siblings · slice of life

What should we do today?

Last week, our family spent five days in Bethany Beach, DE. This week is filled with back-to-school activities and more medical appointments than any person without school age children would ever schedule in a month! As a result, at breakfast, my children wanted to know what they’d be doing after Isabelle’s allergy shots.

I offered ideas that Isabelle (who was sporting a fabulous tween attitude) found abhorrent. For instance, when I suggested Ari’s favorite playground, she said, “A playground? That’s boring!” while rolling her eyes.

“What do you suggest?” I asked.

“Hersheypark!” she retorted.

“Hersheypark was never on the table for today. You both have appointments in the mid-afternoon and I have work that needs to be done.”

“What else can we do?” she asked.

“We could go peach picking,” I offered.

“I don’t want to go peach picking,” Isabelle replied. (Ari, on the other hand, was tickled by that idea. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a freshly harvested peach?!!? Tweens, that’s who!)

“Why don’t you come up with another idea.”

“Well, you know what I’m going to say,” Isabelle remarked.


Isabelle let out her frustration with an audible grunt.

“Do you have any other ideas?” she wanted to know.

“Yes, I do. We could go to Ken’s Gardens to plant new succulents to replace the ones that perished.”

“I don’t want to do that,” Isabelle said while Ari yelped with delight.

“Your brother would be happy at a playground, picking peaches, or going to the planting bar. You can make the final decision, but it has to be one of those three things.”

“How about the pool?” Isabelle offered.

“Make a choice from the three I gave you or Ari and I will make it for you.”

“Fine, we can plant succulents,” she replied petulantly.

In the end, she enjoyed creating a new succulent arrangement. But, ohmigosh, it’s time for her to head back to school!

Top left: Mine; Top right: Isabelle’s; Bottom: Ari’s
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22 thoughts on “What should we do today?

  1. Heaven help us with tween attitudes (!!). You relayed the story so well; I could feel all of Ari’s eagerness on the verge of being squashed. You handled this issue of choice admirably – the matter-of-fact ‘make it or it will be made for you’. And of course Isabelle enjoyed making the succulent arrangement! It was a delightful and creative choice. Love seeing what each of you did, in the photo.

    1. This wasn’t the first make it or we make it for you moment of the summer. The last time it happened (about three weeks ago) we wanted to go to an orchard to pick berries and veggies. She didn’t. Ari and I decided to ignore her grumping when we arrived. After 20 minutes she came around! Oh, the agony and ecstasy of being 11…

  2. No more home schooling? You balanced the two kids well- Ari got to do something he was excited about while Isabell chose the “least boring” choice for her (and of course, had fun). Soom she will learn she can have fun doing things her friends might not get to do and “blame” it on having to do them with her little brother.

    1. Nope. It was only temporary until they got vaccinated. I could’ve sent her back mid-year, but I worried about sending her back mid-year. We stayed the course and I’m so glad we did.

  3. Forgive me. I grinned hard in commiseration with this. Oh, the memories of my own at that stage, being obstinate just for the sake of being stubborn. You handled it well and a good time was had by all in the end. Show her this slice in a couple a years and enjoy the shared laugh/groan of “Tweens, that’s who!” .

  4. Oh man! I SO traveled back in time with your posts. Just a few words, and expressions zoomed in on a time period that was chock full of angst.
    Glad that part is over, and hoping yours will pass quickly. 🙂

  5. just what you might expect from a tween! I have a tale of a 3 year old who acted the same way on Aug. 1st. He informed his mother she needed to go back to work so he could go to Grandpa and Grandma’s school. He got dresses and packed himself a lunch and stood at the door ready to go. They do have minds of their own at all ages. Glad I don’t have to deal with your tween or my grandson when he is a tween. Good Luck this year!

  6. What I loved about this piece was the delightful contrast between Ari, hung-ho for every idea, and Isabelle who can’t want to do anything a parent suggests. On principle. Also, the inclusion of the eye-roll emoji! Fun writerly move!!

  7. “Tweens, that’s who!” You’ve really captured the moment in the dialogue here – I feel like I could have had this conversation at my house. And don’t think I didn’t notice that she came up with a potentially viable option *after* you set the limits. SIGH. Good for you for your patience & good for her for the succulents!

  8. Stacey, fun post. I like the succulent gardens you all planted. What fun. And yes, time for school to start, it sounds like. Enjoy the new year. Blessings!

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