Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Long, Rambling Day in the Life

Caught in the act - working with Clare on math, with a twin in attendance and the ubiquitous cup of coffee in front of me

Today has been pretty ordinary overall. The babies woke me up at nine o'clock a.m. I was a big slug very reluctant to leave my warm covers, since my bedroom was quite chilly and I was up until almost three a.m. blogging and watching the Orionid meteor shower (I saw 4, but only one good one).

However, we are currently in TWIN POTTY TRAINING, DAY 3, so I knew I only had a limited time after they woke up before they had to hit the head before any accidents occurred. So I dragged us all to the bathroom and did a status check. Natalie's nighttime diaper was bone dry, and she tinkled on the toilet within seconds of climbing up. WIN! Noelle's diaper was somewhat warm and squishy, meaning she'd already voided, but it was pretty recent and not very much. Oh well. She tried on the toilet anyway, without any success.

I rattled everybody else's cages on the way downstairs and started a pot of coffee. The downstairs was a moderate mess, mostly unfolded laundry and a sink of dirty dishes. I put in a My Little Pony movie that the twins had never seen and took care of the housework quickly. Then I dashed upstairs for a quick - and very necessary - shower.

We had scrambled egg & cheese on tortillas for breakfast, then Clare took a shower and the twins received a bath. They usually get a bath in the evening, but I find that I'm so worn out at the end of most days that I don't have the energy to fight with them over the hair-washing and drying (the screaming is usually considerable). It worked out much better in the daytime; so much so that I think I'll be doing it this way more often.

After breakfast, I sat the kids down in the living room and read their history aloud, had a discussion about how Latin morphed into the Romance languages, which led into a discussion of how language is fluid and still changing today (consider all the new words in our language introduced by the computer age), which led to a discussion of how computers have changed over the last 30 years, leading to the tiny pen-shaped projection computers, still apparently in the conceptual stage. Then we listened to three chapters from the life of Saint Padre Pio. Then I listed the boys' lessons for the rest of the school day, and sent them off to complete everything.

It usually goes like this for Brian and Conor: a few math problems, then play for 20 minutes with the twins, because they are too adorable to resist. Then some screaming at Clare or Theresa for trying to sneak into their room. Mom comes up and yells, or lectures about being charitable or tolerant. Then maybe a page of cursive practice, followed by sneaking away to the rec room (when my back is turned) for some Game Cube. Then they either get busted for disappearing and not finishing their work, or they decide they're hungry and come downstairs in a thundering stampede in search of food. Or they need me to help them but I get a phone call, and while I'm busy they disappear outside to hide their weapon caches or pretend to be snipers (yeah, Brian, I'm talking about YOU). Then they'll read the next science concept in their book, but suddenly remember they have to get their football stuff ready THAT. VERY. MINUTE. It can be exhausting for me.

Clare and Theresa also have schoolwork they can do independently, but they need my help for a lot of it. So when I'm busy with the boys, they usually play on their own or with the twins, or mope around, whining about how they have nothing to do and I never do school with them.

In the meantime, the twins are either playing happily, or stealthily searching for contraband gum, or drawing on walls, or begging to watch Blue's Clues, or hopping around grabbing their privates with worried expressions on their faces, which causes me to drop everything and hustle them to the bathroom.

So far today we haven't had one puddle on the floor - Natalie tinkled on the toilet at least four times, and Noelle twice. That seems fairly consistent; historically, Natalie always had the monstrously-soaked diapers hanging between her knees, but Noelle just doesn't seem to go as much. I bought mini packs of M&Ms as potty treats, so after every tinkle they get a coveted treat. The older kids are even coming to me now and then and saying, "Mommy, I went on the potty! Do I get a treat???" Yeah, nice try.

The afternoon went fairly quickly - the girls got into a set of blocks that are only supposed to be used for math lessons. I prepared a quick dinner of ground beef, diced potatoes and taco seasoning, served in warmed flour tortillas. (Again with the tortillas! We're not even remotely Mexican. We just like tortillas) It's a fairly nice day, albeit cool, so they ran around outside for a while before the boys left for football and it got too dark.

The rest of my day will probably be spent tidying up, and then the bedtime festivities will commence. Then if I'm not too tired, I might watch a program on the computer or read a bit before I go to sleep. That's one of the drawbacks of homeschooling - while most other kids are gone from the house all day, mine are around to make messes. And while some of them are making messes, I'm too busy doing school with others to stop and clean it up. So the end of our school day is when I have to deal with everything that I let slide earlier. Sigh. This is not to say that my kids don't do anything (although my husband would disagree with me here). It's just that the little ones make most of the mess, and nobody thinks it's "fair" to continually clean up other people's messes. Myself included. I do assign them tasks, but most of the time sometimes it's just easier to do it myself.

Okay, there was an original purpose to the post, but it took on a life of its own and spun out of control. Here's what I originally intended to say:

At some point in mid-afternoon, I realized that Natalie was nowhere to be found. That can be a bad thing, because she is a consummate wall-drawer, and also likes to use scissors. NOT a good thing. Noelle found her, asleep in their bedroom. Apparently, Natalie decided she needed a nap, and tucked herself in ( one of my favorite things about her is that she acknowledges her need for SLEEP! She never fights me at bedtime).

Okay, back to the story - So Brian asks Noelle why Natalie is in bed, and Noelle answers, completely spontaneously, "I killed Nanny with this thumb!" I know it sounds gruesome, but it's a line from the animated flick Ratatouille. And it was hilarious.

Nanny sleeping. Note the scribbles on the wall behind her.

Noelle and the Lethal Thumb

The Confession

More Evidence

I've not been blogging much lately, because I didn't feel I had anything to share.

Guess that's over.

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