Friday, February 11, 2011

A Day in the Life

Here's a look at a day here in our happy homeschool. I can't say it's a really typical day--each day is quite different. But it's typical in the sense of "yup, our family is really that weird." Also, we don't generally do so much cleaning on a regular day, but this was for a special cause (in-laws!).

  • Get out of bed around 8:45 and come downstairs with Sean to find Morgan on the computer and Ryan setting out armies. Ryan's already eaten. Morgan gets herself a snack when I get something for Sean.
  • Check email, etc. and answer a few things.
  • Go over the day's plans with the kids and we all talk about and decide on our day's work. The main thing on the agenda is cleaning up the house because Nonnie and Grandpa Gary are coming for the weekend, laundry, making tomato bisque, maybe going out to lunch.
  • Ryan makes himself some decaf coffee with cream, and Morgan makes me some coffee. (WIN!)
  • I drink coffee while checking FB and Twitter and OmniFocus.
  • While I'm doing this, Ryan plays with his remote control robots and Morgan is on my iPhone and Sean is ... don't exactly know. Wandering around somewhere. Sometimes I forget to keep track of what the kids are doing and where they are.
  • Break up a fight over my iPhone (Sean was hitting Morgan) and get Sean working on something else.
  • After a while, Ryan gives Sean a turn with the remote control robot, saying to me "I know Sean is afraid of the robots, and if he can play with them, maybe he won't be so afraid." This is A.) Brilliant, and B.) actually works!
  • While Morgan and I clean the kitchen, Ryan takes Sean upstairs to play "school." Ryan teaches Sean all about armies and tanks and army vehicles and generally bosses the crap out of him. They play some counting games, too. This was all Ryan's idea, but I plan to ask him to play "school" with Sean in the future.
  • We all have a brief discussion about naming our homeschool after Thomas Edison and/or George Washington. Two of our favorite homeschoolers.
  • Morgan cleans off the top of the kitchen table some more and wipes down the counters and then it's time for tomato bisque!
  • Ryan puts Morgan in charge of Sean (again, I had nothing to do with this at all) and gives her an agenda for "school." Morgan heads upstairs to be the teacher and Ryan joins me in the kitchen.
  • We get started on tomato bisque, Ryan chopping the celery and carrots, and doing most of the stirring. He is also proud to know how to turn on the gas stove. We read the recipe together and make a few decisions about changes to the recipe: no onions because they make me sick, no flour for a roux--partly for paleo reasons, but mostly because I hate messing with roux (which I just looked up and learned the singular is the same as the plural)--and since we don't have enough cream, substituting with whole milk.
  • While the soup is simmering, I come over to my desk to write this stuff down. Morgan comes downstairs from playing with Sean and plays on her computer. Ryan goes back upstairs and starts up "school" again. He is apparently making some kind of signage because he has just asked me how to spell having--which I refuse to do and instead walk him through the 'drop the e before adding -ing' rule. He figures it out.
  • Kelly calls and asks us to join her for lunch, which is my cue to get dressed.
  • I start some laundry and get dressed, and fish all around through the pile of clean laundry on my bed for clothes for Morgan and Sean.
  • While I was reminding Morgan for the 6th time to get dressed, Sean and Ryan come downstairs. Sean is wearing his backpack proudly, and inside were letters and drawings. The drawings were made by Sean at "school" and the letter to me was from Ryan. It had a drawing of a train on it and the message "SEANISHAVINGFUN." Apparently, Sean had a fun day at school and this is kind of his report card (though Ryan has no clue what a report card is). Also I think I need to work with Ryan about leaving bigger spaces between his words.
  • Morgan and Sean have a big fight over a soccer ball. I remind Morgan to get dressed and then torture Sean by getting him dressed. He has a pretty big furious fit, but not a full-on tantrum (still waiting for that first one).
  • Morgan is still not dressed by the time I'm all finished with Sean so I, uh, spur her on toward that goal with a vigorous "Morgan get dressed!"
  • Morgan gets dressed and begins The Shoe Hunt. It takes about 100 years for her to find them.
  • Now it's time for The Sock Hunt. By this point, the boys are both already in the car, buckled in and waiting.
  • After 250 years, we are finally all loaded up in the car and ready to go. Arrive at the restaurant only 15 minutes late.
  • Have a nice lunch with Kelly and Livy. The kids play the games on their menus and Kelly and I talk about parenting and multitasking (in parenting and technology) and are interrupted a zillion times, usually by a child who belongs to me. Morgan gets lost/distracted on the way to the restroom, but manages to make it in time. (Whew!)
  • After lunch I get to change a poopy diaper on the floor of the van which results in Sean's head being nearly stepped on by Morgan's feet about 3 times, no matter how I try to warn her to pay attention to where her feet are going (in both calm and urgent tones).
  • On the way home we listen to The Beatles, Elton John, and The Clash (Music Appreciation!) and try to figure out what the best Beatles songs are.
  • Home again. Sean and Morgan bring in the mail, which is a very lengthy task for those two, because there is much dropping of the mail and stopping to pick it back up between the mailbox and the house. Also, don't help Sean EVER because HE WANTS TO DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF. (Probably by the time I've integrated this new development into my subconscious, he'll want me to become his personal servant again.)
  • At home, we all spend a few minutes decompressing before The Big Clean. Sean and Ryan head back upstairs (where I'm now afraid to go for fear of what I'll see) for "Art Time" in their school.
  • With the kids playing pleasantly upstairs, I am sorely tempted to read my book or knit. SORELY tempted. Instead I put the tomato bisque which was still cooling on the stove into the fridge, Ryan and I having decided to finish it in the blender later, in time for dinner. Then I open the mail and start laundry and generally act like a responsible adult.
  • Morgan goes upstairs and returns wearing her dance recital outfit from two years ago. She dons a flower wreath in her hair and announces that she's ready to help clean.
  • Never one to refuse such an offer, I get her started in the kitchen. Sean wants to help, too, so I dampen a sponge and tell him to wipe things.
  • Ryan cleans the downstairs bathroom after a big argument with Morgan over who "gets" to clean the bathroom. Yes, they both WANTED to clean it and ARGUED about it. Not a bad parenting problem to have, really. The only tricky part is in trying not to seem too excited about this. :)
  • After the floor is swept, we all pick up some toys in the family room, and then take a break.
  • Morgan reads a book called A Seed Grows to herself, then some out loud to me. Then she reads it to Sean.
  • I check some email and surf (and work on this post) and finish up the finer points in the kitchen.
  • Morgan and Ryan play Harry Potter LEGO Wii and as of this writing, are making Ron and Harry jump up and down on the canopied beds in the Gryffindor Tower dormitory. Which I think is pretty awesome. 
  • Sean is having a snack and watching them and adding his own soundtrack.
  • I have to help Sean let go of Morgan's Wii controller, which ends rather better than it could have, considering.
  • We talk about Harry Potter and Quidditch some and what to make for dinner. Later on, someone wants to know how computer monitors work, but I recommend they ask that question to Daddy.
  • Sean is mysteriously damp all over because I forgot to supervise him with that sponge from earlier. He requests a snack and a towel and I get him both. He settles down next to Ryan to watch him play the Wii and listen to him argue with Morgan over whose turn it is to be Ron/Harry (they've had the forethought to set the kitchen timer, so this is not a discussion which I expect to be involved in, yay).
  • I send an email to my mother-in-law to find out if they're renting a car or if they'll need a ride. Hoping they're renting a car as that will give us more time to tidy up before they get here in the morning (and I'll also get to go to CrossFit).
  • The house is still not really picked up, but it's 5:30 and I decide to sit and knit and hang out with the kids a bit.
  • Only then I get distracted by email.
  • And then by Ryan and Morgan bickering over the Wii. So much for expecting not to get involved.
  • I have them pause the game and work out a plan for playing it without bickering.
  • Then I intervene a couple of times to remind Ryan that barking ultimatums at Morgan is actually not negotiating in good faith and that he needs to change his tactics.
  • Then I notice that Morgan is offering a reasonable solution to their problem, but Ryan is refusing to be as reasonable, wanting "proof" that she will never ever shoot his guy again before he'll play. Now I must intervene again, getting frustrated, because this is how he does--he prolongs the discussion for ages and ages and ages until he gets just what he wants because Morgan will often just give in to whatever unreasonable demands he makes because she's bored.
  • I give him another chance to negotiate in good faith and he is unable/unwilling to do so. So he is done with the Wii for a while and Morgan resumes her game. Ryan claims he was getting bored with it anyway, and stomps off to the kitchen.
  • I help Sean get another snack and then sit down to knit.
  • Only then Sean has a bonus poopy diaper, the changing of which tortures both of us.
  • I give up the thought of knitting and try to convince him to take a bath (he is scared of baths these days), thinking that if he'd just go into the bath I could at least finish Mockingjay. No dice.
  • I notice Ryan back on the Wii game with Morgan and remind him that he is not allowed to play it because he had refused to work through their earlier problem in a fair way.
  • I endure some eye-rolling but no other protest.
  • Sean is still traumatized from the indignity of the recent diaper change and looking tired. A nap now would mean Certain Disaster, so I go get a couple of books to read to him.
  • I read Trucks and But Not the Hippopotamus. Somehow the other two children are attracted to my reading these books, so we all have a moment of peace and harmony.
  • Then Morgan decides to switch from Harry Potter to making Miis (I suppose Miis is the plural of Mii?) on the Wii. She loves to put mustaches on the girls and flip flop the features, putting eyes on the chin and mouths on the forehead. She cackles like a crazy person and Ryan and Sean shout suggestions. My favorite is her version of Voldemort--he's wearing makeup and long eyelashes, so he looks like he's in drag.
  • Now it's 6:30. The Witching Hour. That crazy period of time before dinner and the arrival of Daddy when there's lots of shouting, body-slamming (from Ryan), raucous laughter, and random head injuries. Happens every day at my house--stop by if you're ever in town! Super entertaining.

And that was pretty much our day! Now I'm off to finish the tomato bisque with Ryan.

1 comment:

Kelly Elmore said...

Wow, you should get a medal! After lunch, we came home. Livy cleaned her room, made valentines, and watched Harry Potter, while I did homework. Having one child is super easy!