Thanks for your well-wishes.
The mood broke a little when we sat down to second breakfast. I started making a list of things we could do to distract from the "boredom" (only nominal the problem with dd1; the real reason was something simmering much deeper) and the whiny mood from dd2 who fussed about everything this morning. I mean everything. The competitiveness is reaching a crescendo in the last couple of days, in part due to the warm weather and increased activity.
I'm a fair bit more authoritarian on a regular basis for it to be a surprise. Something that needs fixing, for sure.
So I sat down with them and made a list of chores I needed to do (minimal, just for the sake of the mood) and what they needed to do (namely baths and chick-duty) and then listed the activities we could do (baking cupcakes, bike riding, baseball, hula hoops, "predator and prey", jump rope). It seemed to help a little, and the suggestion to get out of the house sounds fabulous after we finish the baths. We haven't had good enough weather to make a trip to the little community park the next town over. They have a walking/bike trail, very small, and they haven't been there since they figured out how to ride with the pedals on their bikes. They've been bugging me about when they could go there, when the weather would be good enough. Thanks for the mental nudge!
So, the pressure has eased a little. I think we are just wiped out. But no matter the reason, it is so difficult to wake up and have nothing but fighting and competitiveness and whining and crying about every little thing. My patience just snapped. I just could not think of any single thing that would actually help at all between those two. Waiting it out helped. Now I feel for my mother who just couldn't ease the tension between us girls, something I was really upset at her over for decades. Now I have some sympathy for the situation.