As I have observed thus far, it takes the children two days to acclimate to their ‘new’ surroundings. Two days to get used to being at my place for a week after having spent a week with their father, his girlfriend, the girlfriend's two sons, and the dogs and cats at her place - that is, when they go to New Braunfels instead of staying at their father's house.
This acclimation reminds me of the time it takes me to get over the jet lag when I am traveling to Europe and back. It takes me a good two days to be fully functioning. Two days of being drowsy and out of sorts. Thus, in a way, my children 'traveling' to my place feels a bit like jet lag does to me.
This afternoon the children were playing nicely together. Saffron was in Sage's room playing with his new Lego construction set and the Cars puzzle ball I got him whilst Cinnamon was in her and her sister's room drawing a picture for me. They were relatively calm which was a pleasant change from yesterday and were even singing the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song with lyrics I have never heard when I was growing up.
In shock and disbelief, I looked at the girls as they sung '...and that's not all, here comes the baby drinking alcohol'. They first sung these words this afternoon as they were getting out of the car after returning from school. Then they repeated the song during dinner. The girls informed me the entire school knows these words. I then wondered who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to bring the mention of alcohol to school-aged children.
After dinner, as the children were readying themselves for bed, I walked into Sage's room and noticed the puzzle ball pieces and Lego bricks strewn across the floor. I asked them to clean up, not expecting anything to be done unless I urged them several times. To my great surprise, the room was picked up in a span of five minutes as Saffron and Sage worked together to clean up the room.
Much of what I have seen after two days has to do with the children getting more rest by my insisting they crawl into their beds by 19,30h. Much sleep is what they need and is what I make sure they get plenty of when they stay with me. As another point of disbelief, Saffron asked if she could sleep with her brother in his room. She even said he could lay his head on her pillow.
When I checked on the oldest and the youngest later in the night, I noticed they were giving each other space and sleeping soundly. Having gone to bed relatively early, the children will be well rested come the morning. Then the whole cycle starts again on Friday when they return to the other place.