First of all, we woke up to snow. Not a ton of snow, but slush on the deck and snow on the hills.
But, then again, it’s also Utah. And Utah is just good at stuff like that, I guess.
Since 2 of the kids have already finished all of their math for the entire school year, the morning routine has been reduced from about 2 1/2 hours to just 1. Unless it is today, of course.
Today, everything was punctuated by preschooler crying. I have no idea why he was crying, even now, because he wouldn’t actually speak or give any indication of injustice or pain. Just cry. And then cry again. And wait a few minutes for good measure. Then start from the top.
Yes, today I’m pretty sure I still spent 2 hours with the kindergartener just trying to get him to finish the very last lesson in his math book, and then the very last lesson in his reading workbook, and then to read his three BOB books. And the 4th grader had one last thing to do in his grammar book for the entire year. He only had to write a letter and address the envelope himself. 15 minutes? 30 minutes?
No. An hour!
An entire hour because he couldn’t think of who to write the letter to. And he had to complain about it the entire time. The injustice! And no. Don’t try to give suggestions because nothing can remedy or lessen the burden of writing 4 entire sentences! (While I was 6 feet away pulling my hair out and practicing as best I could my patient, loving voice with the kindergartener.)
Finally, his letter ended up being to himself. This is what it said:
My grammar book is forcing me to write this. I want to be done with grammar. I want to be done with school. I want to be done with writing. From, Me”
Whatever. It’s DONE!
30 minutes later (yes, we are still at it) my conversation with my kindergartener sounds something like this…
“I can’t do it.”
“Yes, you can! You’ve read this book two times already! This is the last time, and then I promise you will never have to read it again. I know you can do it!”
“No, I can’t. I don’t like reading and I can’t do it.” whine whine cry cry
“Honey, it’s ok if you don’t like reading. It’s ok if it is hard. You can say that, and I understand. But you cannot say you “can’t” read, because you know you can and you are a bright boy and I will help you.”
So finally, in my most patient, loving, irritated and slightly raised voice I gave him a lecture on how reading makes you FREE and I was so intent about teaching him how to read well so that he would never just have to take someone else’s word for something and believe whatever people told him, but that he could learn for himself what was true or not. Reading equals freedom, and all this struggle now will enhance and better him for the rest of his life. He can be the master of himself if he can work hard everyday and learn to read.
And actually after that he did try a little harder. But would only mumble at the decibel level of a whisper… while holding a blanket over his mouth.
But oh the screaming of the preschooler!
The rest of the day pretty much went like this.
Noise and Chaos.
Why? I don’t know? I remember thinking, “Is it because we are all cooped up in the house today? Did we not make it through the winter all cooped up? What is the deal?”
I read the “Final Thoughts” pages in our physics book to end that “class.”
But I had to start 4 different times because the baby and the kindergartener were being so loud I couldn’t even hear myself. Finally I just sent them downstairs so we could hear the laughter/arguing/playing/crying from a distance, instead of right in our laps.
Of course, though, the fun was all upstairs so they came back about a third of the way into our reading on the space race.
At which point, everyone began to fight about where to sit. It was musical chairs. Everyone was afraid to get up for fear the one “out” would take their seat. Preschooler got distracted and moved a few feet. Your seat is now gone. Second grader went to go to the bathroom. Your seat is now gone. Fourth grader needed a drink.
Your seat is now gone.
And Oh! the lamentation of those lost sitting positions!!!
The baby (ok, he’s a toddler, I’m kind of in denial) made sure he wasn’t forgotten, and would come and make demands every 5 minutes or so. Usually it involved him pulling the gallon of milk out of the fridge (yes, all by himself) and setting it on the carpet in the living room, pleading, imploring… no demanding! that he get a sippy RIGHT NOW!
It was constant noise. And constant movement. And constant demands, requests, deliberate annoyances and irrational expectations.
And then we looked up to see THIS!
An array of partially chewed on baby carrots in the window track. All lined up nicely in a little row.
Except for the chewed up bits all over the floor.
“But what do your little ones do while you teach the older kids?”
They destroy. The answer is, they destroy.
And dump out everything they can find. In every room.
Especially mom’s jewelry and science kits… things where if you are missing one piece, you’ve just nullified the entire set.
I finally just shut the book, stood up, and said, “really? You guys? What are we doing? I did not wake up today for this! Do you want to hear these books? Do you want to learn about this? Because we can just be done now. I’m pretty much done with it!”
And my cute 2nd grader, who really has been just good as gold this whole time (except for the deliberate annoyance part in regard to her brother, but she thought I couldn’t see her do it) nods her head vigorously, Yes! Mom! I want to hear! And my 4th grader sheepishly nods his head in agreement as well. He is interested, he promises.
Kindergartener, preschooler, and toddler don’t acknowledge my existence.
So I sit down and read some more.
Finally, we are done. Just go play… downstairs. Please, just do whatever, but do it downstairs.
Of course, it doesn’t stay downstairs. Shortly afterward, two dinosaurs are slowly progressing back into the living room as they viciously dislimb one another with who knows what kind of claws and teeth and such (all I know is one was a diplodocus and if THAT one was cutting off limbs somehow, you know if was brutal) accompanied by snarls and barks of various annoyance levels.
The toddler’s in the kitchen again. “Bread!” Yes, Honey, that is like your 5th half eaten piece of bread today!
“Mom? What was for lunch? Did we have lunch? I’m hungry.”
Oh my goodness, it’s dinner time! Yes, we had lunch, I’m going to make dinner right now. No, you may NOT make yourself something. We are going to eat in 30 minutes.
So he makes himself some complicated concoction involving yoghurt and sticky stuff.
What in the world are we going to eat in 30 minutes.
And the crying continues!!
“Ok, everyone! Go watch a movie!”
Well, we did have dinner. And everyone liked it – except of the toddler who was stuffed up on partially eaten pieces of bread. And everyone cleared their plates, put them in the sink, and obediently rushed around the house to clean it all up and put on pajamas. (Three hours late it is all messy again, but after dinner, I promise, the house was clean, orderly, and kids were ready for bed.
Because you know what today is, don’t you?
It’s Norwegian Constitution Day.
(I know you didn’t know that. It’s ok.)
And Norwegian Constitution Day means Krumkaker (shaped like ice cream cones) and strawberry ice cream in honor of our strawberry growing, krumkaker eating Norwegian ancestors. (Yes, I did spend 2 hours last night making the krumkaker for this very celebration!)
Plus my husband brought home a big chocolate cake that says “Happy Birthday” written out with excessive amounts of multi-colored frosting. I’m not going to ask. I’m just going to eat it.
And then I’m going to put on some comfy(er) clothes and read my book.
New, clean, comfy(er) clothes are definitely necessary, considering the toddler coughed up al his milk on me while I was putting him to bed.
“What is homeschooling like? What is a typical day like for you?”
Ummm….. well…. it will be better tomorrow.
Because I’ve got a whole chocolate cake!