We had coop classes in the morning, and when we got back and finally got around to eating lunch, the boys started one of those "if you could do anything, what would you do" conversations. It turned out that they wanted to work on their backyard pit/shelter. I still had schoolwork planned out, but no desire to fight to implement it. We left the park day early because the baby was done. I figured, let them go out there, dig, work as a team, enjoy some sunshine. If you manage to get along with your annoying siblings for a couple hours of intense project, you will manage to get along with anyone.
Schools and workplaces pay money for team-building exercises, training people to work together towards a common goal. I can get my kids to have this kind of training for free.
When they left the table, I reminded them about a dishwasher that needed to be unloaded. Boys do it together, and 4 yo has been helping out. This time they included her in the division of labor, and talked it out, to make sure it is fair for all. They assigned her a small section. 9 yo asked whether it would make more sense for them all to just do whichever part needs to be done and then he answered that it would be like socialism and nobody would work, expecting others to unload instead. I silently cracked up. He went on, saying how we need features of both socialism and capitalism. He asked his sister to hand him a plate and she said :"Yes, master!" with admiration. He told her not to say it: "It reminds me too much of slavery. Could you just call me "leader" instead?"
They are definitely sorting out their relationships.
I am enjoying a sudden burst of free time.