free time at the end of the day
-- Stealing candy from the candy jar in the middle of the night and/or whenever Mom's back is turned
-- Making every other day-to-day interaction more difficult due to age, hormones, and/or mental issues.
I am exhausted.
I am done.
It just reminds me of the 2009 study about the stress level in moms whose kids have autism spectrum disorders. Combat soldier? That's about right.