Another end of another week. Another mea culpa from a prodigal blogger. Another absent minded hope that someone (other than my mom) still stops by every now and again to see if I've blown the dust off this blog and have written something.
This week marked our first week on our new schedule. The first week with my husband at his civilian job, the girls home from school, my working from home more than at the office and the first week of Summer Academy.
The girls took on the week with great enthusiasm. Everyone gave presentations tonight based on the topic they researched after our visit to the library on Wednesday. M1 presented a PowerPoint on the Titanic. M2 presented her handcrafted seahorse habitat (photos to follow). M3 showed us two pictures she'd drawn today. All three girls want to have school tomorrow so we can make up for some missed morning lesson time (errands took over one day) so we are ready for next week. I suppose I should plan next week's lessons?
You remember Boggle, don't you?
It's that handy little game with letter cubes, a tray, a cover and an hourglass timer. Someone puts the cover over the letter tray and shakes them all up then allows them to settle into a spot on the tray. Once the cover is removed and the timer started, players try to make as many words as they can from the jumble of letters.
The more words, the better. The longer the word, the higher the score. I still remember a particularly rousing game of Boggle when visiting friends in which the word, 'patella', won the day and went down as the Boggle Master's finest moment.
Although a fun and challenging game, living life this way isn't always cool. Right now, I feel like every day is a game of Boggle. I'm presented with a jumble of behaviors from M3 which I need to sort, respond to, and understand. And, as soon as I have something figured out and handled and I start to feel the slightest bit accomplished, someone picks up that tray, shakes those cubes and we're off to the races again.
Wednesday, I took the girls to a local branch of the county library. M3 and I attended a preschool story time. I was worried. I told myself if she could sit through the book reading portion, I would count the day as a success. Not only did she sit through the book reading, but she sat through two puppet plays, sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and made a craft. She sat on her carpet square for 45 minutes and didn't roll around, stand up, talk out of turn or do any of the other annoying and distracting things the other kids in attendance did, all while their parents busied themselves on their crackberries or buried their noses in a book.
Appropriately entitled, "The First Book", this little tome is an installment in the popular kid series, Henry and Mudge. Nothing like the story of a boy and his dog to take home from the library.
While waiting in line, M3 looked at me and said, "M3 write?" and made a motion with her hand as if she had a pencil in it and was writing. "NOOOOOOOO! No write!" I replied. "This book belongs to the library not M3. We do NOT write in books with words and pictures. Never, never, NEVER." M3 repeated, "Never! No write! No write in this book!" all while shaking her head no and wagging her finger at herself.
Fast forward two days. The girls gave their presentations at dinner tonight. M3 talked about her two drawings first and then was WOWED by her sisters' presentations. Both older girls referred to their books. M3 then ran to get her book and regaled my husband and me with her recollections of the story (we've only read it once) as she turned from page to page.
Once she finished, she left the kitchen. Not three minutes later, she was back, book and pencil in hand. Huge smile on her face. She opened the book and on the table of content page, in her scrawling hand, were what appeared to be her versions of the page numbers in very dark pencil.
My husband and I both gasped. I immediately set about trying to erase the numbers. He immediately set about questioning her as to what she thought she was doing and how we are pretty sure it was clear that we are NOT to write in books EVER. We also spent some quality time in the naughty chair and went to bed about 20 minutes early.
My husband helped her get ready for bed, told her how much we loved her and also made it quite clear that this was not okay. She also recounted for him the entire scenario in the library and it was very clear she understood what I'd said and that she knew she was not to write in the book, but did it anyhow. Hellooo? Bueller? Impulse control, anyone?
We will be talking to the librarian on Wednesday when we return the book. She will own up to it as she would even if it were a complete and total mistake or an act done without knowledge on her part. I trust the librarian will follow my lead (especially if I give him the head's up) that it is NOT okay, but that he appreciates her honesty and hopes that when her Mommy lets her borrow a book again, she will take good care of it.
This is how life is at our house. Every day. One step forward. Three steps back. It is a horrible, toe stomping dance. I'd like to be happy and excited but the moment I allow myself even one little bit of an accomplished sigh, I'm erasing numbers from a library book, helping M2 repair something M3 has "accidentally" broken, or repeating myself for the 18th time in 5 minutes.
I am extremely happy with what I saw at story time.
I am less so with what I saw at gymnastics Wednesday afternoon.
I am extremely disappointed in the library book tonight.
And so it goes.
The girls insist we catch up on our lessons tomorrow, so we will. I'm also working on making my own podcasts for the C25k program as I'm going to do it over again with M1 (and maybe M2) so we can be doing a 5k by the end of the summer. Something good for the three of us and definitely needed by me who cannot seem to get back on the running train no matter how hard I try.
I need to run. I also need a good night's sleep. These two things are ever-elusive.
I so just wish there were someone who has lived this journey before to say, "Hang in there, kiddo! You're doing the right things! In X months/years, this will be so much less mind boggling." But, I don't know anyone like that.
Let's hope this weekend goes well and we can get another week off on the right foot.