Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day Two

Well, everyone got off to school again today. Not quite as smoothly as yesterday.

This time Annie (6) spent most of the morning crying (over being cold, being sleepy, the light being too bright, the socks being too lumpy, etc.). This was about the same time Ruthie (3) decided now would be the ideal time to perfect her fit-throwing ability. To add to the insanity of the moment, Libby (9), our self-appointed timekeeper, followed me and the sobbing masses through the house, giving us the minute-by-minute countdown until I finally told her to cease and desist. To her, "late" is thirty minutes early. No clue where she got that.

Fortunately, in the middle of all the turmoil, Annie suddenly remembered she got to take her pink backpack to school, then (as quickly as it all started), she snapped out of it, put her backpack on, and cheerfully waved goodbye. The pics will have to wait - the tears and dealing with fits took all our spare time.

Neal (12) and Allie (14!) got all their stuff together by themselves, but on my pass through the house after they left, I see that neither one made their bed, and one of them (guess which!) obviously rejected several outfits before deciding on the one that finally made it out the door. Sigh. Today's chore clips will have VERY LONG LISTS.

I was hoping to do some blog reading last night, but instead, I sat up until 11 o'clock, going through a pile of papers sky high, signing my life away for sports liability, PTA, lunch money, and volunteer "opportunities," for the first time, TIMES FOUR KIDS. Whew, this is going to take some getting used to! I got out the family calendar and filled in the football and volleyball schedules, choir concerts, and all the can't-miss school functions. Softball starts in two weeks, so we are headed for a busy fall.

Of course, I put it ALL on the calendar, knowing full-well we simply can't do it ALL. We do the best we can to have dinner together as often as is feasible, and sometimes that means we have to miss a school fundraiser, social, or (gasp!) sports practice. There are only so many hours in the day.

Anyway, Ruthie and I are getting used to our new quiet life together. I am seeing character issues (such as fit-throwing) that have gone "under the radar" because she is usually so easygoing when the big kids are around. Yesterday at McDonalds, when I told her it was time to go (after plenty of warnings beforehand) she sauntered slowly down from the playplace, one eye peering sneakily through the plastic holes, obviously enjoying making me wait. When she's with the big kids, she just follows them. Have I not been clear that she needs to obey me? Regardless, I'm not sure I've ever had to spell out that "delayed obedience is disobedience" to her, but now's as good a time as any.

So I've got that going for me.


Oh, and I almost forgot! I was able to retrieve the birthday pictures!! I only cleared the memory card, but I found the birthday pics on internal memory. WOO HOO! My life is spared!!


Anonymous said...

? for you when does your 3 year old turn 4? It sounds like she starting her ferocious fours. Keep telling yourself that Exerting her right for independence is normal. Not going through this with a 3 yearold and muddling through it with TEENAGERS, one has to say that this is normal. It is NORMAL.

I can't tell you how many times I have said that to myself sometimes under my breath--It is normal. I am PROUD to be raising such INDEPENDENT children ^%%$#@#

Laugh often. Just laugh at the eye scoping you out at MickeyD's playland. Laugh at your older ones accidentally forgetting their stuff for school and be happy that

they haven't voted you off their island yet.

Enjoy this time with the younger one. She will grow up way to fast.

Sending you mommy power :) .

Susanne said...

Oh dear. I remember many a morning like that. I remember having to phone the teacher and explain why she might have an emotional teary child on her hands when they arrived at school.

Thanks for the reminder of your chore list. I think I'll get that going this year. Sigh, I think I'm too late to make them make their beds before they go, though. How do you start getting a 17 and 15 year old to do it. Suggestions?

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Glad to hear about your pics. I liked reading about those chore clips. We haven't found a system that works with our boys yet, so I will try this one. Blessings...

Ginger said...

Thanks so much for the glimpse into your life... Our 4 are still tiny, the oldest starting Kindergarten next week. You give me a glimpse of what's coming and I love your helpful hints and links. (chore clips, morning jobs on the hands, chore rotation...) I envision myself teaching our kids these things, but you have great ideas on how to actually implement them - in a not-so-anal, laid back style! LOVE IT! Thank you,

Marian said...

I'm very glad to hear that you found the birthday photos! That's such a disappointment when you lose the irreplaceable ones. (Like, say, when your husband loses the ones of your final bio- child's birth. Yes, much weeping and gnashing of teeth there...)

Lisa said...

Thank Goodness the photos are found! You are off the hook.
A few years ago I lost Halloween, and to this day, whenever we are looking thru pictures and come across Halloween, someone always reminds me about the year that "I" lost.
This is the first week of school at my house too...my 3 older ones are off and the 3 year old is finding herself a bit lonely. And, I am realizing that she is a bit naughtier than I thought she was! I think we are in the same boat with our little ones.
I implemented my own version of your chore clip after you had originally posted it...it is a great tool! I enjoy not having to nag and the kids enjoy checking the chores off and being done for the day. I even made one for my husband!
Another great post, thanks Katherine!


Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Oh goodness, what a morning! I swear, sometimes I think your life is running parallel to mine, except for that whole 5 kids thing.

My 4-year-old is suddenly VERY willful and SUCH a handful. She's always been "independent," but now it's like she's in overdrive.

Time to regroup, huh?

I'm so glad you mentioned your Chore Clips, because I think we need something like that to get us back to our routines.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the week!

Mindy said...

Yeah!! I am so glad you found the pictures!!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Delayed Obedience is Disobedience. Loving how that flows. I think I will be saying that around here!

Sounds like a hectic AM, hectic night, and a soon to be hectic fall...take a deep breath.

Julie said...

You are really not making me anxious for next Tuesday when we start.

I know the big kids are going to be very grouchy trying to get used to getting up early again.

Let the fun begin!!!

Hope tomorrow goes smoother.

Laura said...

I remember reading the chore list post, but this was a good reminder.

Hope the new regime to shepherd Ruthie's precious heart goes well. Keep us posted. :)

Anonymous said...

First time posting on your blog. I love reading it. It is such an inspiration to me. Thanks for all of your mommy wisdom!

I love the idea of the chore clips and the morning hand chart! Great ideas!

God bless you and your sweet family!

Anonymous said...

Libby is a girl after my own heart. If we're in the car going somewhere and I'm stressing because we're going to be "late", inevitably we're still a minute early! On time to me means ten minutes early. I can't help it - it's a disease. :-)


Deidre said...

Katherine .. please take this the right way ... I love visiting your blog because YOU ARE REAL. I leave some blogs feeling like I am failing. I just don't think some lives are so 'fairytale-like'. Thank you for your honesty. I'm encouraged by it.

And, yes, I feel like my 2 year old has been flying under the radar too. I only have 2 children, but these past 3 mornings at home with only her have revealed some pretty sneaky behavior. I have thought, "Now, where did that come from?" We've got some work to do :)

Ladybug said...

My 4 year old is expressing his independence too...and it drives me batty!! LOL

Etta said...

Sounds fun.