A Typical Stay-at-Home Type of Day

Yesterday was a typical day for me in stay-at-home mom mode.  Kids interrupted almost every task that I started, so I did not get much done besides getting food for myself and for kids at meals, refills of milk or juice for the kids and water for me throughout the day, and general child care for the baby, the preschooler, and the kindergartner.

This afternoon the preschooler got into his head that it would be fun to run around the house with only his diaper.  I’d get him back into clothes for only a few minutes before he took them off again.  Ug!  Not until I got him into pajamas after dinner did he actually keep clothes on.  I hope this phase is short-lived!

One thing I did accomplish today was cleaning up the area around the computer at the desk in my older daughter’s room so that I could actually sit at and use that computer with the word processing program that I need to use to type my stories that I hand wrote in several spiral notebooks.  I realized that I could sit there and type and still be close enough to hear the baby when she cries in the next room.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to any typing yesterday.  I managed to clean up the area and start the computer without interruption; however, as soon as I started the word processing program, one of the kids interrupted me, and I never got back to the computer at all the rest of the day.  The preschooler and toddler took advantage of that and spent half of the day playing with the LEGO Creator program.  I prefer that they play that instead of watching TV or videos, so I let them go.

This morning, I actually was able to type the text from one hand-written page before the baby woke up and needed a bath because she messed through her onesie and her romper.

In mid-morning I was waiting for a text, but I didn’t see it until half an hour after I received it, because I was changing the baby, then changing the preschooler, then getting him second breakfast, then cleaning up a mess in the kitchen, and then getting some more food for myself. It’s amazing how much time some of those ‘simple’ tasks can take when you’re doing those tasks for multiple people.

Speaking of tasks, I need to go take care of another one right now.

A Challenging Day

Today my children were very much of a challenge. Since they had a day off of school, the older kids felt that they could play (or read, as my oldest was doing) all day, even though they still had schoolwork to do, and I needed their help with chores. My second son spent most of the day dawdling about finishing schoolwork, even though he needed to finish a project. (He said it was “too hard” and that’s why he kept putting off doing it, despite my various attempts to help him with it without doing the work for him.)  My daughter had a disagreeable attitude all day, especially when I wouldn’t let her play with friends down the street; the kindergartner kept nagging for a treat that I would not let him have because he didn’t finish his breakfast after I gave him several chances to do so; and the preschooler was just rambunctious and getting into stuff all day.

I really wanted to start work on a sewing project today, but because of dealing with the kids, it was impossible.  This afternoon I tried to take a nap, but I didn’t really get to sleep, and an issue with one of the kids forced me to get up before I was ready.  Now that the kids are in bed for the night, I could work on one of the sewing projects, but I’m not in the mood.  Maybe I’ll read for a bit instead, before getting to sleep.

Do You Remember Learning to Write?

Do you remember when you learned to write?  Do you remember learning the process of stringing words into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs, so that everything makes sense?

I don’t remember much about actually learning to write.  I do remember that, except for keeping a journal, which I started in second grade, I didn’t much like writing in elementary school, got better at it in middle school, and loved it by high school (so much that I was one of about 2 dozen seniors to take the elective Composition II, in addition to AP English).  Although I’m a professional writer, I’m not a teacher, and I find it easier to tutor adults than children, so I struggle to help my own children with their writing assignments, and I feel that their teachers are not teaching them the actual process, that they are instead just handing out assignments and then grading them.

My oldest, who is a voracious reader, doesn’t seem to understand the reason to add details to his papers; he only wants to write the bare minimum, and doesn’t seem to care if he doesn’t include all of the points that would give him the highest grade. Tonight I was helping him to finish a one-page paper about a historical figure. His assignment was to select a historical figure that he admired, give a brief biography, and explain why he chose that person and what he could learn from him or her. He had a decent draft, but it needed more details. I asked him a few questions to encourage him to think more deeply about the subject and to add those details.  He insisted that he had written enough; he didn’t think that he needed to add any more to the paper, and didn’t seem to care that he could make it better by adding a few sentences here and there. After I had asked a series of questions about the facts related to the life of his chosen historical figure, he reluctantly agreed to add a few more details, and eventually wrote enough to fill the entire page.

Although I was happy that he made the paper better by adding specific details, I was still annoyed at myself for not being able to communicate more effectively why those details were important, why I was asking him to do more work on the paper (instead of accepting the draft as it was), dismayed that it took him a while to understand, and apprehensive that we will repeat this in the future.  Perhaps it’s time for a conversation with his Language Arts teacher.

“Animals in My Mouth!”

When the news and the events of the day are almost to the point of being overwhelming, it’s nice to focus on simple things, things that make you laugh instead of cry.

For the past few days, my toddler has been saying, “There are animals in my mouth!” after he brushes his teeth.  He gets the idea from the toothpaste tube, which has a cartoon image of jungle animals on the tube.  Before he squeezes the toothpaste onto his brush, he names the animals in the image.  After he finishes brushing–with my help–he says that funny line, which makes me smile every time I hear it.  He has some other funny statements, too, but my fatigued brain can’t recall them at the moment.

I really should take time to write down in a notebook those funny things that the kids say, so I don’t forget them.  My mom used to write down funny things that I said as a toddler and preschooler.  As a teen, I found on a kitchen chair a notebook in which she’d written some of those funny things that I’d said; it was fun to read the notebook.  One time I told my father that he smelled like the local mall (probably because his aftershave had a similar smell to one that I associated with the mall, perhaps a perfume counter at one of the department stores).  Another was that I would kiss him goodbye as he was leaving for work, and I would tell him sorry for getting butter (from my breakfast toast) on his cheek.

Maybe while I sleep I’ll remember a few more funny things the kids have said.