Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sometimes the best option is to find the humor

Of course (as I'm sure you ALL realize by this time) my days are full of sweet homeschooling moments and craft projects. We go from changing the baby's diapers, to baths, to school, with a song in between to match the occasion. We read fairytales after lunch and discuss the moral lesson in each while the girls make more paper butterflies to play with all afternoon. Twinkling lights sparkle in our wake as my girls help me clean the house and mix the dough for the fresh bread. My girls play with their tea cups and princess dolls or blow bubbles on the balcony. The daddy is greeted after work with lots of hugs and kisses from all of his girls, a clean house, and the table is set and ready for dinner. Our evenings are full of reading together or board games or swimming in the pool as we all enjoy each others' company.

Yes, this is the way things are.

I mean.. I certainly wouldn't sleep till 9 am because I stayed up too late the night before (just to have an hour of quiet after finally getting all three asleep in their own beds) and finally drag my eyes open (while trying to keep the baby nursing and asleep) when my oldest comes in to announce, "Renna found the candy canes and is eating them!"
"How did she reach them?" I ask, groggy and feeling more tired than I did before going to sleep.
"She just stretched her little arms and got them."
"Well, go take it away from her. I don't care if she cries about it. She has a cold and shouldn't eat candy."

I finish nursing the baby as I hear Lily go downstairs. There's a mild skirmish and then Renna is screaming and crying. I leave the baby on the bed hoping she'll stay asleep, since she's a bit snuffly too and hasn't slept well, and stumble downstairs to administer lectures to Renna. .. And, throw all of Daddy's candy canes into the garbage. (Sorry, Youssef.. I'll get you more next Christmas.)

Explaining to a stubborn three year old about an immune system and sugar and wise choices in how to get better, goes about as well as you would expect. I think at least she understands that I'm not just being mean to her even though she doesn't agree about sugar making her feel worse.

The baby cries and I stumble upstairs, leaving the girls to watch a cartoon, silently thanking God for electricity and Netflix shows for them to stay busy with. The many interruptions from the girls though about silly things like being hungry and wanting breakfast gets in the way of actually putting the baby fully asleep in her bed. I'm DETERMINED to actually get a shower this morning though, so I opt for the quick breakfast of frozen blueberries in a bowl for each of them and put the baby in her little chair on the bathroom floor. Normally I make eggs and waffles or something like that and lately I have been just washing my hair in the kitchen sink while I cook to save time. So, you can imagine how getting a real shower sounds pretty good. Leaving them alone with the blueberries was a daring choice, but they did fine with it and I got the shower in.

The baby is still awake though and wanting to nurse so I sit on the couch and watch cartoons with the girls and nurse her. The entire time I'm thinking about how much I do NOT want to do school with them today, and trying to find the loop-hole in being consistent with it. When was the last time I got to do one of my own projects? I have a pile of sewing laying by my machine that is begging to have some creativity thrown at it. I have a basket of filed scrapbook layouts waiting to be completed. The house isn't too messy, the girls are actually playing well now, can't I just let them play and sneak off to do my own thing today? Maybe in the future I could just plan on having four days a week for homeschooling so that I get one morning every week to just focus on my own project? Yes, that's a GREAT idea! .. but what about today?

Somehow I knew that today wasn't the day to make that change. So I announce, "Lily it's 10:30. Time for school!" She's excited of course and the girls help me sweep up the dry beans (that they'd gotten out to play with when I was sleeping) they helped by climbing onto the stools that I'm trying to move to sweep under the table. *sigh* Right, and of course I'd never yell at them to "GET OFF!" Sparks were definitely flying in our wake, but they weren't the twinkly kind.

Focus now... foooocuuuus... what am I supposed to do in school today? I pull out the books and we learn the new song in the "sing spell read write" lessons to learn short vowels. School actually goes pretty well. The baby manages to stay asleep in her bouncer even while the CD is blaring the school song as Lily and I sing with it, and Renna is prostrate on the floor screaming because she thinks Lily took away her pink marker. In reality, Lily had just picked it up off the floor where Renna had dropped it without a lid and I'd told Renna she could color with it if she got up to the table. She didn't choose to listen to me however and apparently wanted to be upset. We ignored her until she stopped screaming several minutes later and joined us quietly at the table.

Of course, the school time was made much easier by several texts from the Daddy asking us how our day was going.

Amazingly, Lily does really well learning the short vowel song, and we read our Bible story and talk about it while the girls color.

Then it's already lunch time and the girls ask to watch a Muppets clip on YouTube. I set it up and thank God for electricity and internet and the Muppets. By now I'm on the couch nursing again and longing to just hold the little one in peace and quiet when Renna brings over the lunch meat that she got out of the fridge. Right, I guess I can't avoid feeding them. I give Renna a slice and finish nursing the baby and get up to make omelets with the lunch meat.... that Renna is now holding in a stack and eating with a big grin while saying, "Sandwich!"

Ah, yes.. a sandwich made entirely with meat. She must be her father's daughter. No problem though, because we have more lunch meat and everything to make the omelet. The girls actually eat it! Which was a pleasant surprise, so sharing lunch and muppets' shows was a nice thing. I'm still dragging though with being too tired and contemplate, as I do every day at that time, whether I should risk a nap when the older two are awake or should I have coffee?

Okay, coffee again. I don't think it helped this time though because I was still too tired to see straight enough to do anything.

As I'm nursing and putting the baby to sleep again and half way through the cup of coffee, Lily pulls out her tea set stuff. "Can I have a real tea party?"
"You can if you want to drink coffee."
She thought this was a great idea. So I instructed her to take my coffee cup to the bathroom sink and poor it into her tea pot.

At this point I was weighing the plus side of not having to get up and prepare the tea for them against the possible side effects the caffeine could have on them. I'm also thinking how funny it is to give my kids the rest of my coffee for a tea party just because I'm too tired to get up. What a great blog post this would make. I think to myself. A day like today might be a good thing to share so people can see the whole picture and not get discouraged from only seeing the sparkly side of my days in the posts.

Yes, so at this point I started typing this blog post. Typing, and chuckling about the coffee tea party while holding the baby with the bread timer blaring and Renna's voice echoing through the house as she plays (loudly) in her room. I'm thinking that perhaps a "quiet" time would be a good idea. The girls eyes light up as I tell them they can go sit on my bed to play with their toys for quiet time.

My "alone" time was short lived though when I heard a bonk and Lily screaming. Of course, I'm not the sort of parent that would just ignore their crying five year old, and when Renna came downstairs to tell me about Lily getting hurt I asked if she'd seen any blood. And.. obviously when Lily came downstairs five minutes after that (when she'd stopped crying) I was appropriately empathetic to her bruised arm. I then suggest that they look at stories on the couch. Lily does this while ordering Renna to do things for her. Like get her a kleenex, or throw the kleenex away, or get her stuffed animal. Needless to say, Renna didn't get a chance to sit still and look at books. She also didn't make it to the toilet in time and I heard some tinkles hitting the floor instead of the water in the toilet. Renna walks out of the bathroom. Her feet making a a "splosh" sounds with each step. "Did you have an accident?"
"Yes," She announces.
Great, she doesn't even care anymore if she has an accident. I make a mental note to wash the bathroom rug again at some point today. I'd just washed it yesterday for the same reason. Why do I keep putting the rug back?
Lily the asks, "Mommy, can I watch a show?"
That is the best idea I've heard yet, "That's a good idea Lily." Perhaps they'll be quiet with a 'Backyardigans'...
Lily turns to say, "Renna, get the remote."


Thank you Lord for electricity and technology and for an hour of "quiet"...


RachelCapezza said...

Just one of the many reasons I love you, Lynne'! Thanks for the post reassuring us moms that we aren't alone. :)

Natalie Minnich said...

Fabulous!!! Exactly my day! We might not do school bu the interaction between the girls and the total foiling of any plans mom has are exactly on. The truth is good. :)And even in the midst of it we can adjust our vision and see the "twinkle lights" version because we know how lucky we are to be where we are dealing with what we are dealing with.

Lynne' said...

Very true, Natalie. And in the end the only "real" problem that I had this day compared to a "twinkly" day was my bad attitude and being sleep deprived.

Oh, and Rachel.. since you said that I'll admit that I decided to totally ignore the bathroom rug.