First of all, I feel limited in time and doing a sloppy job feels painful. Hence why I have adopted my "done is better than perfect" motto.
Second, according to Gretchen Rubin and her book The Four Tendencies, I'm an obliger, which means that I won't keep personal goals unless I have outside accountability. I'll keep external goals at the cost of my own health because I get great satisfaction from making others happy. But I am not good at seeing my personal expectations as important as those expectations I receive from others.
I don't like this about myself but I'm trying to accept it. I'm telling myself to see blog writing as an outside expectation, because my family is going to love having these records one day. (Really, I just enjoy the process.) We'll see if that works.
Harris has croup. When I think about croup, I think about Anne Shirley saving Minnie May's life when all of the adults (besides Matthew) have left Avonlea to meet the prime minister of Canada at some speech he is giving. I'm trying to remember what Anne treated Minnie May with--ipecac and some hot mustard paste cloths on Minnie May's chest.
Luckily for Harris, he (1) is not nearly as severe as Minnie May and (2) was born in 2017. So the doc prescribed him a couple of doses of steroids. It seems to be working--fever is down (it was 103 yesterday), and he doesn't have the same seal-barking sounds when he coughs and breathes. But man alive, he is sooooo cranky and clingy and needy and everything I'm not good at handling as a mom.
Quick question to the moms of older kids--at what age do they leave you alone and do everything for themselves? Asking for a friend.
These pictures are from a few weeks ago but show exactly how Harris is at all times this week:
And a couple of pictures of how I am feeling as caretaker:
As I type this Harris is alternating between screaming in my lap and sliding down to the floor where he can scream louder until I return him to the screaming-in-my-lap position.
Anyway, this post was supposed to be about June's first year of homework. She's in first grade now, and apparently that means homework. Who made up that rule? Someone who has never met first graders apparently.
Everyday, we open her homework folder and start on the math and handwriting worksheets she has been assigned.
Now, I'm not really the type of mom to sit with a kid and go through each homework problem together. That's not how my mom did it, and that's not really how I operate. But June needs some pretty heavy monitoring to prevent her from waxing poetic about Valentine's Day (even in October) or unicorns or how we need to collect a bunch of sticks to make a nest for "Brownie" the bird that likes to sit near our front porch in the morning. Brownie is the same name applied to the many different birds that come by, in honor of the first bird June observed who was, in fact, brown. However, this same name applies whether the bird is brown, black, red, or rainbow.
She also has a name for every ant she sees on the ground--"Look! My friend, Dagio!"
But I digress.
So if I don't sit with June and remind her that we are doing homework, she will play out the various vignettes of her mind. They are much more interesting than homework, but alas, are not the homework she has been assigned to do.
So we sit, and I say, "Okay, what's the next problem? How many circles are there? Which way does the "3" go? Nope, that's backwards. Try again."
And to each of these questions or statements, June replies, giddily, "Okay, now close your eyes!!!!!"
At which point, I have to turn my head and close my eyes while she writes down a number or erases the old number and writes down a new number. Because she is a magician and these are her magic tricks--making numbers appear and disappear.
At which point, I get irritated and say, "I'M NOT CLOSING MY EYES! JUST DO IT!"
At which point, she reminds me that she's a magician. And at which point I surrender and close my eyes.
Down the worksheet we go, pausing at each problem at least three times so that I can close my eyes while she performs her magic tricks.
She's sweet; it's endearing. She has the best personality.
It's difficult and exhausting. I often want to scream. And sometimes do.
But every day we keep doing it.
I went to her Back to School Night a couple of weeks ago and found this puzzle waiting for me at her desk. I put it together and found our family.
Harris is in my arms right now and in the picture! And June and Gwen are holding hands. And Dan is apparently wearing purple ear muffs.
I love her. But wish we didn't have homework to do tonight.