Archive for 'Accidental Homeschooling'
I can’t take it any more…the endless questions, the whining, the homeschooling, the dieting, the woefully short hair, the laundry mountains, the french fry-encrusted van, the GF/CF diet, growth hormone shots, spilled pie, puppy pee, poison control…
Nahhhh. You know I love that stuff.
For the last three years I have spent one week each Spring at the National Stationery Show in New York helping my best friend with her invitation company, Prints Charming.
I’m leaving tomorrow at lunchtime and will miss you all terribly. I’ll think of you while I luxuriate in an East Village apartment, brunch at the Sunburnt Cow, browse purse-dealers in China town and check out all the new invitation designs at the Stationery Show.
I hope to return with a bevvy of fascinating stories, but since my children will be staying behind, I’m not sure I’ll have have the same quality to which many of you have become accustomed.
I’ll give it my best!
Tootles for a week! I hope to check in but don’t think I’ll have computer access!
Thanks to Kia, again, for making Monday manageable again!
1 – Number of teeth Edward lost last week. “My incisors are gone! All I have are molars and canines! I can no longer say the word ‘the’ beautifully! I have no front teeth. The train traveled…hmmm.”
H texted me this up-to-the-minute conversation while I was having dinner with Ashley of Many Sparkling Gems. She looked at me so quizzically, as I’m sure you are too.
Translation: Edward has now lost all four front teeth and can no longer make the “th” or “tr” sounds just like Cindy from Brady Bunch, who employed a tongue twister book in her own cost-effective form of speech therapy. (Would that we all had it so easy!) Later Buddy Hinton, a bully who plagues Peter throughout this episode, aptly entitled “A Fistful of Reasons,” asks to borrow Cindy’s book after Peter knocks out his two front teeth. “The train traveled” was part of a tongue twister. The grand part of this tooth loss is that it brings Edward $5.00 closer to paying me back for the games he downloaded to my cell phone. (Sort of like reading The Wasteland with the notes?)
450 Number of times per day I tell my children not to ‘W” sit…that it will lead to knee and hip replacements in later years…
10 – Number of days my neighbors are gone to the beach and are therefore unable to address the pool water seepage I discussed last week.
6 – Number of days before the “Big Easter Egg Hunt” held at my house…in the mud and pool water seepage. Bring out yer rain boots!
3 – Number of times Edward asked the hostess at our local Mexican restaurant the definition of a composite number. “So, how many composite numbers do you think you could name?”
5 – Number of clay items other children completed during a 6-week pottery class.
1 1/2 – Number of items Edward completed during the same class because he chose to harness all his creative energy into the one “pig-mouse” pictured here. Understandable. (There is also a claim of a penguin, which is the white lump next to the “pig-mouse.” Since it has never been painted, I’m hopeful he’s created the amazingly rare “albino” penguin…)
Behold, the “Pig-Mouse!”
I can’t wait for it to grace my mantle!
(May God Bless You)
These things I warmly wish to you-
Someone to love
Some work to do
A bit o’ sun
A bit o’ cheer
And a guardian angel always near.
**My Internet Service Provider is falling down on the job terribly. I only have connectivity for 30 seconds or so at a time! Please forgive me for my inability to respond to comments or visit your blogs! They are supposed to come out Thursday to fix this. Agh!**
Many disparate events have collided in the past two weeks only to push me kicking and screaming to consider a topic that frankly infuses my veins with ice crystals: The Birds and The Bees.
I’ve conveniently viewed my need to address this issue as a lengthy, serpentine road whose end I didn’t have to see quite yet–after all my oldest child just turned nine. He spent yesterday with a friend catching green lizards activated finally by the 70-degree weather, finding various grubs and such to feed the creatures, holding Star Wars battles in the back yard and playing “Duck-Duck Goose” on the trampoline.
Why does he need to be faced with anything further than “good touch/bad touch?” Plus, he’s homeschooled. Doesn’t that protect him somewhat from this sort of thing?
Well, I was a bit freaked out last week when I had dinner with several girls from church and they began discussing their own 10-year-old girls’ burgeoning maturity. I was slack-jawed. I personally didn’t reach such maturity until my mid-teens, and while I had one friend who “blossomed” during 5th grade, she was the exception. I knew she was different because she wore a bra, but that was the extent of my understanding regarding her maturation.
My upbringing was “churchy” but not spirit-filled, and my parents told me nothing about the topic other than “DON’T DO IT!” In fact, the first time they warned me not to do it, I had no idea what they were talking about. I had to ask my mother what monthly accoutrements were for because I had seen them in friends’ purses and didn’t know why they would need such strange objects.
I learned the details in a shocking, frightening way by reading Judy Blume books, and I vowed then and there to share the truth with my own children so they would not have to find out in such a troubling way.
I was the girl who left for college knowing nothing, got a roommate who was on the Pill and got an such an earful the first two weeks I had to ask for a different room arrangement.
So the perfect storm of “birds and bees acknowledgment pressure” further roiled when another mother called to let me know a “friend of a friend” had been exposed to pornography while at another child’s house. The culprit? An unsupervised computer, of course.
This tender nine-year-old began having such anger outbursts and depression that his parents finally sent him to a psychologist who got to the bottom of the situation; the images this child saw disturbed him to such a degree that he is now profoundly depressed, his innocence cast into a fiery furnace for which no child is prepared.
I felt further nudgings through Stone Fox’s post on exploitation, Elaine’s recent thought–provoking posts on purity, and a frank conversation yesterday with Kim. I now find myself at a crossroads for which I was not prepared.
(Are we ever truly prepared for crossroads?)
From those who have traversed these waters before me, I welcome your insights, wisdom and experiences. For those whose children are still too young, I pray I do not cause fear and dread. And for those swirling along in these roiling waters beside me, I welcome your support and friendship. Shining the light on this topic can only serve to keep it in His Light where the enemy has a trying time with encroachment.
From all of you, I seek your prayers.
Andrea at Crazy Jugs tagged me! She’s a fascinating and extremely real blogger, so if you haven’t checked her out, please do so!
Three’s About Me!
Three Names I Have Been Called…
2. You know, that girl with the long hair whose children used to go to **** and how she’s homeschooling…or something…
3. That Book Lady
Three Jobs I Have Had In My Life…
1. College English Teacher
2. Biscuit Maker at Mrs. Winner’s Chicken and Biscuits
3. Crystal Seller
Three Places I Have Lived…
1. Hunting for rare books
2. Bargain hunting at garage sales and thrift stores
3. Beth Moore Bible Studies
Three things most people do not know about me…
1. I have a wretched temper when faced with unfairness. For example, today I received a letter from my local library claiming I owed then $55.00 because I checked out a book that was “not allowed to be checked out by the library.” I mean, they checked it out to me! Now they are sending me rude, threatening letters. I called today and they said my only recourse is to meet with this one woman tomorrow morning at 9 am. With my children in tow. I am so, so blooming angry!
Part B: My inlaws read my blog. And I’m OK with that : )
2. I had my last baby when I was 38, and it was by far the easiest pregnancy!
3. I am obsessed with flossing my children’s (and my own) teeth. I floss at least three times per day, and I truly thrill to flossing their teeth too. Perhaps I should have been a dental hygienist? Here’s a picture of me in deep flossing concentration: (I like using those flossy sticks.)
Three TV Shows That I Watch…
1. House Hunters International
2. The Property Shop – that woman has issues but that’s another post for another time!
3. Sell This House!
Three places I Have Been…
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Kauai, HI
Three places I want to go…
That’s three about me, now three’s about you too?
I’m randomly tagging the last nine people who commented on my blog. If you have already done this self-absorbed meme, just move on! And if you don’t want to write about these things, please don’t and I’ll never know because I can’t keep up with anything anyway!
Crooked Made Straight
Piece of Cake
The Domestic Fringe
Where have I been? When my dear friend, Kia, sent me the message: “Dood, where’d you go?” I started to wonder myself where the last two weeks have gone, and I’ll have to admit, the wondering stumped me in a frightening way.
So tonight, while my husband has gone cougar hunting (for the real animals, people) with friends for the weekend, I am feeding my children popcorn and donuts, and allowing them to watch 102 Dalmations (mild violence) while I try to catch up. (Thank you KinniKinnick for your awesome GF/CF cinnamon sugar donuts!)
(Yes, I did say cougar hunting. Apparently cougars can be quite a menace, although H has never killed another living thing since, as a young boy, he shot a bird with a bow and arrow crafted out of a windshield wiper blade. I feel confident regarding the cougar population’s longevity.)
So I decided to run through my calendar and pictures for the past two weeks and see what all I actually did accomplish. Here’s the short list:
1. Help Edward prepare for City-Wide Home School Spelling Bee, which included words like “suet” and “concentric,” while simultaneously adjusting to a new developmental psychologist. “What are you drawing, Edward?” she asks as he draws circles encircled by circles, endlessly. “Oh, those are concentric circles…you know c-o-n-c-e-n-t-r-i-c…Sort of reminds me of the little poem, ‘A Thief in the Night, t-h-i-e-f!’ “Yes, well…I…” She looks at me, puzzled. “Why is he spelling everything?” she whispers, scribbling furiously on her notepad. (Glory be, she’s found yet another diagnosis!) “Oh, he’s just preparing for a big spelling bee,” I encouraged. He then regaled her with a long discussion of Cuba and communism followed by questions about positive and negative cognition. “There’s just so much dyssynchronous development going on here…such an amazing cognitive ability while the social…” “Yes! Dyssynchrony!” Edward chortles! “I can’t spell it but I know it means ‘uneven’!”
2. Teach children how to use a napkin properly.
Did I mention we have a new puppy?
3. Celebrate Joseph’s 9-year-old birthday with a trip to Olive Garden. (Remember, it’s a chain-obsessed town.)
Did you know new puppies don’t sleep well at night? And if they sleep in your child’s bed, they will relieve themselves at the corner of the bedspread?
4. Receive training in how to administer growth hormone shots to Edward. Give growth hormone shots to Edward. Every. Single. Night. Possibly. For. The. Next. Ten. Years.
Were you aware that new puppies get sick when fed too many raisins and popcorn? Not to mention the gas that particular combination creates in the newborn canine digestive system…
5. Attend Sue’s “Muffins with Mom” celebration at her preschool while darting out every three minutes to check on the other two boys who are found, red-faced and sweating, pummeling each other with pillows in the youth room while five calm, homeschooled girls watch Little House on the Prairie videos.
Have I mentioned that we have a new puppy and she’s learned how to bark. Really, really loudly?
6. Spend one day at a City-Wide Homeschool Spelling Bee followed by carpooling followed by borrowing every electronic hand-held game known to man in preparation for nine-year-old having two spots removed at a local dermatologist known for two-hour waits. Sit with 3, 7 and 9-year-old in a waiting room while a TV monitor drones endlessly about the latest psoriasis treatments…field endless psoriasis questions: “Do you have psoriasis? Did I ever had psoriasis? Do you think that lady has psoriasis? Look how gross the psoriasis looks on that TV screen! Are those things scabs? Will that Humira help? What does that girl have? Do you think she has eczema? Doesn’t she look like a babysitter we had once? I know I had eczema and so did Joseph! Did we take Humira?”
The questions are wearing me down: “Why can’t you play with that hand-held Star Wars thing? Isn’t that why we borrowed it? Why aren’t you playing it?”
“It’s out of batteries. I think it needs to be recharged. Did you borrow the charger? You know it comes with a charger.”
I rifle through the bag. “There’s no charger! Just watch the psoriasis show until they call our name!”
“Do you think I will ever get psoriasis? Why is the ‘p’ silent in psoriasis? Is it a Latin word? What’s your favorite Latin word? Do you have to know a lot of Latin to be a dermatologist?”
Did I mention we have a new puppy? (Yes, she is peeing.)
Gone cougar hunting. Check ya later!
This essay was written last night by Joseph, my 8-year-old.
I am very thankful for my family. They are very funny.
I am glad I live in the USA and not in Chad.
I am thankful that I have a house to live in. I am glad that my family is not poor.
I am very glad my family can afford to pay for football, baseball and basketball for me to play.
I am thankful for Jesus.
–An Italian sonnet by a recently 7-year-old boy and his 8-year-old brother
I love the creek because snakes swim in it
The creek has many tadpoles that wander about
Snakes eat the tadpoles while the tadpoles shout
Many frogs croak while they watch the snakes sit
Alexander gives the frogs a get-well kit
Many hawks hover, watching frogs pout
Alexander worries frogs will shout
Snakes slither, watching Alexander spit
At the beginning of the night, frogs begin to sleep
Alexander feels curious and goes where snakes lay
He is bitten by a rat snake
Nocturnal snakes will wait for their keep
Alexander moans, “Yow, cow, thou, hey!”
He stumbles and calls for his brother, Blake.
Yes, well, it’s election day and while I have scads of thoughts, emotions, fears, tremblings, peace, questions and wonders, I’m not called to blog on politics.
So I will leave you with my children’s favorite part of their history lesson today. We are studying the Franks as part of The Story of The World for the Classical Child.
Their favorite part?
The fact that Charlemagne encouraged the Franks to stop stomping on grapes with their dirty feet to make wine.
So we stomped a few grapes just to make sure this lesson stuck.
Need any non-alcoholic wine?
One thing I have learned during the approximately 4 months since we received our diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, is that fine-tuning and remaining diligent about my child’s sensory diet makes all the difference in the success and failure of any particular day.
Edward’s needs, like that of any child with sensory issues, change from week to week, and keeping up with home OT and diet are, at times, trying, exhausting, time-consuming and stressful.
This is not meant to be a “doom and gloom” SPD post, but rather a snapshot of how a day can go when I don’t keep up my part of the SPD bargain. I supposed it’s fitting that this wretched day transpired smack dab in the middle of Sensory Processing Disorder Month.
Here’s a recipe for doom:
Wake up late–rush to drop three-year old off at PreK; drop in BK for tater tot and apple fry breakfast because you are out of gfcf bread and bagels and had no time for eggs. Rush in to a 6-hour science camp filled with liquid nitrogen-dipped bananas, multi-colored (read Red dye 5 and Yellow Lake 3) marshmellows dipped in liquid nitrogen, 37 other children swarming each experiment and a scientist comparing everyone in the room to a team of 5-year-old geniuses who read at 3 and and now do Calculus. (“But Mama, I read at three and I know all about the quadratic equation; why can’t I go to their genius class??”)
Your 2e child answers the question about Kelvin (absolute zero) and is the only person beside a 16-year-old in the room who knows the answer. The Ph.D. genius-engineer-talent-searcher-person quizzes you about how your 6-year-old knows the answer.
And then he watches your 6-year-old begin to pick pieces of paper off the floor. And then he comes over to you and says, “You told him the answer, didn’t you.” “No, I did not,” I assert. “He’s an avid reader.”
The Ph.D. smiles sweetly but condescendingly and moves on. In his mind I’m just another mother who wishes her darling was gifted. The problems is, my darling *is* gifted; he’s just also has other issues that affect others’ perception of his giftedness.
Then your SPD 6-year-old is dismissed and hurt.
And then you are in a free-fall toward a full-fledged meltdown. Your sweetheart is the only person who knows some random answer about carbon monoxide (and he’s right) but the Ph.D. scientist demonstrator doesn’t hear him because, at this point, your overloaded 6-year-old is mumbling…sinking into his own despair.
Your SPD sweetheart grows increasingly frustrated when he is not called to participate in each experiment. You swoop up this sweetheart, give big hugs, deep pressure squeezes, head rubbings, hand massages–anything to try to calm him down. Finally you break for lunch.
Because you still have no gf/cf bread, you rush back to this wretched BK and purchase a “meat disk” and some of their apple fries. These are scarfed down hurriedly in the van with no ketchup.
You, incidentally, break one of your own molars on a bone hunk caught in your own disgusting cheeseburger; you save the molar and bone pieces in hopes of somehow using them as evidence to either a lawsuit or at the very least a purely copacetic accident policy claim. (At the very least you can use them during science class to look at through the microscope.)
Now you rush back to the science camp, against your better judgment.
Why not call it a day and dash off to the park to swing and work off some energy? Why press this stressed sensory-overloaded child with three more hours of science camp?
Because you committed to watch over a few other friends’ children? Because you wanted your own NT 8-year-old to garner this science experience? Or because in your own prideful frailty you wanted that Ph.D. engineer science man to know once and for all just how gosh-darn bright your little fellow is even if he does have sensory issues.
My science camp day ended with my tiny sweetheart bolting out the door of the church, into the yard, and toward a busy street before I caught him.
He just could not take one more minute. Not one more minute of sitting still. Not one more minute of not participating in experiments. Not one more minute of staring at some excessivly large clock which greatly upset him from a visual processing standpoint.
And you know who the culprit of this whole failed day was?
I knew better.