And when is "I'm bored" a secret code for some bigger issue? We drove 125 miles this morning to drop difficult child 1 off at a sleep-away camp for kids with bowel diseases. I dragged easy child and difficult child 2 along for the ride, which went amazingly well. easy child had her Gameboy and her artbox, and she sat happily playing and drawing and looking out the window at the scenery. She sat in the back seat with difficult child 2, who kept himself entertained with his Gameboy and his iPod. difficult child 1 sat up front with me and it was all in all an uneventful trip. Before getting to the camp, we stopped for lunch and everyone got out to stretch their legs, use the facilities, etc. We got back on the road and arrived at the camp within 30 minutes. I dropped all three kids and difficult child 1's luggage at the first check-in spot where there were several dozen people waiting for shuttles, and then parked the car. By the time I got up the hill 5 minutes later, easy child was looking really annoyed and her first words to me were a whiney "I'm bored. When can we leave?" In hindsight, it was really kind of an abrupt mood change. For some reason, none of the shuttles stopped by us, so we decided to walk up to the camp... maybe a 300 yard walk, so not a big deal. It was a little warm, but walking was better than standing because there was a nice breeze. And the kids got to look over a bridge at some fish in a pond on the way. But easy child's attitude continued to deteriorate. We got up to the dining hall for the second check-in, and it's air-conditioned, but she is continuing to whine about being bored and not wanting to be here. I tell her and difficult child 2 to go find a place to sit down while I help difficult child 1 check in. Then he and I join the others at the table where they are sitting. difficult child 2 goes outside to sit on a deck. I'm not really paying close attention to the other two, but suddenly difficult child 1 is exclaiming and holding his arm and then shows me this 2.5" gash on his forearm where easy child has scratched him because, I learn, he put a piece of lettuce on her shoulder! Now, this reaction of hers really seems to be an over-the-top response to a fairly innocuous prank. At least that's my take on it. I ask her why on earth she would hurt him like that and she starts doing this tap dance about how he's been bugging her all day (???) and won't leave her alone! And then she starts to deflect my question and asks why the boys never get in trouble when they hurt her... It is rare that anyone do something to intentionally inflict pain on her like she did to difficult child 1 today. I countered that we weren't discussing the PAST, her immediate behavior right here and now was the issue. That just shut her up and got me daggers instead. I did get her to reluctantly apologize to difficult child 1, but I am mystified. So I start to really think about this the rest of today and I'm wondering if there's some kind of anxiety going on with her? Maybe something to do with the crowd of strangers that were there at the camp? Is whining to me that she's bored really her attempt to tell me she's feeling uncomfortable with the situation? Did she really lash out like that because her anxiety was just unbearable by that time? She's been to this place two other times, so it's not totally unfamiliar, but still... She remained very grouchy and angry AT ME the rest of the time in the hall. Soon, we left and went over to the medical building where I made easy child and difficult child 2 wait outside where there were some adult counselors greeting campers. The counselors said they'd visit while difficult child 1 and I took care of his final step of the check-in process, and by the time we were done and went back outside, easy child's attitude had shifted to a more quiet and contemplative mode. We all walked up to difficult child 1's cabin to say our good-byes. On the way, easy child seemed more relaxed and tried to make small talk with me, commenting on the wildflowers along the way. And by the time we got back to our car, she was trying to be more conversational and even a little humble. I know that life with two difficult child brothers is hard for her sometimes, but in all honesty, there wasn't anything that happened that should have triggered such a violent reaction from her. Whatcha think?