So this past week was The Week. Sophia and I have already done some math lessons and she's been joining in on history with Kathleen (nothing like the good old beheading of Mary Queen of Scots to spark a young student's love for history!) so I've not been completely incompetent. But I guess only accomplishing math, reading and handwriting isn't much when theoretically I'm supposed to be doing spelling, grammar, writing, and literature also in the same day.
But like I said, this past week was going to be the one where I squashed every bit of learning required in between the end of breakfast and the beginning of lunch - which meal, by the way has gotten increasingly later throughout the years. Back a long time ago when we lived in Cairo, Kathleen and Sophia ate lunch at 11:00, I ate at 11:30, took a nap for thirty minutes, and then had several hours of alone time before the girls got up from their naps. In Baku, after Kathleen started school lunch drifted to 11:30 for the children and noon for me. Now that Kathleen and Sophia are both in school and Eleanor has to eat too, lunch now starts at noon (if we're lucky) and I no longer get to enjoy a peaceful lunch alone with my current favorite reading material. Lunch is no longer a pleasure, it's a source of calories (that is interrupted every three minutes to help someone use the bathroom, clean up a mess, get more of their own food, get a swat to keep them in their chair, or get sent to the corner) that keep Eleanor from dipping below the 15th weight percentile she's currently hanging out in.
Did I mention that this past week was going to be my glorious return to awesomeness? You know, where I would show the world that you can do it all and still get a nap? Let me just paste in an email I sent to Brandon Friday, around lunch time.
"It started with Math. Kathleen did three tests (which she had forgotten to do earlier) yesterday, which I graded and she had to correct. The scores were 70%, 60% and 50% - all because she didn’t pay attention or, in some cases, didn’t even work the problem. Then I had to correct and watch her re-work her homework problems. Then we had a long discussion about being thorough, paying attention, not wasting time, and not getting distracted. In the middle I re-registered the car, which necessitated 1. trying to do it online 2. finding out that the county tax was never paid last year 3. calling the county and getting the account number 4. trying six times, unsuccessfully, to use their phone system 5. calling someone who offered no help but checked that yes, I did have the right account number 5. calling back and having it magically work (and finding out that we’ve been paying interest on the tax since JANUARY - this is because my parent’s renters never felt like forwarding the bill to us). Then I moved on to Edwin’s reading lesson. He did fantastically. Then it was Sophia’s turn, which was interrupted every three minutes by 1. the boys fighting 2. Kathleen asking questions about her math homework (she wants to get them all right and a gold star) 3. me giving her a tutorial about long divison (she didn’t understand dropping the numbers down). And I got Eleanor up, changer her diaper, and fed her. Then we finished. Then we ate lunch. I tried to eat lunch and was interrupted every three minutes. I’m now putting Joseph down to bed before going to bed myself. Then I’ll get up and beat the children into cleaning up the apartment so it can be clean for the lady who is coming at 2:00 (hopefully she’ll be late).
So, you know, just another exotic day in the life of a mother of five.
I’m looking forward to a movie and pizza tonight.
(just so you know, this is a rant, not a call to fix the problem. I think that the problem started about nine years ago when we started trying to have a baby and then was subsequently compounded every two years or so afterwards.)
Maybe, just maybe public school isn't such a bad idea after all? At least my children will learn something, right?