February 20, 2006

Is My Head on Right?

Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder that very thing? Is my head really screwed on right? Am I out of my mind? Is something wrong with me? Well today may very well be one of those days for me.

I woke up and remembered how LOUD my life is. Ciaran has two volumes, loud and LOUDER. To his credit, when asked to bring it down a notch he does, only shortly to return to his normal volume within minutes. This is a very big deal before the sun comes up! He has taken to telling me that the birds are up so it is time for us to be up the first time he hears anything, usually around 5:30am. We have two dogs who believe it is their responsibility to bark at anyone who comes to close to our home. Sadly all the school buses stop in front of our home and therefore we have a steady stream of children passing by between 7am and 8:30am.

Trying my best to quiet down life I had some reading time. Which does work for an extended period of time until they grow tired of it. We had some snuggle time and got some good reading done before the chaos time hit.

It is as if all at once they realized they wanted to be loud and crazy again. Too cold to send them outdoors I looked for other outlets. Ciaran found his own, he found a page with colored shapes and began cutting out all the shapes. Rhiannon worked on her Olympics school work and Sirah tried to discover how many things she climb on. I physically placed our stools outside on the deck so she could no longer move them and use them as ladders to continually get higher.

Then Ciaran and Sirah discovered the paints I had recently picked up. Not feeling right in the head I allowed my 4 and 2 year old to sit at the desks downstairs and paint as they wished, at times without my full attention. They had a lot of fun, they made a big mess and they were creative. The sacrifice, one pair of pants that were on their way out and one of Rhiannon's completed math worksheets which somehow became a canvas. I alternated between supervising them and helping Rhiannon type her first email, it was to Serona. Somehow we made it through without paint on the walls or in their hair, for that I am truly thankful.

Lunch was an interesting mix of requests. They had hash browns, boca patties (soyburgers), green beans and whole wheat bread with jam. Of course this was not all decided at once so I played the role of a short order cook. Along with lunch, schoolwork was still at one end of the table, a half finished spiderman puzzle at the other end and I had to remove spinning tops and bouncy balls from the table. Let's just say it was a rather relaxed lunch for us.

Realizing a need for the kids to get out of the house today I seriously considered taking them to see the new Curious George film but decided I was not that brave. I have agreed to eat dinner out at a restaurant if everyone naps this afternoon. The reason for the nap, so everyone is happy and in good spirits this evening. To take my three children ages 6,4, and 2 out to eat in public by myself is always an adventure. One I never quite know the result of until it happens. Somedays they are really like perfect little kids, obedient, quiet, content and thankful. They have received compliments on how nice it is to see well behaved children. Other days everything can break down over what color crayon their sibling got or round 105 of why they can't have soda. We can be running smoothly through the meal and a full scale tantrum comes out of nowhere. That is always pleasant for those around us! So really how you respond to our family depends more on the luck of the evening than any full representation of our parenting and children's behavior. I try to keep that in mind for the poor parents experiencing a child meltdown a few tables away. However, I am one for trying to stack the odds in our favor, thus the request of the nap.

As I type this Ciaran is "reading" on his top bunk, which is a play area, instead of a mattress we put plywood covered with a car track carpet and nearly all his star wars and car toys up there. Somehow he is fitting in there. Rhiannon and Sirah created a "tent" out of old curtains and tried to convince me they could sleep there. After 30 minutes of telling them to be quiet and the big rock collection jar spilling all over their heads they have been split up in hopes of a nap coming in the future atleast for Sirah.

It is mornings like this that involve a 2 year old painting, a 4 year old with scissors, an entire rock and pebble collection spilled and a perpetually messy kitchen that make me wonder at my choice of careers. Still I would not change it for anything. Yes my floors are sticky, my walls often covered with paint, there are papers, storybooks and toys everywhere, and we mess and clean our kitchen more than many other families. But I love it.

Still on these days when I want to examine my intentions, life choices and my mind I look at my kids. I think about the moments we shared today. I think about the cuddle times we shared, the storybook we read, the art creations I witnessed being produced, the math question I answered, the friend I helped on the phone, the fact that my kids have a rock and pebble collection in their room and we eat all our meals together and I realize, Yes my head is on right! Yes I am thankful we homeschool. Yes I am thankful my life is loud, busy, crazy and very full all day long. I am thankful I have children to hug and oowies to kiss, prayers and meals to share together and all the time we could ever want or need. It is good to remind myself of these things on days like this. Good to remember why we make the choices we do and why sometimes life is a bit more messy or loud than we might think we would choose it to be.

Hugs your kids today,


  1. thank you very much. what a GREAT read!

  2. Thanks for reminding me, Tenn. I really needed it this week.