Home Assessment 6.22.20
I read a while back about how writing a narrative of your day is a great way to get a bird's eye view of how things are going in life; for your children's education, your home atmosphere, etc. The goal is to randomly pick a day and not just a good one! I hope to write one each month in 2020 - it will be interesting and revealing when I look back in 2021. I am specifically thinking about what the little Meadors are learning as they live in our home, so that's my focus. You can read previous posts here:
Sunshine woke me up before my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. What a peaceful way to wake up, gradually, as soft light fills your room. I love this about our east facing bedroom. With an early rise I had oodles of time to write, read, and look outside at the glorious Summer day.
Bradley was ready to nurse at 6:45 and Rex and Sammi were up shortly after, the beauty of our Pacific Northwest long summer days - we are all ready to get going!
While I got dressed and started oatmeal, the children played tractors and trucks on Rex's car carpet. It's been so great to be able to have Bradley "play" too; Rex is more trustworthy as he's gotten older and is more gentle with his baby brother. They usually play well but not today. There is a fight first thing so I figure breakfast is needed. I hurry everyone down to the kitchen attempting to cheer and calm while casting furtively despairing looks at my children's faces wondering why some people wake up on the wrong side of the bed. (For once not me.)
There's another fight before breakfast is eaten but food and a couple of picture books read aloud restores peace.
It's chores next and we start some bread dough, too. The older two love helping with that and wait eagerly for their lump of bread dough to eat at the end. I remember doing that, too. And they love to measure salt and yeast into their palms, eyeballing it like I do. Those little hands, holding grains of salt, I hope I don't ever forget that. And then they always ask for a bit of salt to lick afterwards. I did that, too. I mentioned it to my Mom once and she said she remembers doing that, too.
We head outside because I have outdoor work I'd like to get done before it's hot. It's already eighty degrees and not yet 9:15 a.m.
After a little bit of outdoor bike riding (kids) and window washing (me), Bradley needs his nap so we all head back in to do Circle Time. We do a shortened version (just Bible stories) because on these hot days a cool break in the afternoon for the rest of it is refreshing. [Note: we never got back to it.]
Sammi and Rex head outside and play with the neighbor kids. They find a baby bird under the trees, small and dead, and I suggest a burial. I leave them looking for the shovel. "Don't forget to sing "Jesus Loves Me" I say over my shoulder. These windows aren't washing themselves.
There's just time for a library pick up before lunch. We have sorely missed the library during the shutdown; I knew we loved it but I had no idea how much. Routinely we have 30-50 books checked out, and a fresh basket of picture books sitting in the living room is enthralling. Almost no better entertainment...well except water games on hot days!
One item we check out is an American Girl doll, Kirsten. Samantha is over the moon excited to get to play with this beautiful doll for a week. The library owns several and check them out by the week. I think this is incredible!
We get home, eat lunch, read more books, and it's quiet time.
Bradley naps, Sammi (the introvert) plays quietly, and Rex comes out of his room seven times in an hour to see if it's time to be done yet. Oh Rex, Mr. Extrovert. This is not unusual and it's driving me crazy because I need, NEED, NEEEEEEEEEED quiet time, too.
We have a sweet time outside together while Brad continues his nap. We sit under the deep shade of the Nordic pines on the edge of our yard and listen to Eric Metaxes' retelling of King Midas on Audible. Sammi and I paint our toenails and Rex gets a toenail painted, too.
The neighbor kids come again to play in our small pool and the sprinkler under the trampoline, they are laughing and making up games. Rex however avoids the water, is getting hotter and hotter, and is unhappy. I can't figure out what's wrong but eventually I bring out a small tub of water with some measuring cups and place that in the shade for him. He digs in with relish and I sit down next to him for a few minutes. I am wondering why he's been so grumpy. He says, "They aren't being gentle with me." (A phrase he has heard many times in regards to baby brother.) It's good to understand why he's frustrated, and I'm hoping he gets a connection made between how that feels and how to treat others.
He is calm and content the rest of the afternoon now that he can cool off. I realize once again that taking time to figure out what's behind the bad attitude is important - time consuming, but important. I am more of a "Jump when I say jump" kind of parent but I'm working on being empathetic while expecting obedience. Ugh. Children are not checkboxes.
That night for dinner we enjoy BLETS (Bacon, Lettuce, Egg, Tomato sandwhiches) on that homemade bread we made, sooooo good. And then strawberries on vanilla ice cream. Summer food is delicious.
We realize that Brad got his first tooth and we cheer him on, send him to bed ("Good work, son, better rest up!") and Dale takes the other two outside to play. It's hot upstairs, and while I would have sent them to bed anyway, he has compassion on them, on this, the longest day of the year. It's supremely gorgeous, he's right. Being content outside playing beats a hot bedroom by a long shot. Those kids are so fortunate in their choice of Daddy.