Today my goals are: minimal laundry, finding a recipe for and making lactation cookies, and meeting the needs of the teething baby. I figured I could make room to start at least a couple of posts about things like: Oscar’s 5 month stats, what all of the boys are up to these days, and some of my (encyclopedia worth of) thoughts and feelings about homeschooling.
So, the general happenings around here, boy by boy:
Isaac – He’s 6’5″ (haha, get it? like baby stats). His disgruntled attitude is even more enormous. He spent 6 of the 8 weeks since he got done with 10th grade at his father’s house, and seems pretty unhappy to be back with us – where video game time is limited to 2 hours per day and is contingent upon completion of chores and other responsibilities, where lying in bed all day is not an option on any day. We’re really, really struggling with this fella – the reality of being 17 years old seems very difficult for him to come to terms with. We feel that he needs to be a contributing member of our household, have a part time job, and do some reading of a book and some progress in an academic area each day. This is our basic contract for homeschooling him. He agrees that these are reasonable requirements when we discuss them, but when it comes to the daily application of them we are met with extreme resistance. So, that’s what’s going on with him for the last week, and I guess on any day for the forseeable future.
Evan – is attending Drama Camp for the second week and loving it. This is his second year going, at the high school in our town. He spent the night with a friend who’s also attending, and then we all went over to their house for dinner last night, where we were informed that Evan and his friend had spent the entire day talking about girls from the camp (and watching Lord of the Rings movies). Funny. We’re looking forward to the performance he’ll give on Friday – he’s playing Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a Magic Treehouse play. He has to wear tights, which he thought was very exciting, and when I bought the tights last night he begged to try them on immediately. I helped my (stinky footed) ten-year-old son into the tights and he said, “These are amazing. So breathable and airy!” He’s currently reading The Princess Bride, after having just completed Lord of the Flies. He and Isaac are both using Khan Academy for their math this year, and he loves it and can do it for hours happily. While Grandma was here visiting this past weekend, he impressed her by teaching himself about positive and negative numbers in a matter of minutes and then doing all of the problems too quickly for her to try to answer one.
Asa – turned 8 last Friday. He had art camp at a local university last week, complete with a gallery show on his birthday. It was also his first birthday that he’s attended an organized activity all day, taken cupcakes, and had people say happy birthday to him all day long (poor summer birthday baby). He was gracious all of the times I heard it, replying with a bright, genuine, smiley, “Thank you!!” I wrapped all of his birthday presents individually and then put them all into the box from Oscar’s new convertible car seat, because Asa had acted jealous about the car seat’s awesomeness the week before. When he opened it, he growled like a maniac and told us it was a terrible birthday gift. Heather told him to open it up so he could sit in it, and of course he discovered his other presents and giggled hysterically. He’s home with us with no Evan this week, which is a heartbreaking tragedy for all involved, usually. We let him have a friend over to play all day yesterday, and today we’re letting him play Minecraft all.day.long because he speculated out loud yesterday that he wondered what it would be like to be allowed to play Minecraft all day long. We stipulated that he had to read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods first, and that he has to get up and run 5 laps around the house every hour, to which he responded, “That is not a problem.” I’ll have to write another post some time about his Minecraft playing, because it’s certainly unique. (Of course it is)
I’ll save Oscar’s updates for another post, and just say that he really, really liked Grandma this weekend while she was here visiting for Asa’s birthday. I was surprised by this – he doesn’t really “go” to other people very well, and he hadn’t seen her since he was 8 weeks old (I think. Something like that, anyway.). It occurred to me at some point during the weekend that it’s because she “mothers” in certain ways that are very like Heather. I’m not sure Heather agrees with me on this, and I do not mean it at face value – Heather is a very attached parent, and her mother is a somewhat standoffish parent. What I mean is that Heather and her mom have certain mannerisms that are the same – ways they move, nonsense words they say, intonations…really subtle things that are probably not subtle at all to a baby. It was a surprise and a relief – both because I’d worried that he would act surly toward her and hurt her feelings and I would have to hear about that, and because it was a real relief to have someone else to hold him and soothe him. She actually successfully talked him out of a major car seat meltdown that he was planning on the way home from some yard sales on Saturday, and it was pretty great.
Oh, and what Heather is up to, for posterity: her tomatoes all have blossom end rot this year, which is upsetting her. She hatched out 25 (!!) ducklings the week before last (unprecedented – only 3 eggs did not hatch, and a 50% hatch rate is considered phenomenal) and we’ve sold 7 of them. She’s still needing to make Asa a cloak that he wanted for his birthday; she intends to finish it before his party with his friends next week. She watches this video I’m not kidding at least 3 times a day. She reports that she is missing working in OB but doesn’t want to commute to a hospital that has an OB department, that she wants to lose 40 pounds in the next 2 weeks(ish), and that not all of her tomatoes have blossom end rot, just most.
As for me, I just love all of these people. The realities of my day-to-day life are all about being on mommy duty literally 24 hours a day. I’m looking forward to the busy next couple of weeks: a baby shower, Asa’s friend birthday party, my niece and nephew coming for a visit, and taking a road trip with 3/4 of the kids while leaving the other 1/4 in charge of the homestead.