Friday, November 11, 2011

A little bit of nothing interesting


With the exception of the first garbage bag in the foreground holding bed pillows, the rest of these suckers are stuffed to the gills with the girls' stuffed animals.

I still find myself chuckling because I gave the Mister the assignment of bagging up the toys while I was treating the girls.

"Oh my God!" he'd yell. "You have GOT to be kidding me."

At first I ran in horrified, fearful that he might have found a cooties' nest (no worries, they don't exist--just my overaction imagination). Nope. Not the case. He just couldn't believe the amount of stuffed animals two little girls can have.

"Why don't you two set some aside to be thrown out? You'd still have enough for a small army." he suggest to the two girls.

Paloma immediately began wailing.
Hattie teared up, lower lip trembling.
Daddy caved. Big Time. He went back to bagging stuffed game without a word.

Bagged up and waiting to be run through the dryer once I feel we have this whole cooties thing under control. Rid or whatever the heck chemical concoction did jack squat. I'm having the best luck with having us sleep in coconut oil/olive oil saturated hair, plastic wrapped umpteen times and kept toasty hot in a hat. Followed by a morning wash with blue Dawn dish soap and a good long white vinegar rinse.

The oils kill the adults/nymphs; the vinegar unglues the eggs (nits.) Gagging at what was coming off our heads those first few times, this morning I was hard-pressed to find anything on Po's head.

Thank. God.

Next week we leave for Florida through the end of the month. We've always said that one of the reasons we homeschool is so that we could travel during the year without worrying about missing school issues. Have homeschool; will travel. As such, the weekend will be full of packing, trip planning (we're driving), and last minutes stuff around the house. We had our first snow this week, and the cold floors in the morning are killing me. A few weeks at the beach sound mighty nice about now. . .


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Brain Drain


I'm suffering an acute case of homeschool-induced Brain Drain.

The honeymoon has officially dissipated, more often than not each day consists of a whole lot of math amnesia, letter unrecognition, and the occasional bout of "I don't know what a pencil is"-itis.

Sigh.

Over the past year particularly, I've tried hard to learn how to avoid falling into the black pit of control battles on our home turf.

Adding a second dimension of "school turf" onto home turf = a new battleground of control issues.

Sadly, last week I hit a wall-- a big, thick, brick wall-- and by Thursday morning I had lost it.

I locked myself in my bathroom and called the Mister. "Tomorrow morning at 7:45 you are marching the two boys over to the neighborhood elementary school and enrolling them!" I ... emoted.

"Uh, no, I'm not. I need to be out of the house by 7:30 tomorrow morning. Probably best to wait until we're home from Florida at the end of the month."

At that point I may, or may not, have dropped a big ol' F bomb.
And then my phone may, or may not, have lost reception.

Poor Mister. It's not easy being my husband at times, particularly on those days when the children turn into emotional vampires sucking the lifejuice out of me.

And you know what? The Mister was still home Friday morning at9:30, still trying to fix some work crisis that a coworker was having. Ooooo boy, I was not happy. Those kids could have been in school for nearly 2 hours by then!!!

But wanna know how he survived, with all genitals intact? It's a doozy....

Lice.

Around 10 am I discovered a lice outbreak in the girls and myself. So on Friday by 1:00 pm, I completely had forgotten that he left me high and dry, distraught and abandoned and still homeschooling 5 children completely against my will, because I was solely focused-- panicked, really-- on eradicating a boatload of unwelcome, itchy crawly houseguests.

How the heck do people get rid of head lice without going insane, burning out their washing machine, and in under a month? Because do you know how much hair my daughter Hatfield has?

Ask Essie. She'll tell you. Hatfield has an ENORMOUS amount of hair. It took the Mister and myself--together-- 3 hours to go through her hair with those little picky combs.

Ugh.

But that's how the Mister got off the hook last Friday.

However, now that I think of it, my Top Three Coping Mechanisms are, in no particular order: Knitting (with wine); Trashy cable series (with wine); and a lot of sex (with wine.)

2 out of 3 of those happen to make the Mister REALLY happy.

Maybe it's behooving him too much when I'm highly emotionally stressed? Am I sensing a conflict of interest here?!? I'm starting to imagine him thinking up ways to make me wanna run for the hills. . .or the tv . . . .or our bed.

Crap, I bet we have some negative Pavlovian response thing going on here.

But back to the boys, no, I'm not enrolling them in school, as tempting as it might be.

Because crazy or not, I'm in this homeschool biz for the long haul. I love homeschooling, and most of the kids do too. I'm hopeful that someday my boys will as well.

Especially while they are little, I want to keep them at home to avoid exposure to negative stereotypes. I mean, do you know how hard it is to be a black boy in a Green Bay public school?

Pretty hard.

Now, imagine being the angry black boy in your class. Or the black boy who thinks it is cute and funny to pretend he only knows 6 letters after a year of school.

How could going to an environment where they are given endless opportunities to manipulate and control each day be good for them?

I don't think it would be.

At some point, however, I recognize that the benefits of homeschooling them could be outweighed by collateral damage inflicted upon the homeschool environment itself (because there are 3 other kids.) But for now, with the exception of Thursday when I completely lost my mind, I feel like I have a good grasp on that.

And if I don't, I at least have ways to cope (although tread carefully, Mister, because they are apt to change ;)