I keep getting thrown off my blogging rhythm due to things like discovering my sons rolling around in the mud outside like pigs in a sty, fighting with my daughter to put her pull-ups back on, staying up all night with a teething baby, planning a homeschooling year, preparing talks, completing writing projects that actually pay money, cleaning up cat pee, cleaning up cat vomit, cleaning up toddler pee, cleaning up toddler vomit (well, okay, that’s only happened once in the past couple months due to my daughter stuffing sticky stars up her nose, promptly inhaling them, and then — thanks to her body responding properly — gagging and throwing two back up while we retrieved the other two from her nostrils), etc., etc., etc.
So I’m trying to use Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Quick Takes to motivate my blogging butt into gear.
Unfortunately, my biggest hindrance to productivity… or higher brain stem function is the early-rising tendencies of all four of my children, which leads me to wonder how our dear hostess, Jennifer, has managed to have six children who enjoy sleeping in as much as she does. Does she use some kind of powerful tranquilizer? If so, where does one acquire these legally?
I despise mornings — I could never be a doughnut maker… or a rooster. Getting up at the crack of dawn causes me to be angry at things I have no control over, like the sun and the earth’s rotation. All my communication skills devolve into grunts for nearly two hours.
One of my best friends will often call me at about 8 a.m. and say, “Good morning, Sunshine,” and I can barely produce gurgling noises with more than one syllable. Thank God she speaks Groggy Non-Morning Person and can interpret my moans to mean, “I love you and your peppy spirit with all your energy and optimism, but I’m not here right now. If you’d like to leave a message, I might remember what you said. Otherwise, feel free to call back at 9 when I emerge from being classified as Sasquatch on the evolutionary chart.* Beep.”
*Psst: I don’t care what you’ve heard, Harry and the Hendersons was not a documentary. I don’t believe in Bigfoot, and I don’t even think I look like him, save the scraggly head of hair and my desperate need to pluck my eyebrows.
Speaking of sleep… that wonderful, fabulous thing I covet more than a working dishwasher, how about sleeping while walking? At least that is what our 7-year-old has started doing. I suppose technically he’s actually walking while sleeping; otherwise known as sleepwalking. This is just a neat little add-on to our already crazy life. Occasionally, he will just wander out of his room — eyes glazed over — and come hug me. I will talk to him, say his name several times, ask him if he’s okay, urge him to go potty, tell him jokes, make faces at him, and he just stares through me.
Finally, if I can lead him away from the art table where he often goes to pick up his drawing pencil, he will just scurry back up into his bunk bed, roll over, and go back to… sleeping in the horizontal position. This is truly one of the oddest behaviors I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some pretty bizarre stuff, being a parent and all.
Speaking of behavior, while my children are perfectly behaved… in my dreams… that I don’t get to have because I never enter REM state at night, I like, many moms, constantly keep my eyes and ears open for hints and tips on how to properly discipline my children from experts I will later curse as being idiots. The latest method I’ve latched onto comes courtesy of friends of ours who have children who are so proper and well-mannered they should speak with British accents and wear outfits made out of curtains by Julie Andrews.
The method is called Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones, and the basic premise derives from Jones’ observations of teachers in inner-city classrooms who managed to have control of their classes at all times.
Now, I tried this method tonight while typing this blog when my 2-year-old emerged from her room for the 17th time. I was sitting at the computer, and she quietly came up behind me after having been put to bed a half hour before. I took a breath, moved my tongue to the back of my throat, put on the Queen Victoria “I-am-not-amused” look on my face, and slowly turned to face her in hopes that she would head back to her bed.
She promptly began spinning me around in my swivel chair until I came to rest facing the world maps tacked to the wall. I am quite sure the country of Nigeria was trembling in its boots at the sight of my neutral expression.
Despite the fact that I am still trying to get my daughter back into bed, I still highly recommend the techniques found in these videos. I look forward to getting more from the book and watching how they are implemented this year into the cool new co-op we’re doing for school beginning in September.
I cannot tell you how excited I am for this school year. This new co-op, launched by two of the fellow homeschooling moms in our Sacred Heart Home Educators group, is called Schola Rosa, and it’s a perfect fit for me — it’s a curriculum that comes with a once-a-week co-op meeting… or perhaps it’s a co-op meeting that comes with a weekly curriculum.
However you want to look at it, it’s got the ying and yang I’m looking for in terms of structure without confinement; flexibility without disorder; socialization without socialism; and because this is the inaugural year, I get to be on the ground floor, and because I’m a nursing mom and have absolutely no other talents, I have been assigned the role of Co-op Blogger this semester. So look out for some really cool pictures of moms going all Fred Jones on kids who do things like this…
They were told to fold their laundry and put it away – a task which inevitably escalates into this ridiculous Cave Man behavior. When I went to snap this picture of my two oldest sons wrestling on… or near… or against the couch, my daughter made her way into the laundry room and promptly poured a cup of water into the dryer ” ’cause it diwty in dere.”
Fortunately, the baby just spit up all over my arm while I carried him through these latest series of events that ultimately led to a large consumption of chocolate by me and various children Velcroed to the wall.
I’m just kidding. I haven’t found Velcro strong enough to hold all four of them up at once. So I will continue to practice my calm reaction and regal turn as we navigate life with kids, cats, and chaos.
Now excuse me while I go all Fred Jones on the feline that just urinated on the towel left on the floor.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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