Tuesday, October 25, 2005

This is not what I signed up for!

If I am ever asked to give my thoughts on homeschooling I don’t think I’ll mention today.

It started out normal enough. Kids doing chores, me trying to wake up… I was in the laundry room helping Amy sort the laundry when I heard yelling from the kitchen. Apparently the 5 year old hit the 11 year old. Punched him in the shoulder. This info came from the 11 year old when he came into the laundry room begging me to help him.

He was walking over to her seat at the kitchen table (when he was supposed to be unloading the dishwasher – if he’d just been doing what he was supposed to be doing…) and she was on her knees on her chair. They’d been playing a pretend fight game the night before and she claims she was just continuing the game. He said he told her not to do it, she started crying, thinking she’d upset her big brother. So when I walked out there she was cowering in her chair mumbling, “I said I was sorry!”

I finally got this episode wrapped up when Michael whipped out his math book. Fractions. Ugh. I was able to pass off the “Dissect the Owl Poop” assignment to Sean on Saturday but he was at work today. I couldn’t afford to wait for him to get home because Michael had a ton of work to do today.

So I called him at work and got a busy signal. He called me back quickly but I didn’t explain the problem correctly so when I got off the phone I realized I didn’t have the solution. Thankfully I have a math teacher in the family so I called Jill, my sister-in-law. She worked with me on the phone and I’m in tears thinking, “I cannot believe I don’t know how to do this!” Jill was very encouraging, saying when Michael sees me working hard he’ll be able to work hard, too. I felt like an after-school special: “The Mom Without all the Answers but Works Hard to Get Them.”

Anyway, I got that one fixed and went to help Amy with her PE homework: 10 curl-ups (sit-ups). You would have thought she’d been asked to cure world hunger. I tried to show her how to do it, Michael tried, but so much crying ensued I just said forget it. Doing curl-ups causes Amy to have stomach cramps and intense bouts of crying; I’m hoping to get a doctor’s note to get me out of doing PE homework with Amy from now on.

And now it's lunchtime. Mini-corn dogs. Nothing like a well-balanced lunch to get everyone going for the rest of the day. At least I did manage to find some fruit to throw on their plates.

But we couldn’t even make it through lunch without a problem. Seems Rebecca’s corn dogs got a bit too done and they were too hard. So I scraped off the nicely browned crust so she could just get to the dog.

With lunch finished the work continued. I was helping Amy with science because one of the questions in the science book was not answered in the science text. So we had to look up the answer on the Internet and Amy complained the whole time. “Why would they do this to us?” Oh, the inhumanity.

Just as we finished this I hear a mournful cry from the upstairs bathroom. This is never a good thing. I get up there to find Rebecca on the potty crying because she has a “hard poop.”

I got several books for her to look at and instructed her to read and relax and surely the poop will come out. Nothing doing. So she hops off the pot, I stain-stick her undies, get new undies, and attempt to fold some jeans.

Five minutes later, a repeat of the potty. Another attempt, another new pair of undies.

Five minutes later, repeat. Only this time I was on the phone with a dear friend I hadn’t talked to in a long time. So I’m on the phone with Kathy while sitting on the side of the tub watching Rebecca try to poop. Kathy said, “Give her prunes or prune juice.” Kathy, I feel certain, has all types of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand at all times. I’m sure she has prune juice in the fridge as well as a back-up bottle in the pantry. I, however, do not keep prune juice on hand. Nor do I stock apricots, Kathy’s next suggestion.

She finally got to cranberry juice and I did have that so I got Rebecca to drink it. I had to hang up with my friend because the hard poop was causing the type of crying in Rebecca the curl-ups caused in Amy.

We both sat there a few more minutes, watching and waiting. I honestly felt like she was having a baby. “Just push a little bit more – oh, I can almost see it!”

Finally the poop came out and it was huge. Where in the world did that come from? Thankfully the crying stopped, I got her cleaned up and, with yet another new pair of undies, she was on her way.

You know, when Sean and I were discussing homeschooling and reading books and interviewing people who homeschool no one ever recalled a day like today.

Even with all that I did manage to order my saddle from eBay. Man, the stuff you can get on that site …