at home with kids

Spring is here.  We are busily spending our entire days in the great outdoors.  Not much time for blog writing since I outlaw electronic devices (i.e. TV) for my own children once it is warm enough for short sleeves.  This time also coincides with TV Turn Off Week.  So, in honor of Earth Day, get yourselves outside and enjoy Mother Earth.  Or, find some form of other interactive way to play with your kids.  I will be updating from time to time, but I will be on hiatus from the blog world because we are too busy outside playing, as it should be!! 


The other morning, I was enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee and watching my oldest child pretend to be the mom to my youngest.  She was covering her up with a blanket, bringing her a drink and some snacks, reading stories to her.  It was the sweetest thing, that is until one of them crossed the line with the other.  I don’t know what or how it happened and I was in the room with them.  But all of a sudden, the mood changed.  Being only 20 months apart, they still have a problem with the yours, mine, and ours part of their relationship.  They tend to get into some pretty heated disagreements that to me resemble a girly, WWF match.  Imagine lots of scratching, hair pulling, and smacking during one of their love fests.  Mind you, this typically lasts only 30 seconds, because I will intervene and have them get back into their separate corners (insert bell sound here), but nonetheless they both end up crying and losing.  Some days I feel more like a referee than a mother.  They find out quite quickly and concretely that there are no winners when problems are solved with violence.  Kids are so smart to figure this out at such a young age.  Too bad the leaders of our country don’t take advice from young children. 


So not only are we cooped up inside due to illness over here, but we are stuck inside due to an Arctic Blast storm that continues to dump snow on this part of the world for what seems like forever!  Mothers definitely are earning extra special bonus points with the Big Guy during these points in our lives.  I think I actually grew wings today.  I have two sick kids, a sick husband, I too am recovering from the flu, and still manage to make sure that everyone is medicated, fed, and wearing clean clothes.  When I am able to dig out of this house child free, a major pampering will be due without hesitation or budget discussion!  Amen!

This fall I decided to take my oldest out of school.  I was very unhappy with the direction of the class, granted it is just preschool, but when I’m paying for it, I wanted it to be a worthwhile experience.  The teacher had many challenges at the beginning of the year.  She was a new teacher (not new to teaching, but new to the school) and many challenging children (not mine, of course).  I was quite unhappy from the start, but I was very patient.  I knew that I had very high standards and I tend to be overcritical when it comes to early childhood education.  However, there were only 9 children in the classroom and two paid staff.  The teacher was still asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom.  I certainly was not volunteering.  The reason I put her in preschool was for social time away from me so that she can gain independence and feel successful by her own achievements.   I went to the director with my concerns on several occasions, but the director thought that this teacher was wonderful and that things should work themselves out.  I even offered my assistance, but the director insisted that this teacher had all kinds of experience working with challenging children and she had all the faith in her ability to manage the classroom.  After two months of patience and nothing changing besides two of the challenging children finding alternative schools, I was done!

We took some time off and we started a little homeschooling.  I bought some bookshelves and set up a small work area to be separate from the play area.  The girls had fun doing their work.  However, everyday almost for two months, my oldest kept asking me to go back to school because she missed her friends.  She is such a social butterfly.  So, my quest of homeschooling had ended as I re-enrolled her in preschool.  I found a preschool that was in the afternoon which works better for her since she really likes her sleep.  She was so excited for her first day of school that she woke up on her own at 8:30, early for her.  She came downstairs already dressed and proceeded to get her coat and boots on.  Her preschool doesn’t start until 11:15.  I did manage to get her to take off her boots, but she left her coat on until it was time to leave.  When we got to school, she jumped right in and got to work.  She was too cute.