A day

A day in our life.  Not so much a normal day as a typical day.  It’s summer, we’re homeschoolers, there are 4 of us – how can there possibly be a normal day?

5:20 Woke and realized I felt like someone was mashing around in my skull.  I thought about getting up since I usually feel worse if I sleep past my initial waking, which was usually only 40 minutes later anyways. But I decided to try sleeping.

8:00 I willed myself out of bed.  I no longer felt horrid in the head, but did feel small and pitiful.  Rather Piglet-y, in fact.  Not at all like Tigger.  Rainer made breakfast, which is normal, but it was about an hour later than usual since I didn’t come upstairs to wake him at 7, not having gone down the stairs to begin with.

The kids fought first thing.  Some stupid matter wherein Sandra threw words and persuasive phrases at Matthias until he felt like there was a verbal tsunami and then, unable as yet to walk away, he made the situation physical.  It was over some small thing, like picking the cat up off her while she lay in bed (I think) but the largeness of the reaction and the entrenched emotions sent clear signals about the mood they were setting out into the day with.

Tias found the cubes of watermelon I put in the freezer as an experiment and since there is no time like the present in his very in-the-moment mind, we did not wait for a hot afternoon. I made them watermelon smoothies.

9:40 And things have cooled off a bit.  I called them to breakfast out on the deck.  I read Winnie the Pooh aloud.  We have the complete collection, and I’d struggled with Book Guilt over the fact that we never did make it very far in.  Now I’m thinking it was a good thing.  The kids are old enough to be totally cracked up by all the sly wording, the characters, the silliness of it all.  They’re getting it like I get it, and that’s a lot of fun to share.

After 5 minutes of copywork was completed, Tias felt like he’d done enough for a while. Remembering the emotional signature of the day, I agreed.  The kids played some elaborate version of dodge ball in the yard that merged the game with paintball, I think. I used the opportunity to start making yogurt, warming the milk on the stove and checking it frequently to be sure it wasn’t even thinking of burning.

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It was about 11:00 when I called the kids again.  I think the emotional situation had been degenerating, because Tias started reading to me in a ridiculously rude tone.  I ignored it and it vanished.  (And for those of you gasping, confronting him in those situations makes it worse because his emotions tend to shut off the pathways of his brain that connect to wisdom.  All it does is increase the emotional intensity.)  Sandra got frustrated with math, Tias wanted to do his reading aloud silently, I wanted my mommy…

At about 11:30, having walked Sandra through the wording of the math (which offended her sense of the grace of the English language), handed Tias a page of sticker math (a summer diversion), and agreed that Sandra could do her reading in the afternoon, I sat down at the computer and felt my brain shut off.  Click.

By 11:50, I had remembered that Rainer was coming home for lunch and I needed to do something sort of cooking-ish, something kitchen-y, in order to make a lunch-type event possible.  I put on the iPod and played the Knitmore Girls podcast, while I made Knorr Vegetable soup and stir fried coleslaw mix with tofu.  Pretty darn good for someone who was losing the battle to declare herself healthy.  (All notions of an evening jog with Rainer and Sandra were quickly disappearing.)

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Lunch on the deck was lovely.  Warm food, handsome man, no bickering, and a big plate of cake.  It’s a trial for my sister’s wedding reception, and we can conclusively say, after eating the entire thing for lunch, that it will indeed work as finger food.

Rainer played with the kids, combining the slaying of a particularly nasty video game monster for Tias with a rousing game of yard dodge ball while I fell in love with a bunny and then did my hair.  The bunny was adorable, and looking at knitting patterns is a great no-brain way to feel better.  I’d even been thinking of knitting a toy for a little guest who’ll be staying with us soon.  Doing my hair was part of my psychological tactics to feel better.  After all, who can feel terrible and serious and like you’re getting sick if you have two cute braids?

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1:20 We picked up with the homeschooling again.  I read 2 chapters of “Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White and we cracked up over the father swan’s speeches. What a puffed-up ego, what a delightful pomposity!  For once, I finally had the wherewithal to remember to get a craft project ready and we painted frames.  This first stage  took less than 10 minutes, a real plus in terms of keeping Matthias from thinking it was all stupid.

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Then we went back to a little bit more work.  Sandra read two chapters in “The Tale of Despereaux” and Tias did 10 minutes of silent reading.  “Calvin and Hobbes”.

2:20 And errands.  And they took longer than I’d expected.  Which I should have expected.  Shopping for extra dodge balls (soccer balls proving less fun than the dodge ball he’d found on sale yesterday), to the library to leave a little “Be Kind” book on a shelf and pick up a little exciting yet light reading for me (“Bloody Jack”), to the post office, the the second gas station (the first being unable to take credit cards), and finally to pick up friends.

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Now there’s more dodge ball in the yard with the delightful complication of extra bodies.

Now I have to imagine what supper might be.

Now I wish I owned a hammock and could use it to float and sway in the breeze.

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17 thoughts on “A day

  1. Constance says:

    Wow, what a busy day! Must be something in the air – that mood hung around my kids all last week. Sorry it blew your way! Funny how the end of summer jitters seem to affect even kids who don’t go away to school…

  2. JoVE says:

    Sorry to hear that your emotional temperature was so off today. For all of you. But glad that you wrote about a typical day that isn’t all sunshine and roses.

    BTW, I warm milk for yogurt in the double boiler. Significant reduces the risk of something going wrong. And I sometimes use the water in the bottom to fill the jars I use to keep the cooler warm while it does it’s thing.

    I hope you are all feeling better soon. I am enjoying the little parade of things you are marking “favourite” in Ravelry.

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for letting us into your day. It was a delight. I hope you let us in like that more often. I am just starting my adventure in home schooling and i feel like an alien. I have however just found a group in my area who are like minded and I look forward to using them as inspiration as i use you (hope you don’t mind :-*)
    Melissa

  4. Angela says:

    My daughter is currently sitting at the table sounding out words in Calvin and Hobbes. It’s her reader, it is the only thing she is motivated to read herself after all what are Mommy’s for.

  5. Alex says:

    I enjoyed reading about your day. I am not sure if I could keep track of everything that goes on in our days like you did..but I might have to try 🙂
    I received your beautiful little book! Thank you.

  6. Sarah B. says:

    Thank you for sharing a regular day with us. Most people always try to keep their “best foot forward” on the internet and after a while, it seems like that must be their whole, real life. While we all have spectacular days, we also have some bad ones and plenty of in-between ones – it’s nice to see some more of the in-between!

  7. Annie says:

    I loved this post… and still love the sweater. I’m knitting my cardigan in blue, but seeing yours in red again is giving me all sorts of second thoughts… when it’s far too late for second thoughts.

  8. renee @ FIMBY says:

    I love people’s “day in the life of” posts. thinking I should do one myself. I agree with what you said about macro vs. non-macro photos in the next post. I see the beautiful details in my daily life and often choose to focus (mentally & through my lens) on those because the rest of it gets tiresome. The piles of clutter and kid crafts all over the floor and dishes almost done.

    Lovely post as always.

  9. Jo says:

    Hmmm. Sounds about right.

    Tell me more about the sticker math and kindness book pretty please.

    Also, do you know about the Cast On podcast? You’ll like it, it begins with the words: Knit, Knit like the Wind!

  10. Marce says:

    You know – I tried the 2 cute braids thing today and it totally worked!! PippyLongstocking as mommyemployeewifey – 🙂

    This was a great glimpse into your day – thank you!

  11. Sasha says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your day!!

    I loved it and am inspired to do one on my blog too – not as inspiring as a homeschool day, but interesting maybe 🙂

  12. Lisa says:

    Sounds like a pretty good day to me! But then I deal with raging soon-to-be-15, soon-to-be-high-schooler masculine emotions non-stop!! lol… I too somedays want my mommy!

    “I read Winnie the Pooh aloud. We have the complete collection, and I’d struggled with Book Guilt over the fact that we never did make it very far in. ” I so know this feeling. And it is good when they finally DO want to enjoy a book.

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