Today’s post was supposed to be a humorous look at our first day back to school. I had it all planned out in my head. First day of school pics with me in my classy denim jumper, joyful reflections of Fulton listening to stories as he began preschool plus some of the gritty details; sloppy handwriting, complaining over math, etc. Instead I apologize in advance for a grammatically incorrect rambling brain dump of a post. Proceed with caution.
I thought the rainy weather was an omen that my decision to return to school on Labor day was wise. My husband was off work and would be around to help with screaming kids and assist with easing the household back into a school routine. Except he was going to morning Mass, which was fine, however he went to a diner for breakfast afterwards, stopped to do some errands and didn’t get back until I was two-thirds through my day and had already driven half my children to tears. (Pretty impressive on my part huh?)
Sure, my life can be humorous, but it’s anything but scripted. The fact that I thought I knew what the next 24 hours had in store, and how I could translate it into a blog post, show’s I’m still a student myself in some ways.
Here, in Amy Welborn bullet points, are the highlights of my day:
- Set a 9 am alarm on Fulton’s iPad cued to a track of the Angelus being recited. Plugged the iPad into a speaker we got by sending in four Pringle can UPC codes and was disgusted when said audio set up did not actually play the Angelus at the designated time. I don’t know what I’m more upset at, the quality of the speaker, the quality of the free alarm ap or me for not just buckling down and reciting the Angelus myself.
- Piano practice resulted in lots of tears. I don’t know what to add except that I hate piano, my kids hate piano but I don’t want them to hate me when they’re older because I let them give it up. Is there a psychological description of what this is called besides insanity?
- Math resulted in tears. But seriously, after only a month off I don’t see how she could have forgotten all that information. I would show her a problem, she’d explain to me every step, and then collapse into her chair a blubbering mess when I asked her to do the work herself. The dramatics were straight out of Masterpiece Theater.
- After 10 minutes of use, Fulton’s sensory / fine motor skills rice bin made our dining room look like a package of Uncle Ben’s exploded.
- Thankfully, Edie was very excited to start school. She did her work promptly, helped Fulton with his activities and then chose to sit at her desk and color. Someone’s already thinking of Christmas.
- And did I mention how Teddy screamed the entire time I tried to read history? Oh wait, not the entire time, he synchronized his breathing with mine so when I paused he did too. Story of the World Volume One sounds awesome when read at the top of my lungs. I’m going to call Peace Hill Press and see if they want me to do an audio book version for frazzled moms with screaming toddlers.
- Two walls in our new kitchen, which includes the new school room, have been ruined by a new leak in our roof. So I was a bit distracted from things by the need to throw towels on puddles. When Tony did finally make it home, he spent the majority of his day trying to find the leak while asking me stuff like “Did the kids do Latin yet?” But, to his credit he tried to help Addie with math while I tried to pray the Little Office only to have her voice her concerns loudly in my direction because, apparently, my spiritual growth needs to be trumped by her math tantrum.
Yeah, I’m trying to better myself at the same time I’m kicking off a new school year. I’ve got the kids on a schedule, me on a schedule and I’m going to pray more. Ora et labora and all that jazz. Despite trying this all before I somehow think that because I’ve written a fresh list, or posted new rules things will go differently this year.
I ate a brownie sundae at 2 because I feared drinking wine at that hour would freak out Fulton’s nurse. I didn’t really start feeling slightly less deranged until Cari posted this video of He-Man. I watched it twice, had a good laugh, which speaks to the effectiveness of the video since the whole time it was playing Addie was asking me questions because she just ‘didn’t get it” and, amazingly enough, I didn’t send her into tears again.
We had leftovers everyone liked for dinner. Fulton and Teddy ate without complaint or mess. We listened to “The Planets” by Gustav Holst and the meal didn’t disintegrate into jokes about Uranus, although Tony kept snickering. The kids didn’t argue in the evening. Everything turned out fine, and as I tucked them all in, they hugged and kissed me as I promised them I’d be more patient tomorrow. Which always makes them smile; are they happy I’m trying to be more patient or scoffing at what they know will be another failed attempt?
Today we start day two. At least I know it can’t be any worse than yesterday. Pictures might be forthcoming…but no promises.