Wednesday, July 24, 2013

(extra)ordinary days

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Today is a perfect example of that crazy love/going crazy relationship I have with my life.

The morning starts with my typical disagreement with the alarm.  (No, it is NOT morning!)  I changed the ring last night to that bluesy piano riff (think: Bad to the Bone), thinking it would make me laugh and help me get out of bed.  Fail.  Anyway, eventually I do get up, but Charlotte is already knocking on her door, requesting her freedom.  So no shower, no quiet time, and no pre-kid coffee.  Duhn duhn duhn duuuuuhhhhh.



But Charlotte is beyond cute, throwing her teeny arms around my neck and commenting about everything on our way downstairs. I hold her so tight she squirms and admonishes, "Mooom-meeee!"  How is it possible for one little person to be so darn cute?

We get through breakfast with a minimal amount of fighting.  The kids decide to get their portfolio binders and leaf through them while we eat.  Ava wants to know what it would be like if she wasn't homeschooled.  I neutrally detail her potential day, casually including the part about waiting in the freezing dark to ride a school bus with 170 rowdy kids, and wrapping up with, "then you'll come home, do chores, have dinner, do homework, and go to bed."  She says, "WHAT?!  When would I read?" and drops the subject.  (Shame on me? *grin*)

Amazingly, my kids buzz around doing their morning chores while I finish my breakfast.  Wyatt occasionally pauses to squash his little sister who has barricaded herself in the corner of the couch with pillows.  It all goes pretty well, and I can start setting up for teatime.

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Tea set was a gift for Ava from one of my favorite people's favorite person.

Today is the day we finally initiate Poetry Teatimes.  I love this idea at BraveWriter of slowing down, doing something different, and, of course, reading poetry.  (Click here, or definitely here (go to page 6), or even here if you think reading poetry is a waste of time.)  Turns out, the kids love it too.  They are so excited, helping me get out plates and candles and such.

Our poetry teatime begins.  We have the difficulty of getting Charlotte to leave the dishes where they are set.  Ava is so frustrated with Charlotte for messing up her table setting.  I try to have a mini-chat with her about lowered expectations, but Wyatt starts chasing Charlotte, so we have to shelve that one.  We all get seated, tea is poured, and munching ensues.  Kids are content as they look through poetry books to decide what we'll read.  They are genuinely interested and I'm pretty pleased with myself for getting this far.

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Ava reads first.  She chooses "From the Passionate Shepherd, to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe.  She sighs wistfully at the end and says, "I just love poems that have "thee" in them."  She is a peculiar 6 year old, and I just can't get enough of her.

Wyatt chooses the poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends where the guy is sitting on his own head.  I remember he is the only boy in this tea party.  Charlotte tears her Jamberry board book in half, at which point I notice a suspicious dark spot on her pillow and realize I haven't taken her to the bathroom in an hour.  Shooot.  Everything grinds to a halt while I change her and start pillow clean up.  During this interval, Wyatt and Ava get into a heated discussion about who should get the last square of (gluten free) rice crispy treat.  I solve the dispute by eating it myself.  Everyone agrees this was a sensible solution (ha!).

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All in all, this little teatime provided sweet moments between me and my critters, and also moments that made me think, what was I thinking?!


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Ava did not feel Charlotte was careful enough to have her own cup from the special tea set,
so she got one from a sturdier set.

After teatime, the girls help put things away, bustling back and forth between the coffee table and kitchen like we've done this a hundred times.  Wyatt lays on the floor and pretends like he has a stomachache until I make him take over the clean up.

Yesterday, I overheard Wyatt and Grant discussing how they both had to dig through the laundry basket to find clean underwear, so next I regather my troops to attack the laundry pile.  We enlist India Arie for background music.  I'm again floored by how my kids pull together, immediately getting to work and joking around.  There's a fair amount of dancing, but I try to keep at least some folding happening.  Ava grooves while folding a dish towel and singing, "keep your fancy drink and your expensive minks, I don't need that to have a good time."  'Ok,' I think, 'we're doing pretty good here.'  Then Wyatt whacks both girls with a pair of his undies and they forget all about using their words.  I look at the clock: 9:30 am.

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I sat down to write this post, and was frozen by the siren screech of my toddler.  It was as if my bum touching the chair had literally set off an alarm.  I ignored her.  Probably about four minutes later, said toddler came running to my desk saying she was hungry.  I did not respond, and she went to sit herself at the table, apparently assuming I'd be right there with her snack.  About 3.5 minutes after that, the oldest child came and said, "Mommy?"  I closed my eyes in utter frustration and she gasped, "Oh, I forgot!"  Cycle repeats for the forty minutes I try to write and they are supposedly watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I feel resentful (ok, pissed off) that I can't even write in peace while they watch tv!  What is the point of tv if not to give mama half an hour of time when her thoughts are not interrupted?!!  Where did I put the number for "Mrs. Pritchard's School for Wayward Children?"

Now they are building with blocks, all working together again.  The older two are giggling over the little one's antics, and then they all scurry upstairs to find more supplies for an epic city with walls.  Well, maybe I'll keep them a little while longer.

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