Posts Tagged ‘peeves’

More Ups and Downs

A little dip in general morale around here. It’s periodic. First, we’re all enthusiastic and trying hard. Then there’s a slow but perceptible waning of enthusiasm from you know who. Which I notice, and try to fix by making things better, more exciting, more…..I don’t know. I ramp it up, and start taking the responsibility upon myself to find new projects, new ways of teaching spelling, new library books, anything to get back to the honeymoon period. This doesn’t work, whatever I suggest is poo-poohed, and the sighing, moaning, and dragging around limply become even more noticeable. Which start to make my blood boil. I know what’s coming. I try to avoid it. The confrontation. Which happens. Goes something like this:

AAArgh! You’re job is to be the learner. My job is to provide the materials, experiences etc. I can’t be expected to force it down your throat. If you won’t try, how can this work? Do you want to end up digging ditches for the rest of your life?  Then the laying on of the guilt, which I try and try to avoid, because it’s stupid and useless and damaging, and only serves to make both of us feel bad. I don’t have to be doing this, you know. I could be going to work all day. You wanna go back to school? Just say the word, pal. Then the tears. The time spent apart. Him on his bed, kicking at the wall, me furiously scrubbing pots at the sink, fending off Jay’s desperate attempts to prove herself the perfect student. Luckily, this time the separation only lasted half an hour, and we got in a reconciliatory chat and a cosy 15 minutes of reading aloud before lunch.

He has real trouble understanding that not everything he does will be the height of fun. We talked about expectations. About the fact that for most people, life is hard, that work isn’t always sheer joy, that you find pleasure in working hard, and that you then get to enjoy bits of time each day after the work is done.

About how two people could have the exact same life, and one be miserable and the other be content. That it’s not so much what your life is like, but what your perception of it is. If you expect it to be a thrill every single second, you’re bound to be disappointed. If you expect it to be hard work, you’ll be happy whenever you get a chance for fun.

It seems that we need to go through this little cycle, over and over again, he and I. Until he finally gets it, and begins to take responsibility for his own choices, his own life, his own happiness. He still thinks that it’s my job to make everything perfect for him.

Now that we’ve had our inevitable little blow-up, his expectations will be adjusted temporarily, and we can have another couple of solid weeks of learning. I hope! I just wish it could be a little smoother. Still, being the optimistic homeschooling mother that I am, I got a little inspiration from today’s events. We should write a story about two people who live side-by-side in mud huts, one happy, the other miserable, ending the story with a moral. Which got me to thinking that they’ve never read Aesop’s fables. Yay! Reading Aesop’s fables will be fun!

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Some Days….

….are harder than others.

Today was one of the harder ones. No real reason, nothing dramatic happened, but I found myself riding the edge of irritability all day long. Parenting 24 hours a day is a real challenge for me. I think what happens is that all of the little things add up, and every once in a while, those little things feel like too much. Too much shrieking, too much bickering, too much singing off key. Too much noise in general.

I think I may need to put myself to bed. Sounds like someone’s a little tired.

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Almost There

I think we have finally reached critical mass for ballpoint pens. It doesn’t matter where I am in the house, if I need to write something down, I just look around, and presto! there’s a pen. On the couch, under the coffee table, at the computer desk, at the kitchen table, scattered on the rug. Pens.

We are also at critical mass for drink containers. There are always enough to go around. For a while, it seemed like I was buying plastic drink containers every single time I went grocery shopping. Same with tupperware. We always have a surplus of lids, just seem to have trouble keeping track of the containers. So I bought a huge box of them, and it’s made quite a difference to my quality of life.

Still  have an issue with socks, though. They’re the bane of my existence. It’s not that we don’t have enough. We have a huge wicker basket overflowing with them. They’re just impossible to keep organized, and unfortunately, all singletons. I’ve tried color coding, I’ve tried making the kids responsible for them, but whatever method I begin with, I end up backsliding, so that with each load of laundry, I just take the unsorted heap of socks and dump them into the basket. Which is all fine and dandy until it’s time to go somewhere, and I have four kids scrabbling through the pile, ultimately ending up with a completely mismatched pair. It looks especially dreadful when they wear shorts, and one sock is up to a knee, the other down at the ankle.

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Mood Swings

The Pleasant Surprise

Unbelievable! Tee actually elected to write more on his Aztec report after supper. On his own time. A homeschool mother’s dream! The blurring of “school” and life. Life is school. Learning can happen anytime. And to make the evening even more perfect….the two Littles fought over the leftover salad at supper. I know, I know, not just a homeschool mother’s dream, any mother’s dream. I just sat back and glowed, internally.

The Frustratingly Inexplicable

Why do my children refuse to take advantage of my efforts to provide them with edifying, intellectually stimulating experiences?

Case in point: On paper, on my list of Things To Do, an evening outing to Fort Whyte to watch the flocks of geese arrive at dusk was a Sure Fire Hit. Nature in all it’s glory, a tribute to the changing seasons, a wonderful homeschool experience. A great field trip, no nasty writing involved. I was all ready to take photos of my four apple-cheeked youngsters appreciating one of nature’s spectacles, already anticipating the great photo-op. Isn’t homeschooling wonderful? Aren’t we a lucky family? Maybe I could even snag a banner photo of flying geese in V-formation! But my suggestion fell flat. Only the ever-eager Jay was even slightly interested.

It’s a tribute to my 38 cumulative years of parenting experience (I just added that up today, quite an impressive way of saying it don’t you think?) that I didn’t insist, and force them into the van, only to return in three hours calling them all ungrateful you-know-whats. No, I went with the majority vote, and we had the usual unenlightening evening of watching R play computer. And doing the dishes. And chasing each other around the house, squealing madly.

Oh well. Can’t say that I don’t try.

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