The other day, our 6 year old begged her mother not to send her to her dad's. #3 called us to tell us this and to discuss the possibility of keeping our 6 year old on a "Dad weekend". #3 explained that our 6 year old was crying, saying that we were too strict and would yell at her every time she accidentally wet her pants. Thankfully, due to both households regularly communicating, #3 was able to say, "No, they don't yell at you for wetting your pants. They yell at you for lying about it!" #3 didn't want to send her daughter over here if she was that upset about coming over, but at the same time, if she was just experiencing a "toddler moment", then she needed to be shown that she can't just throw a tantrum and get her way. We assured #3 that our 6 year should still come over. We'll all sort it out after the weekend, but we'd do our best to be sensitive about her feelings and that it was possible that our 6 year old just really missed being with her mom. #3 works a lot.
The weekend ended up being a blast! We hung out, played games, took down Christmas decorations and had fun. I checked in with #3 a couple of days after we sent our 6 year old home. #3 said that she talked to her daughter after she got back and said that she actually had fun! She had fun despite the fact that she didn't want to go at first. She had said that she was having so much fun with her mom in the days before she came over, that she didn't want the fun to end. But at the end of the day, she was glad she went over to her dad's.
Our 6 year old learned the importance of a routine. Sometimes you don't want to do what you have to do, but it may not always be as bad as you think it will be. Thank God for the schedule and thank God that the two parents are following it! (And this is proof that it's not just for my sanity.)