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Sunday, September 14, 2014

And Suddenly, Life Got Busy

This year  This month  Last week Sophia hasn't quite started school all of the way yet.  She's supposed to be in first grade, and first grade is when all of the real work starts - Math, History, Science, and Writing.  I was planning on starting after we came back from the beach, but then I decided to make Kathleen's baptism dress.  Then Brandon and I took a whirlwind trip to Seattle.  Then I got back to work on the baptism dress.  And then we went camping.  So last week was the first full week of school we've had in probably two months.  Maybe since Eleanor was born.  Just in case you're getting stressed about my children's academic future, don't worry - I've got it covered.  I can feel the looming fear of totally incompetent semi-adults camping at my house for decades haunting my dreams already.  Maybe if I ignore it hard enough, it will go away.

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.)

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Maybe, just maybe public school isn't such a bad idea after all?  At least my children will learn something, right?


Donna said...

You're like a superhero, even on your worst days. After spending the weekend trying to help one of my kids with her multiplication tables and another with an English assignment, I was never so happy as this morning when I waved goodbye to the school bus. I don't know how you do it!

PaulaJean said...

And now you know why I always had such a big smile when school started! Doing your best to be a good mom of five is hard. :-)

MacLeans said...

I think you are amazing. Seriously. As one who lives overseas as well and understands the chaos of which that life adds I read your blog in amazement. We bring out a teacher, thank you very much, because I can't do it. And my baby, 6 months tomorrow, is STILL NOT sleeping through the night. So you are in fact supermom.