Oh, look at the time…

When I tell people that our family is not your average homeschool family, I think sometimes people believe I’m just saying that. However, it’s the truth and nothing but the truth. I know I’m not obligated to prove this to anyone, but I felt the overwhelming desire to share with you some of the more interesting things that happened during our day. We started our day all wrong, as we usually do, and everyone was banished to the couch until I could assess the damage.

Super glue, tape, and countless other items that are strictly off limits without my permission (because our children are too creative for their own good), had been pulled from the forbidden depths of Granny’s desk. My bedroom door had been shut at some point to prevent the possibility of their scheme waking me and thereby destroying all their fun for the morning. This doesn’t work, because I’m Mom and I know everything. For real. Your mother wasn’t lying to you. Moms really do know everything whether you want us to or not.

The Mom Superpowers kicked in, I wake to find what looks like a Craft Monster’s regurgitated breakfast all over the Mom-in-law’s living room. I give a big sigh, because you can’t really be mad that they wanted to make stuff, you can only be mad that they went into Granny’s things without permission. Good. I can pass this one off to Granny, and I can resume my day. Everyone cleans up the mess, except the littlest one. He is, as usual, the last one finished with any task and by the time he is dressed for the day we’re ready to move on.

As Littlest Dude buttons his shorts, he starts asking me for, “one of those chocolate cakes that Dad gave us with the sprinkles on the top.” Instantly, those delicious little cakes float into my memory. The ones that I bought with the intentions of hoarding for myself until some such time as I deemed them appropriate for a treat–probably for myself but most likely I would have given them to the kids when they least expected it. Still, I can’t be upset, because at least he didn’t break in to them in the middle of the night when the munchies hit. I’ve been guilty of the same, so I still wouldn’t have been angry. I finally realize I’m dreaming of cakes and answer my child. The answer is, as usual, “Not yet, kid…let’s finish one thing at a time here.”

We start with some reading, and that lasts for way longer than it should considering these are elementary age children. Aren’t they supposed to have the attention span of a rock? This isn’t normal. I don’t care. They’re quiet. They’re reading…together…and nobody is fighting. Nice. I can work. I work. I get laundry and stuff done. It’s really nice. And then Granny came home. YES! I get to get them in trouble.

Now, I have to pause here. I know that sounds terrible. It is. I’m not even going to justify it. I really hoped that Granny could get them and we wouldn’t have this problem from now on. No such luck. Granny comes in, I tell on them, she does her thing, and they continue on with their school work without a single apology. It was all, “But…he did this…” and “But, she said we could do that…”

Okay. Cool. Dad comes home from work eventually. We’ll see what he has to say about the situation. [Pause here for the creepy, too-satisfied smile.]

More reading, and here’s where it gets weird. No math. No science. No anything else really because they have guests. The neighbor kids (really sweet kids, truthfully) show up to play. Okay, see ya, bye. Get in the back yard and leave me alone. It sounds cruel and heartless, but they’re having so much fun and it gives them the chance to share what they learned today, share what they read, and to learn to apply some of those things. It’s really nice. They tell the neighbor kids about the fables they read today, the Bible stories they were reading, and about the Reading Bingo game we started recently.

And then the kids are starving and I make everyone food and then everyone is outside again. Yeah, it happened that fast. The house was quiet again, and then everyone started coming inside again and then my nephew showed up. Sissy-in-law and Mom-in-law are talking, all the kids are outside-ish…I mean, they’re still coming inside bugging us, but they’re mostly outside. It’s nice. It’s way too many kids in one spot, of course…but it’s nice. I’m pretty sure a few new kids have wandered into the yard, but that’s okay too. I’ve seen them at the park. They’re having too much fun and I don’t have the heart to run them off.

Then, Little Dude gets in trouble. Littlest Dude follows his example. And then everyone is getting in trouble, yelling and screaming and stuff. It was awful. I reign in the chaos. My reigning in of the chaos scares away Poppa, who’d come to visit like he usually does around the middle of the afternoon or whenever else he feels the need to show up. He’s gone, Little Dude is back outside playing, everyone is having fun again and that’s when I remember that I forgot all about the laundry I was doing and somehow still haven’t managed to pull anything out for dinner.

There’s frozen fish in the freezer. We’re good. I hear a loud BANG and an, “Oops…”

Never good. It’s never ever good.

But this time it isn’t quite so bad. Little Dude wanted a drink. We’re good. Back to the yard, I sit down to work, and then he’s back complaining that his sister is telling everyone his secrets. She’s embarrassing him and everyone is laughing. It may sound harsh, but at this point, we’re done playing outside. I hear dozens of excuses as Miss Diva, the Big Dude, Little Dude and Littlest Dude file by me, and even the Nephew had to throw in an excuse or two. He wasn’t even in trouble, poor thing, but I didn’t want to leave him outside alone. Everyone is on the living room floor, because their Granny would murder me if I let them get on the couch covered in three inches of dirt from head to toe. I do, in fact, value my life.

We’re all kind of sitting around while Littlest Dude gets a shower. He was the messiest, so he goes first, and it occurs to me that he probably did that on purpose. He’s perpetually last, forever and ever, and I still haven’t been able to teach him that sometimes that’s not a bad thing. He races through his shower, I have to instruct him to try again. It’s no use being first if you don’t clean the dirt off of you. He goes back to try again and we move on.

I’m exhausted, and only half of our list for the day is done, but it’s fine. My kids learned so much. They were even finding everyday situations that paralleled (in some way) the stories they were reading. The most interesting was when Little Dude bragged about how the neighbor girl was being kind like the Good Samaritan and how much he admired that. Of course, I probably didn’t need to know EVERY SINGLE SITUATION that brought those stories to mind for them, but it’s good. It’s okay and we’re all right.

Eventually, I’m going to make dinner and get kids in the bed before finally sitting down to do some work on my manuscript. It’s being neglected for the moment, but again…it’s okay. I like it that way right now. I wouldn’t have missed today for the world…even the ones I make up.

Oh, and just so we’re clear…math and science will probably happen tomorrow (especially for Little Dude who has already finished all of his work for the day and the week and the year…I am struggling to keep up…I guess he’s going to be doing high school stuff soon too), if they don’t get interested learning something else first. I don’t know. By tomorrow, they could have decided that the only thing they want to know is how to grow a pumpkin in Florida, or what color the sky would be if they were standing on the surface of Venus. I don’t know. These kids are really weird.

I glance at the clock and I sigh again. Hubby will be home soon. I can feel it in my bones. Besides the obvious need for his parental authority to rid us of any future morning mishaps (you know…making the Craft Monster throw up and stuff), I’m so ready for him to be in front of me. I need to kiss his face. And then I need a nap. Only a short one…because I still have to find school work for Little Dude for tomorrow and finish training my new intern and find some time to eat something (because I haven’t had a single thing all day). It’s all right. Man shall not live on bread alone or something like that, right? Isn’t that the…or maybe I’m too tired…?

It was a beautiful day. A crazy, chaotic, insane and exhausting day.


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