5:26 I wake up and get up to write. The kitchen is clean, but the bathroom is covered in sand– all dried on the faucet and sink and floor– so I clean that up before getting down to business.
5:45 Light a candle and sit down to write with the laptop and my cup of tea.
7:01 O appears and wraps himself on a quilt on the living room floor. I put away the computer before everyone else arrives.
7:10 J comes down and announces he’s already cleaned the bathroom, brushed his teeth and made his bed (according to his definition of “made”. it might not be the same definition as yours.) He goes to start his schoolwork.
7:12 M arrives in pajamas and glasses. She stands next to me and snuggles until she’s completely away.
7:20 “Mommy!!!! Me wake up!!! Me get dressed!!!!” SweetP comes down the stairs. I’m able to coax everyone by J to the table for some breakfast– bagels and cream cheese, and apples from the bowl on the table.
7:30 Sam comes down for breakfast and I go up for a lightning-quick shower.
7:40 Sam is ready for work. We kiss him good-bye. J unloads the dishwasher, M loads, and O sweeps the floor. I start a batch of yogurt and oatmeal bread.
8:00 We all sit down at the table to do a little work. After five minutes, J says, “I”m hungry.” I think (and maybe say out loud) that if he would have eaten with the rest of us, he’d not be hungry now. He goes to make himself some breakfast.
8:10 I sit on the couch with SweetP to read Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine by Eveline Ness. M & O are next to us before I finish the title page. What a good story! “Read it again, Mommy,” SweetP says.
8:30 Everyone reconvenes at the school table for our “notebook work.”
8:40 SweetP is done coloring. She’s done seven drawings of herself in different colors. She’s taken the caps off all the markers and put them on her fingertips. She’s “practiced piano,” thus getting residual marker on all the keys from her fingers. She’s gone twice to change her clothes. Now she wants to watch Kipper. “Me watch Kifford!” Sorry, no. I talk her into doing a puzzle instead. J says he has 44 math problems to go. (He’s done 4.)
8:45 O is done with all his notebook work. He goes to teach SweetP how to do puzzles. (When he was two, he could put 50 piece puzzles together. At the time I didn’t really realize how remarkable that was, until his speech therapist pointed it out.)
8:55 M announces her work is too difficult. I’m not really sure how she’d know that, since she hasn’t actually tried any of it yet. J needs help with factorizing x2-28x+192. (The answer is (x-12)(x-16), in case you were wondering.)
9:15 O begins practicing piano. SweetP goes to change clothes. J tells me he has 32 math problems to go. M hasn’t started yet. I go to put some laundry in.
9:30 The “Kifford!” chant begins again, and I give in… sort-of. I put a Signing Times video in instead. M goes to watch, and O begins his “school computer time” with a online puzzle of Asia. J asks if he can watch O, but the answer is no. Twenty-eight math problems to go. I suggest he work on something else instead for a bit– his reading, or piano. He says no. I work in the kitchen for a bit. O gets 28% on the math puzzle. I don’t know where Azerbijan is either.
10:00 I punch the bread down and put it in loaf pans. O has worked his way through the puzzle until he gets a 91%. Hooray! M and SweetP finish, and I move us all to the kitchen. They play with play dough while I read a chapter of Joshua to them.
10:10 “Mommy, can I have free computer time?” No. “Can I have more school computer time?” No. “Can I look at my bottle cap collection?” No. “What can I do?” You can sit here while I read to us.
10:12 We read three chapters of Around the World in 80 Days. It just got really interesting. J wants me to keep reading, but the others are ready to run around. I finish the yogurt and put it in to culture.
10:20 We head to the park. M is wearing her friend’s rollerskates and takes nearly fifteen minutes to make it down the alley. I want to scream. Instead I just shout say there’s going to be a No-Rollerskate-In-The-Alley rule from now on. The neighborhood school is out for the day, and several of our friends are there. We play.
11:05 A neighboring dad gets upset with all the stick wafare going on and snaps them all in half on his knee. (His son had one, too, for the record.) We go home. I heat the oven for the bread.
11:15 I send everyone into the back yard for a bit while I make lunch.
11:40 We eat lunch at the little picnic table. I read to them Pegi Shea’s The Whispering Cloth, A Refugee’s Story and The Journey by Sarah Stewart. The kids are enchanted by both, in different ways. They have a lot of questions about the Hmong people, which I try to answer.
12:10 We head inside and clean up from lunch. The bread is done.
12:20 I send everyone to their beds to rest or read. More laundry for me.
12:35 J comes back down to look for another book to read. SweetP hears him pass her door and comes flying yelling, “Time to wake up??!!!” No. I ask J what makes his need for another book when he already has 400 in his bed already more important than his sister’s need for a nap. He asks, “Are you being sarcastic?” I tell him No, go back to bed.
12:42 On the way out of her room, I step on a light saber on the floor and twist my ankle. Let’s just say I made sure the boys heard about it… This is not a 5-star mothering day.
12:45 After getting SweetP tucked back in (though now she’s wide awake, and I doubt she’ll sleep), I log on to our work computer and refill prescriptions and and review lab reports for my patients. I call two of them back to explain their results. Of course, it takes longer than I think.
1:10 I sit down to knit and rest. I’ve screwed up the gray pullover I’m knitting (I twisted the stitches when I joined, thus making a mobius strip instead of a sweater) and have to rip out three rows. I get it rejoined when…
1:25 Everyone descends again. M asks for computer time. I say No, as she’s neither practiced piano nor done her notebook work. She sits down with her notebook and gets her work done in 7 minutes flat.
1:32 M sits down to practice piano. J starts his Asian geography. SweetP and I build Legos.
1:47 O goes to the piano and M works on her computer geography. I really online geography puzzles. And online math flashcards.
2:02 O goes to the computer for free computer time. M joins me and SweetP with the Legos. Once they’re working well together, I fold the laundry.
2:40 I realize we’re leaving for the Lake in five minutes. I start popping popcorn and yelling at everyone to put shoes on and go potty.
2:45 I make tea for the thermoses (thermi?) and salt the popcorn. No one has shoes on.
3:10 We arrive at the Lake to play. Our friends are right behind us, and we all head out toward the “log lake.” The minute I’ve crossed the bridge, my mood undergoes a complete shift. Was I suffering from an acute attack of Nature Deficit Disorder? Perhaps…
3:45 Something twisted and bitter in me has released. I’m full of light and autumn colors and the aroma of cottonwood leaves under my feet. The boys are banging sticks to their hearts’ content. SweetP is wandering around without her shoes (I hope she doesn’t step on anything) and M and her friends are drinking tea and eating popcorn at the picnic table. Why didn’t we come here at nine this morning?
4:47 We’re on the road back home. Sam will be home in half an hour. Everyone is dirty and happy in the car. Best of all, the wretched angry thing inside me is gone.