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We have the 2 dsd (15&13) for 2 weeks in the summer. Weekly phone calls with Dh the rest of the year. This summer visit just ended. It was rough. By the time my "spirited" dd adjusted to them, they were gone. Dh and I spend most of our energy keeping the dsd "happy" to no avail. After the first few days of the "honeymoon" period I could tell they hated being near dd, which of course made her "act-up". Well they just left this afternoon, by plane. dd cried the whole way home about how she misses them (never really happened before, though we always had a 18hr car trip to take them home and back so I guess we kinda used that time to adjust).
when the dsd called their mom at the airport they were told they would be going to Outback for dinner to celebrate their return.
I feel like our "small family" could use some closure. Does anybody have an end of visit ritual they would like to share?
 

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I'd be interested in this too! End of visit has always been very sad/bittersweet at our end, and dd has always had a tough time. It's actually easier now she's 3 and gets the general concept of her sisters going away and coming back, but she wants to go with them, and she cries. (Well, a whole other story is that her oldest sister has, with her mom's support, refused to come the last two access periods, so dd is left wondering why she only sees one out of the two).

I also understand how rough it is to deal with your own child's sadness at her sibs disappearing, while they're all aglow with excitement at the welcome back presents and promises of special treats at their mom's place. I think dd thinks the city they live in must be the most magical place in the world - it's where her sisters disappear too, and they talk about how much they miss it and the toys and gifts they'll get when they go back...

We just generally try to have some 'small family' time together doing something special and low-key that maybe we didn't do during the visit because it only really interests dd; we also try to reconnect with pals her age after the whirlwind of so much stepkid-centered activity. I do worry about her feeling like all special activities/events/outings happen when they're here, as she gets older. She's also usually really tired from keeping up with them, and sleeps a lot when they go back.
 
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