Things my Husband Will Never Experience



1. Taking a dump with an audience nearly every day.


2. Getting dressed with an audience nearly every day.


3. That trying to work while you are the main caretaker of your children is like being constantly poked, prodded and hair-pulled by chimpanzees and that 30 seconds is not nearly long enough to sustain the concentration needed to complete a task. any task, really.


unless you are taking a dump.  because then you are just trying to get out of the bathroom and lose your audience as fast as possible.


Late Summer




Just on principle, I am opposed to praise songs. But right now, an album a friend recorded is playing. It’s the two-year-old’s favorite music.  So for me, it’s like having my friend give a mini-concert in my living room (albeit, again and again and again and…).


And the afternoon sun is slanting in the sky with that feel, that particular atmosphere of Fall-on-it’s-Way.


Cicadas are whirring, the five-year-old coming back in the house, nose stuck in a book.


I have a fall-ubiquitous pumpkin-flavored latte to hand.


The two-year-old’s playtime toy–a bag of rice–is spread out all over the floor.


Nonetheless, this is one of those vignettes I’d like to bottle up, to paint, to record, to add to my memories of other Late Summer poignancies.




Toddler, meet  tower fan.






Female parental unit, meet $50 paper weight.


After a long day of getting kids up, preparing breakfast, cleaning up breakfast, dressing the 2 year old, packing extra sets of clothes, prepping picnic lunches, loading up kids, unloading, playing in the creek, ensuring kids don’t drown/hit other playmate with rocks/don’t slip down the steep bank, eat lunch, wrangle back into car, come home, prep snacks, prep dinner, prep dinner, prep dinner, pick up living room, clear off playdo/toys/books from the dining table, eat dinner, get kids ready for bed, go for a quick run, get kids into bed nothing much, I love to kick back, relax and put away food, clean up from dinner, pick up toys and do the work I get paid for  just take it easy.

8.27: Observations on a day



The 2 year old thinks its  a good idea to nurse all day.  And in between times to use his toolbox toys on your legs and ankles.


I get frustrated by all the clutter that amasses on the 5 year old’s side of the table and slowly creeps over the rest. And then I look at the stack of books at my own place (the apple….as they say….)


The pace of my evening run is to the mental accompaniment of Where Is Thumbkin?


There are pint-sized chair on top of the train table  Who knows why?


The two year old is eating butter straight.  He may need a butter intervention.


Every single outing requires water, snacks, adequate clothing, sweaters for super-chilled retail environments, multiple adjurations for using the potty and getting shoes on




A brief comment online caught my attention yesterday.


One of the tenets of home learning that is tailored to the child’s interests (whether it is self-motivated or arises from conversations or topics you yourself find important, think they need to know, introduce to them) is that children up until school age are constantly soaking up information and constantly learning and that this quest To Know doesn’t change when they hit school but rather can be squelched through a system that dictates what should be learned when.


(I myself am a product of the public school system and i would consider myself a life-long learner so clearly, there is not necessarily a correlation between the industrial school system and the diminishment of interest in learning, with the provision being that I was in the school system 25 years ago and much has changed since then)


However. The point on this thread that I was following was that these days, most children are placed in pre-school at a very young age, whether for daycare purposes or because everybody else’s kids are in preschool so they are going to put their kids in as well.  (To be honest, it seems like a pretty good scam to part parents from their money, particularly if there is not a financial impetus such as 2 full-time employed parents).  The point here is that: most people’s kids go to preschool at least part-time, so, no, there’s not the realization that kids will learn on their own.  They might assume that it is the preschool that is prompting the learning; in actuality, the child is learning because that is what children do.


To bring it home:


The 5 year old has been reading for quite some time and now he has turned his attention to the world of numbers.  When he was decoding reading, he would sit for long periods of time playing with plastic alphabet letters. I don’t know what games he was creating in his head but it was meaningful and he taught himself to read at 3.5.  He, like me, is a compulsive reader and is amassing a stunning amount of information from his eclectic reading materials, not only reading but REMEMBERING because he is reading what is interesting to him: physics, anatomy, natural sciences, stories, astronomy; it’s all fair game.


Now, suddenly, in the past few weeks, he has turned his attention to math.  I had tried in the past to introduce it but with little interest in his part. Now that he is ready, he is absorbing the world of numbers with just as much focus as when he was absorbing letters:  Addition, subtraction, fractions–today he was reading about binary code and told me how interested he was in it (Note: do they make chapter books about binary code that a 5 year old could understand?  :S)–greater than/less than, geometry, you name it.


The unfolding of his learning is incredible to watch and it is probably the biggest key to why I have been open to pursuing the world of the Unschooling/Relaxed Home Learning spectrum.




You know how when your 2 year old is being charming and winsome when you are out in public?  And people come up to you and tell you some variation of:


I miss those days!


Enjoy it! They grow so quickly!


Those are the best years!


And you look at them with a pained smile because:


Clearly they have FORGOTTEN.


The intensity, the mercurial emotion, moving from smiling happiness to screaming Hulk-out rages in 3.7 nanoseconds


The physicality, bearing the brunt of a child who decides he needs to be picked up and held right about the time when you are actually involved in actual work that goes best with 2 actual hands and, if you don’t pick him up, hearing the ear-splitting cries of rage and tragedy, getting the lash-out with hands or feet or the attempts with teeth.


The constant reaching and grabbing for things that should not be reached or grabbed and the following rage when you dare to move it out of reach or grab range or even wrestle it from victorious fists.


I’m not actually sure HOW you can forget this, but apparently most people do, or at least the ones that tell me how much I will miss it do.


Five,  yes, I’m having fun with five but 2? not so much….

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