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Archive for 'Accidental Homeschooling'

Another ER Adventure

The day began beautifully!  First I pre-made my coffee the night before, which always results in that grand coffee smell wafting into my bedroom, gently waking me from my cough medicine-induced stupor.  (I’ve had a bit of a cold lately.)  Then I stepped outside to find actual brisk, Fall air in place of the murky, humid mornings we have had here for the past six weeks.

You know that very first day when the light falls just a bit differently and there is something in the air slightly incomprehensible but varied enough that you know seasons are changing?  That day was today.  Every year I take note of that seasonal change and try to embrace it.

The joy continued as the Perfume Stalker offered to take Sue to Pre-School, which automatically adds at least 45 minutes to our homeschool day.  The boys eagerly grabbed their Spelling workbooks and began trying to “work ahead”–a little known concept in this novice homeschooling house.

The day was unfolding perfectly before me.  We had nowhere to be until football practice at 6 pm–a day of freedom to fit in some extras like playing board games, collecting fall leaves and making gluten-free brownies.  Doesn’t it all sound so glorious?

Hold on.

And then the phone call.  It’s the Perfume Stalker, aka Ashley: “Well, you aren’t going to believe this, but Sue threw up in my car.  Again.”  See this is the second time she’s thrown up in this friend’s car in the past few weeks.  It’s a bit strange because she is not sick, and unlike the Town & Country, the Perfume Stalker’s Suburban is frighteningly clean, so it’s not like there is some lingering, bad smell…unless clean is bad?

And as I’m rushing out the door to rescue Sue, H’s grandmother, who is 88 and staying with us for three weeks while H’s parents are out of the country, hobbles into the kitchen, doubled over in pain.  “I’m so very, very sorry but I think I need to go to the hospital.”  (This sweet woman may be 88, but she looks 68 and behaves like a 48-year-old, so to see her in this shape was shocking and concerning!)

Get ready, set GO!  (Sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture.)

“Call the husband, text the husband, get out of that meeting now!   Get every single bottle of medicine that she takes all around.  Pack the clothes and the food for the hospital.  And DON’T forget….to feed the neighbor’s dog!”

(I was honestly trying to fit in something about reminding H this was the last day to sell the Boston Butts tickets for Joseph’s football team, but I couldn’t make the syllables work.)

About the time we are ready to head out the door to the ER, Ashley arrives with a vomit-dribbled Sue.  She looks slightly peaked, but announces a keen desire for “toast.”  I quickly swab her off, brush her teeth, and arrange her in my bed with a “towel shield” and Sesame Street.

H arrives soon, sad to be missing yet another enthralling team-building event at his company.  I provide him with a quick homeschool plan for the day, and we’re off to the ER.  This time, however, I know my way around!  I proudly waltz through secret back doors, greet receptionists by name, and am heartened when we have the same nurse we had two weeks ago.

Seven ER hours later (which translates to 14 real-time hours), we have learned that thankfully, H’s grandmother does not have an intestinal blockage. She is slightly dehydrated, has slow sodium and is possibly lactose-intolerant.  We leave with new medicines, marching orders, new diet plans and a renewed confidence in our abilities to add even more medications to her ever-expanding medication spreadsheet chart.

I arrive home to find that H has outdone himself as the 41-year-old-stay-at-home-homeschool-dad-rare bookselling-laundress.  He’s taken all three children to the post office where Edward loudly read the “Prohibited Items” poster for a lunch-time postal crowd, regaling them with questions about whether or not handguns were the same thing as “pistols” and wondering aloud if any of the patrons were actually packing a gun.

And he’s churned through laundry using an excessive amount perhaps a teensy bit too much homeade laundry powder.

Thankfully we caught this before the laundry room flooded.

All in all, it’s been a a full day, but a good day.

(Thanks, God.)

Posted on 16 September '08 by , under Accidental Homeschooling, Faith is the Evidence. 14 Comments.

Feral Celts

First I eliminated the PS2 because I grew so weary of my children talking about Count Duku and General Grievous like they were relatives.

I kept the Wii because I felt it was therapeutic in some sense.   After about a day of homeschooling, I nixxed that, too.

For now.

Until I am worn down, yet again.  Which will happen.

(Those of you familiar with my unorthodox discipline techniques can see a little cash coming my way.)

TV got the punt except for a few random Olympics which I felt encouraged an awareness of Geography.

With all things electronic rapidly vanishing, the Leapster, which had languished underneath McD sacks in the back of the van for months, suddenly took a front seat.  Now we are battling over Spiderman math games.  (At least we are reinforcing multiplication tables.)

This lead to a resurgence of interest in Webkins.  I was slightly nervous when they made mention of those creatures because I feared our furry offspring had all passed on from neglect during the past three months.

I was wrong.  They are sturdy critters.

Still, today I took those Webkins away.  Again.

And now I have this:

(See my laptop on my kitchen bar in the background?  Yes, that’s where I blog!)

We studied the Celts today as part of our history curriculum, The Story of the World, Volume 2.  Immediately Edward grabbed a blue magic marker and begged to tint his face blue.  “Go for it!” I encouraged.

Two minutes later everyone was blue and begging to smear animal fat in their hair.

(One child suggested we render fat from a squirrel we could hunt in the back yard…he was quickly hushed.)

They settled for hair gel.

As I write, my children have tugged a fallen tree limb from the “woods” and are chopping away on its rotted trunk with plastic swords and make-shift “Chinese Stars” they have fashioned out of rock pieces.

Here is the place where they hone their stars:

They are being children.

They are filthy with blue faces, covered in insect bites, half-clothed, clutching half-eaten apples in one hand and Star Wars swords in the other.

Thank you God.

Posted on 22 August '08 by , under Accidental Homeschooling. 11 Comments.

Submitting to Mr. Bubble

I know you are all on are on pins and needles wondering about the potty drama, and I am surprised to say we have had a certain amount of success with the Diego pants.  Simply put, the princesses can suffer in silence but Diego can no longer be put in such an, ahem, awkward position.

Somehow, Diego is far more important than Belle, Cinderella and Ariel.  I guess I could console myself with the fact that Sue does have two brothers, so it’s natural for her to shield the boy—right??  Is that good?  Is that bad?  I gather it’s a tad controversial if you think about it too long.

And now my book club is reading this book, Created to be His Helpmeet, about submission and I’m all queeged out about this, although I do agree with some parts.  (I guess part of me is still dealing with the reality of casserole caddies.)

But anyway, now that Sue has made her first tee tee “fountain” as she calls it, (when it is tee tee alone—no poo poo), her demands have begun.  It’s like she’s drunk with the power of it all.  “I’ll take my candy now…and this time I want CHOCOLATE…please.”

And the latest: “I don’t like this white…I need pink paper.”

I’m a slave to this potty stuff.  Remember, she starts her three-year-old preschool class in 22 days, and she must be potty trained by that point or she relinquishes her spot.   And if she loses her spot, I will have to entertain her all day, every single day, while I simultaneously homeschool my two boys.  And I have never homeschooled them together so I am just a wee bit nervous about all this newness.  (I’m sure you veteran homeschoolers out there are rolling your eyes at my whining–but remember, I’m an “accidental” homeschooler and I’m new to all this.)  I also won’t be able to carpool with my dear friend who has 5 children, is homeschooling three of them (also for the first time), and is about to adopt a 6th.

And all of this is a lot of pressure–pressure that has led me to consider importing 140 rolls of pink toilet paper from France.  (That’s the minimum.)  This is the color I believe Sue has in mind:

And here is a picture of the toilet paper laboratory (their word, not mine.)

In researching sources for tinted toiler paper, I found many people lamenting its disappearance from the US.  Why has it gone?  Irritation to the “private area,” of course, although the French toilet paper people claim to have perfected hypoallergenic colored toilet paper.  Alas, we don’t have that technology in the states.

I seem to remember avocado toilet paper in my childhood…and some pumpkin-like color.  These colors went great with the shag carpet my parents chose (and still have) in their bathroom.

And this leads me to an associated memory of Mr. Bubble.  Remember when Mr. Bubble was a powder that came in a large box?  He was simply grand–made the frothiest bubbles–and was such a happy, pink bubble man.

Here’s a link to the the commercial for those of you who are too young to remember.

Like most children growing up in the 1970s, I loved, loved, loved Mr. Bubble.  But then my parents discovered that he made our “tee tees” sting…and, lamentably, we couldn’t use him anymore.

Yet for some unknown/sadistic? reason, my mother kept the box for years and years and years.  Every time I opened that linen closet to procure a towel, or some white (or orange) toilet paper, Mr. Bubble jeered at me from the top shelf.  (Incidentally, the NIH has determined that Mr. Bubble did indeed cause “irritation to the urinary tract.”)

H was not surprised when I told about all of my findings: “Always back to the urethra…” he sighs.

Posted on 21 July '08 by , under Accidental Homeschooling. 14 Comments.