Preface: This post has absolutely no inspirational value. Unless of course you find inspiration in stories about chicken hawks, homeschooling pity-parties, and bits about my laundry. Sorry.
++The chicks have taken over the downstairs bathroom and the guineas are outside in a movable wire pen that sits on a grassy spot in the yard. Yesterday I heard them making a huge racket and since I was upstairs with a naked baby, I sent Emma outside to see what was happening until I could get out there. There on the ground beside the pen was a large Red-Tailed Hawk harassing the guineas and causing them to run laps around the inside of their pen in sheer terror. The hawk was absolutely resolute about the whole ordeal. Emma walked right up to him, with just the pen between them. He didn't fly until she really started flapping around and saying "very mean things to him".
I came out moments later after watching it all from the window, to see that he had simply flown to a small tree beside the pen, no doubt waiting for this annoyance of humans to disappear. So, being the quick-thinker that I am, I pulled the big oilcloth tablecloth off my picnic table(the beautiful one from Beth) and began flapping and slapping it around at him until he moved on….to a taller tree just over the guinea's cage. He hasn't been back, but I feel like I may be sending my poor guineas to their death the day they are allowed to roam free in the yard.
++Homeschooling Day 2 was "throw in the towel, put 'em on the bus to school" hard. The first day was marked by Emma saying, "Next year I'm going to real school" every five minutes until she finally asked if she was hurting my feelings. Day 2 was marked by grumpiness, bickering siblings, things being spilled, nothing being accomplished, slamming doors, tears (mine, theirs), naps for everyone, and babies falling off tables.
I suppose every year has its challenges–last year it was lack of space. This year it is Elizabeth. She is the most curious (that's me putting a rosy glow on it) of all my children, a climber, a get-into-everything child. Emma and I sit at a long bench at the dining room table and I spend the whole time removing her from top of the table, and putting her down on the floor. Elizabeth, no. Elizabeth, no. Elizabeth, no.
She brings us tiny counting chips in her mouth and spits them out in our hands. She bites the tops off of Emma's new crayons and brings us the leftover nub. She gives me "quiet" by going into the kitchen, sliding the chair over to the table, climbing up on the table and digging her chubby fists into the boxes of cereal, turning them upside down to get out more and "drinking" the glasses of orange juice left there by mistake. Drinking involves 25% of the juice down her front, 75% of the juice on my kitchen floor–which I now know has a nice little sweet spot smack in the middle where all the juice pools.
++I've had the same load of laundry on the clothes line for three days. This will be day 4 if it doesn't come down by midnight. Upon typing this, it occurred to me that the clothes pins and clothes will by now be taken over by a large population of spiders who find my clothes line the perfect foundation for web-building. The last time this happened the large red striped spider that I brushed (more like a spastic swat) off the clothesline showed up five minutes later on my right shoulder. I almost de-shirted in the yard, I was so freaked out that I didn't get him off. Great.
++This one's good. Emily and I met for dinner Tuesday night outside Baltimore. We live so close to each other, I love it. You know how when you meet great people blogging and you say to yourself, "Why can't this person live near me? I know we'd be fast friends?" I'm lucky enough to say that I've met a kindred spirit in Emily. Before we knew it, we'd been sitting there so long we both were desperate for the bathroom and realized it was after ten o'clock. To which we left the restaurant and then spent even more time lingering in the parking lot. Next date? Dansko outlet and dinner at Thomas Run–children and husbands allowed.
++This one is also good. Lisa Leonard sent me two beautiful treasures in the mail recently. I was going to share them today, but I don't want to throw their beauty in with all this whining. But let me just preview it all by saying that I love it, I love it, I love it. And the other thing she sent is now going to be my standard issue baby gift–a simple, classic. Stay tuned.
I leave you (if you're still here) with some words of wisdom from my husband, who reminded me last night that things worth doing are usually worth quitting, too. I'm not throwing in the homeschooling towel yet. I liken it to my newborn analogy–those days after the blissful first days are sometimes crazy, you feel like you're losing your mind, how did I get myself into this, when will I ever find a moment's peace, etc. etc. And then the next thing you know, you've found your groove again, your rhythm, and you wonder how you'd ever live your life other than the way it is right now. You can't imagine it any other way. I'm looking forward to that time. I'm hoping it comes soon.
Thank you for listening, or rolling your eyes, or yawning and rubbing your eyes, but making it to this point.
I guess I found my three minutes.
Momformation posts here & here, & here, & here
41 comments on “The things I’d be blogging about if I could find three quiet minutes in a row”
funny 🙂 i’m sure not all the moments at the time were funny, but i couldn’t help and smile. i’m sure there will be a fit very soon. it’s tough getting into the swing of things. Hang in 🙂
hugs to you Molly. Here’s to the angst of finding Fall’s daily rhythm. Sounds like you had a nice break with Emily though, more nights like that would be good medicine.
i loved this post!
this is the sixth year of schooling my son and my second for my daughter. she really wants to go to school. she wants to ride the bus and eat in the cafeteria among other things. maybe you could put off the more schoolish things until you get into the swing of it. read lots of books and just enjoy being with her. you can slowly add in the other things over the next couple of weeks. (sorry if this is unwanted advice) and we all have those “ready to ship them off to boarding school in another country” (or atleast to public school) feelings : )
What a long day for you. I have nothing to say but, I hope tomorrow’s better! (and it probably will be.)
Hi Molly! Just recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying it immensely! Your post today made me want to bring you a cup of tea… but a comment will have to do. : ) I couldn’t help but notice how your day seemed to closely follow the list of books your girls have read in your sidebar — gave me a chuckle. Hang in there, and know that on the other side of the country there is a mom with reluctant homeschoolers, overdue laundry, and a rampant deer problem. Hugs!!
Awwww. I wish I could be there to help. Hope that today is better.
I have to say I hate spiders with a passion also. I am actually getting the chills just writting about them! So I would also strip out of my clothes if I thought a spider was on them. So you are not alone. And I am sure you will triumph with homeschool also. It takes more than a few days to set a routine. You can do it!
Oh, my… Hang in there. Just think back to teaching in a classroom and how there were moments of: this is not working. The difference being a bell would ring eventually, or parents or recess would arrive. Think about how much one-on-one time your students got, really getting the scaffolding they (individually) needed to hop to the next point. I think those moments must be ever-so-much closer together with you and the girls. It’s probably hard to let go of the not working moments but big picture-wise it’s all going to work out. They’ll get just what they need, from you, from themselves. It’ll be fun soon.
Oh, Molly. xoxox
That Elizabeth is something. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read about her antics! I’m gathering, the more people I meet with 3 children, that this is a 3rd child personality trait. Eeek!
We’ll be right there with you on the homeschooling traumas in another week or so, I’m sure. We haven’t started our “year” yet.
So glad I stopped by this morning. Lots of hugs to you.
I love this post…just when I think everyone else is living the “perfect” life and only mine goes like this.Left some “bloggy love” for you over at my blog.
The grass is always greener on the other side…. my daughter is dying to be home schooled- she hates kindergarten, she won’t eat lunch and claims it’s so boring. She just started kindergarten. She’s the same daughter that told me “don’t you know children listen to teachers and not their mom’s”. She’s my handful and reminds me so much of your eldest. Like you- we take one day at a time and ask her to tell us the best thing that happened at school that day. We make her tell us just one good thing.I am sure (for all of us) that the wrinkles will smooth out and at the end of the school year our children will be all the better.
I love this post. It was just so…normal. I am sure things will all shift into place soon.
I think you’re wrong. Your post does have inspirational value. You didn’t throw in the towel…yet 🙂 There’s inspiration in that!!
I love your blog, it’s one of my very favorites (you on Momformation too!) You’re awesomwe!!
Oh, I so hear you. You made me feel better just knowing that someone else has those kind of days, too because believe me, we sometimes do! I had to crack up at “naps for everyone” because I’ve definitely been there! Just hold out for one of those fabulous “this is why I’m doing this” kind of day when you feel like the kids finally “get it” and you’re so happy that they are home with you because it will come.
Oh sugar! We have SO been there a time or two. And you are right, it comes and goes. Know what??? You’d have ups and downs with schooling too.
And um… the oldest BlueYonder boy was hurling rocks at an opossum that was trying to worm his way into our chicken coop a couple of mornings ago. I keep waiting to walk out there one morning to a bunch of headless carcasses. No one ever said it would be easy right?
Big hugs to you, friend!
Hang in there– I’m sure by the time the fall has really come and the temperature changes you’ll be in your groove.
Small note on the guineas, too. Years ago (and very close to where you are) we tried to raise the guinea hens because my grandfather had such fond memories of them from his childhood. We got chicks two years in a row and raised them until they were big enough to let free, and then within a couple of weeks hawks and foxes ate every one. They just wouldn’t roost, and were really easy targets. Since then, a friend has told us that guineas are a little dense sometimes and need to be taught to roost or they’ll never do it. Apologies if you already knew all of this– I wish we’d known it then. 30 missing guineas and as many piles of feathers are no fun to explain to little ones.
I feel your pain. You are probably not wanting advice, so I hope this doesn’t annoy, but have you heard of “Managers of Their Homes, A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families”, by Steven and Terri Maxwell? I made up a comprehensive schedule in the two weeks before we started, and using it REALLY makes the impossible, possible. My toddler is 20 months, a third child, and also into everything. I highly recommend this book. The best homeschooling money you’ll spend, believe me. With all you have on your plate, it will definitely seem like a gift from God.
It shows the schedules of 20 families, and has excellent advice on dealing with little ones, getting kids to REALLY do chores, streamlining meals, etc. Very comprehensive resource.
Terri Maxwell also wrote “Homeschooling With A Meek and Quiet Spirit”, which really ministered to me.
I can totally relate! Totally. We started doing year round 4 day a week schooling to help with the “startup process”. And you know we all have those days. I can’t imagine it with a toddler, so rock on chica! Today we had a “visitor” in our school basket which threw us for a loop. I did notice your “It could always be worse” book over there. We just checked it out and it became a favorite. Great lesson for sure! For all of us!
I loved this post also. It’s very nice to hear that others have bad days homeschooling too. Sometimes it can seem like everyone else is having the time of their lives while we alone struggle to find our niche. So thanks.
Molly, you’re doing a great job!!xox,Linnea
Dude…can I ever relate to this post…it made me laugh so hard I was almost crying (the part about the hawk and the spider and the oh so adventurous Elizabeth~ Did she and my David conspire together on the first day of homeschooling this year? :)) My mom (who has been homeschooling for 17 years, and this year is my first) gave me a ‘homeschooling’ gift about two weeks ago. When I opened it up, I busted out laughing- it was a little retro sign that said “momma said that there would be days like this”. She would know! Hugs to you, and here’s hoping that things start to smooth out and calm down!
Oh I have days like that when I want to collapse on the stairs. A climber is hard. Tristan is one. He and Elizabeth can get married and then they’ll get paid back twofold when they have kids.
Friend,Just recently my husband and I have rearranged our schedules and lives, for the better.
The adjustment, even in the best of circumstances is just that, adjustment: met with what you’ve met all in one day, tears and grieving. Space, breathing and understanding are the prayers I’m sending your way and I wish better days for you!
No good advice just empathy and prayers.
1. there is so much inspiration in the most difficult moments. and in sharing those difficult moments. and in finding community around those difficult moments.
2. there is no bad decision here. you know that, right?
3. would it be bad to say, even though you’re so close, that i wish you were closer? like next door? wouldn’t that be nice? then i’d take elizabeth for a bit while you did phonics. sound good?
Well, if you were in my homeschool group you could come unwind at a Mom’s Night Out! One of these nights we’re gonna go have margaritas!!
I second the 3rd child syndrome comment, my 3rd is most definitely the daredevil, non-listener. Sheesh!
Hang in there!!
thanks for being so real. that is inspiration enough for me.
i think someone once told me that you only get so frustrated because you care so much. so there’s some more inspiration for you. 🙂
hang in there,allison
I had the same kind of day. I have a “curious” 18-month old who nearly brought me to tears, or at the very least, a public breakdown, in CVS while I searched for the items on the little list my husband had left me today. That was really just the straw that broke this very weary camel’s back. I really feel ragged and actually, your post was inspiring because it made me realize that I am not alone. (I was feeling quite alone today). Thanks.
Oh my, how we all have those days, though somehow it doesn’t seem to make it any easier does it?
Here’s to easier days ahead.
Just popping in to say that after 17 years of homeschooling all my days like that added up probably equal an entire school year!!!LOL If it makes you feel better, my school year didn’t begin so swell either….long story. But things are looking up by Sept.15.
On another note, I wish I could see space inside of my school cupboard like that…jeesh, I have way too much curriculum.
And I’ll close with this exhortation from a dear friend from childhood. “Son, I say son, keep that Chicken Hawk away from your coop.”
Trust me it is not much better sending them to school. I have had a similar week as mine didn’t want to go to school on the first week back. So hang on in there with every decision we make in life (well most) we question whether what we are doing is the right thing and especially with children how this will affect the rest of their lives. There is always tomorrow for things to feel better and for new tactics
Oh your post about homeschooling was so helpful to me. We just started with my 6 year old. This was our second week. I ran to the bathroom and cried twice already. Imagine that, a little 6 year old girl bringing a grown woman to tears!!! She doesn’t want to go to school and apparently just likes RECESS! I’m desperately searching for my groove. Wishing you all the best!!
hi Mollyremember me?i’ve just had a new baby too, so have about 3 seconds here, but i just re-found you and am so happy about this!have you read “Learning At Home: A Mother’s Guide To Homeschooling” by Marty Layne? You must must must. here’s her website: http://www.martylayne.com/She's SO calming and lovely.Hang in there!lots of love…
ok….i really want to run down the street and keep elizabeth busy for you. since i couldn’t even run 13.1 miles, i don’t think that is going to happen! however, i’m with emily about those difficult moments. i am sure she has told you about the rather awful coincidence we shared. thank goodness for friends, whether next door or a few states away.i’ll get there someday – i swear.
Don’t you know the second day of homeschool is always the worst? Next year you’ll know. Hang in there. The 4th day isn’t so bad–especially if you shirk off the work and head to the library, stop at the market on the way home to get bananas for making banana milkshakes…
By the way, saw your Birds of Prey book on your sidebar. The Carrie Murray Nature Center in Baltimore rehabs birds of prey. Kathy (restoration place) went there and we plan to go this month.
you are SO funny! your descriptions conjure up SUCH vivid scenes in my mind that i am still laughing out loud after reading that fabulous 3 minutes! BUT, listen to this..the funniest bit was my littlest running in from the other room desperate to know what was the matter with me. I reassured him that i was ok..just laughing at(with?) the lady on the computer. He shrugged his shoulders and put his head to one side, hands on hips, laughed and said “Molly???”!! Crazy! If only he could picture the spider, the hawk, the juice etc.!
((((you and yours))))
You are such a good mom! I wouldn’t last 5 minutes home schooling. I wouldn’t. By the end of the first day I would be on the 6 o’clock news with the word WANTED over my head for child abuse. I just don’t have that kind of calm – patience. Nope. If I even suggested it my kids would laugh. But you do and I think that’s great! And HEY! I didn’t realize you were near Baltimore. Howdy neighbor!
I hear ya! Some days I look longingly at the school buses going by. However, I know why I’m doing what I’m doing and know it’s for the best.
I’ve been homeschooling for 8 years and am teaching 4 of my 6 kids and for the most part enjoy it! I love learning right along with them.
Keep it up! You’ll have a rountine down soon.
I just wanted to encourage you. The first week of homeschooling is always hard, or the first day is great, just to tease you for a horrendous second day LOL It WILL get better and then it will get bad again, this is just how it flows, kind of like life : ) I will say that the first 2 or 3 years were the hardest. I am starting my 8th year and now each year gets easier and easier even though I now have two in high school. I think it is because I am more laid back and know that the bad days will end, and we WILL have some great days. Most days however, are just routine, which is fine by me.
Hi Molly! I really enjoy reading your blog. What you shared about homeschooling was a real encouragement. We are homeschooling our 6 year old and are also blessed with a 3 year old and 5 month old. We’ve had good and bad days, and it’s nice to know that others have those frustrating days. Your little Emma reminds me of my Isabelle! Thanks for your honesty.Love,Shelly
i’m so late commenting here but i just wanted to say thank you. my days have been like this lately and i’m so glad that i’m not the only one who sometimes eyes that school bus as it drives by in the morning. we call our youngest (19 months) stuntbaby.
and so while you may have been whining. i just had to laugh with you. thank you.