I got the house clean enough. Now I can rest. It took me exactly 21 days because there were days in the middle where I had to collapse and do very little because I was so exhausted and in so much pain. But, it’s done now. I mean, I’m always shuffling my house. That’s never done. It’s not “clean” by any stretch. But it’s clean enough that I can rest.
Cleaners are coming on Monday. I really am not at a point in hand strength where it is smart to use a bunch to clean the bathroom and vacuum, etc. I have too much I want to get done in the next few weeks. So I’m spending money to save spoons. It isn’t a choice I make very often but this month… ok.
This morning is exciting. The kids have separate plans. Eldest Child is off to the hair salon with daddy. She wants pink, blue, and purple stripes and the least amount of hair cut off that she can get away with. Ok. Have fun. Youngest Child is elated beyond words that today will be private time with our babysitter. That has almost never happened.
The babysitter is one of the most favoritest people in the world for my kids. She is so sweet. She has a knack for working with children. She’s amazing. Everyone is super excited that I now have all the project stuff accessible. They are bouncing from activity to activity. The babysitter is really chill and awesome about set up and clean up. She considers it fun.
Hell yeah. Sounds good. I treat her like a classroom aide. I’m the master teacher; I come up with the plan and she follows through. This is so much fun.
I think I would do fantastically well in a one room school. I am really good at differentiating what different kids need. It takes a lot of spoons and on low spoon days I end up screamtastic from trying to think about that many things at once…. So maybe not. But I’m managing this really well with support. I’m having fun. They are having fun. They are learning so much.
When I say I want to talk to the kids about curriculum stuff that is probably confusing to other people. I use that word in a …. somewhat elastic way. I create most of my own curriculum. I don’t buy pre-packaged stuff because they always spend a lot of time on stuff I wouldn’t. That’s fine. I just don’t need to pay a bunch of money for the stuff other people think should be taught.
I don’t really feel I need a textbook to teach most of these topics. The information all exists outside of textbooks. But gathering the information, preparing what stuff needs to be in the house, figuring out out how to scaffold to upcoming complicated topics… that all requires thinking and planning on my part. That is all curriculum building.
But it doesn’t mean I’m going to go buy the Princeton set (or whatever).
When we were on the road trip we were learning every day but we were learning in a just about entirely unstructured “let’s dump a big bucket of information on your head” style. That’s good…. but it leaves a lot of holes.
I keep current on what grade expectations my kids would face if they suddenly had to be transferred to school. They are not lock step, they are asynchronous and I’m fine with that. But I keep an eye on making sure they aren’t too far behind in any area.
We cover science topics. I’m an absolute stickler for language learning and historical information. You will know *far more* than you would have learned in school. But there are still places where my kids are falling behind.
I have not extensively lectured them on the rules of all major sporting events for example. I remember written tests on the rules of volley ball. Guess what hasn’t actually fucking mattered to my life?
Sometimes I am astounded by how drawn to math they are. They bring it up just about daily. We do math problems all day long. I was a reluctant math learner. I learned early that I wasn’t good at math–I was good at reading. You had to pick a thing.
My kids have not internalized that message. They don’t even know it exists. The idea of picking their “one thing” is completely foreign. They think they are better at the things they practice most, but they are capable of doing anything.
It’s… mind blowing.
I didn’t grow up around people like this. I mean, I tried to teach it…. but I’ve never really met people who *believed* it. It was always one of those lies grown ups tell.
But my kids…. uhhh…. don’t think I’m a liar in the same way. It’s SO WEIRD.
They say (I don’t fucking remember who, ok?!) that you need to hear ten positive statements for every negative statement about yourself in order to have a balanced sense of self because we deeply internalize negative stuff faster. That’s what I was told when I was getting my teaching degree. Praise, praise, praise, praise, praise, praise, criticize, praise, praise, praise, praise.
That’s how I got the gang kids to concentrate and work hard. I made them feel good about themselves in an environment where they had been told they were stupid and useless their whole lives.
My kids think of themselves as powerful, competent, resourceful people. They think their mom is sometimes moody but generally *very* into them. My kids adapt through just about any circumstance with good cheer and a willing heart. They can walk into any new setting and adapt to new styles of work. They do not complain (much) about the work they are assigned. Really I think they complain less than I do.
Work is part of life. If you want to have a fun life, you have to do a lot of work. Let’s get to it. Then we can play. Oh when we play we play *hard*. It’s awesome.
The kids rest more and better than I do. They are starting to join the chorus of, “Mom sit down. That will wait. You need to rest.”
I hear that from fucking everyone.
I find it kind of hilarious how deeply I resent the ever loving fuck out of having to rest.
Sitting down is for other people. Not me.
Doesn’t help that I sat a lot on the trip. Between driving and being numb with pain in hotel rooms… I did a lot of sitting. I don’t like that very much. There was so much time where I literally couldn’t work because my hands hurt too much to seriously type and I couldn’t think straight. This was really fun in Florida. I spent a lot of time watching the ocean. I don’t do that in California. I’m not willing to drive to the ocean. It’s… not that far. Just far enough to be a pain.
I really like my house again. I love Christmas decorations. I love all the cards we get. (Thanks P! Your card kicked off the year!!! <3 )
I sent out a huge stack of Christmas presents in the mail. I haven’t heard from the parents of those kids and… well… I don’t know what else to do. I suspect some “slow fades” are happening but I’m apparently retarded at noticing that. Thus my deserving public scorn.
But I thought of you. Here are your presents. There are no further strings attached. You don’t have to ever see me again. That’s fine. I’m not doing it to curry favor. I’m doing it because it made me happy to think of you and buy this for you. If you don’t like it, pass it on. I won’t be hurt. I already got my joy out of this exchange.
It was really hard feeling so far from home and people I love. So I went shopping. I don’t do that very often. Normally I don’t give many presents. I home-make most Christmas gifts for people. I like giving food and consumables. I don’t usually enjoy shopping. But this was fun.
I didn’t give everyone the same thing. I spent varying amounts of money on people not always highly correlating to how much I actually care about you. Some of the most important people… I didn’t see anything that made me think of them. I feel a little guilty… but I don’t want to give a gift just for the sake of giving a gift. I want to give you something that makes me think of you.
Which is a little weird because I did get a bunch of little kid stuff and then divvy it out. But that’s different. I have something like 50+ children under 10 in my life. I didn’t exclusively hand pick for each kid. I found the most interesting little kid stuff and then I figured out which was best for who.
But adults are *different*.
I want to actually honor you. Not just give you something. That’s not the point. I bought things that when I saw them I thought, “OH!! (Name!)”
It made me so happy to think of you.
I feel like an asshole because mostly I think of Pam in connection with my phone. Because so much of our relationship has been maintained over the phone. Otherwise… she doesn’t appear in my head as “stuff”. If that makes sense. I did, however, greatly expand my collection of Chinese history and culture and language books because that will make her happy.
Is that the same thing? I’m making sure to educate my children such that you and your culture are dead flat normal to them. But I didn’t find a ‘thing’ to buy you.
Love language stuff is complicated.
I love to feed Pam. I talk to her. I listen to her. But it is hard to give her gifts. That’s complicated.
My emotions are bouncing up and down like a pogo stick lately. I’m going hard between feeling elated that we are home, elated that I get to see the people I love so much, elated to be settling in to a house that feels like *home*. Then I feel anxious, scared, disgusting, like I am the worst person on the whole fucking planet and I’m going to wreck everything for everyone.
I’m trying to just be quiet about these bounces. I’m not sure how much is leaking. I’m never sure.
I reread the book about seven year olds yesterday because EC has been exhibiting a few more mild anxiety symptoms. I was feeling really bad that I am such a monstrous person that I’m causing her to have anxiety. Then I read the book. Apparently seven is known as an anxious and withdrawn age. Based on the book she is in the least 10% for anxiety. Oh. Hahahahahahahahaha
Ok. So she does feel stress at times. But she isn’t withdrawn. She doesn’t feel like everyone and everything is picking on her. She doesn’t articulate that everyone is mean. She has an uncanny ability to see many sides of issues. “I know you didn’t mean to say x in a way that sounded y but for me it sounded that way. Can you try again?”
Yeah… she’s doing great. If this is supposed to be an age where kids can’t connect and she’s still out building connections with every Kate, Melissa and Steve… we are fine.
God I love these books. I wonder if this woman is alive. I should try to track her down and send her a thank you note. This author is absolutely making my parenting experience. If my internet were working I’d look her up right now, but it isn’t. So I am typing into Notes instead. I suffer so.
It’s kinda annoying because I can’t use italics. I’m kinda obsessed with italics. Maybe you’ve noticed?
I love writing like this. It lets me feel less anxious during the day. If I write down that I’m feeling anxious it is an acknowledgment that lets it be less harmful during the day. “Ah. That’s anxiety. Self-soothing engaged.” When I’m just feeling but not processing… I get into these awful loops. I have to write down what I’m doing so that I can see it. It’s weird, I know. But it *works*.
Noah and I are going to hang out today. I don’t know what we will do. That’s bullshit. We are consistent. We will talk, eat, have sex, then talk and talk and talk then have sex then talk and talk and talk.
I want to eat his brain.