Poor Lainy Ann. She is surrounded by boys. She has three younger brothers and it seems that all of our friends have boys, if they do have a girl, she is at least 4 years younger than her. To add insult to injury she has absolutely no cousins her age. So her princess movies go unwatched and she is always begging to go with me when I go out with my girlfriends.
Last summer my step-mother suggested Lainy Ann visit them for about a week. This wouldn't be a regular visiting grandma and grandpa trip. My father and step-mother adopted two girls who are now about the same age as Lainy Ann. While I thought she would have a blast I was a little apprehensive. This would be her first long trip away from home, another state even. But we dove in head first.
The reaction from her siblings I did not count on. I first mentioned the trip a week before she was to leave. Connor spent that day yelling at me, crying and threatening all sorts of things. I would tell him its bed time and he would say "only if I can go with Lainy Ann". I have never seen such a fierce love for someone.
I decided not to talk about it anymore in front of Connor. We weren't going to change the plans and it would just upset him. The day before Lainy Ann left she started packing her clothes. Connor also packed his clothes. It didn't matter how many time I told him he was staying at home and we had a week of special outings planned. He would sob and cry and threaten. He would try anything to go along with Lainy Ann, he didn't want to be without her.
Once Lainy Ann got to Arizona things were fine. Connor stopped the tantrums and crying and we were able to settle into a nice routine with Connor being the oldest. He slept in Lainy Ann's room all week and had other special privileges and chores. It was really interesting to see the family fall into a different rhythm without Lainy Ann around. William and Alexander became closer and more brotherly. They took over the boys room and played together tons. Connor took over Lainy Ann's room and read books and played Legos. Connor was super helpful with household responsibilities and as a result he got to have a later bedtime.
Lainy Ann was different too. When we saw her again in Arizona she had matured. She was being responsible for her well-being and doing things when asked the first time.
But less than a week after Lainy Ann came home everything went back to the way it was. Connor and Lainy Ann are inseparable. Lainy Ann was directing play and not doing chores. The only thing that stayed the same was the two little ones; William and Alexander have stayed fast friends and like to play together often . . . . if I can keep Connor and Lainy Ann occupied.