Monday, April 7, 2008

Motivational Cleaning

Last week, a dear friend of mine was coming to visit. The house was a mess, but I was determined to get it into shape before she arrived. I wasn't worried. I'm very Type-B, that way.

I realized my husband was scrambling around tidying up. This is an issue in our house as he's kindof a neat freak and well... I'm aware there are neat freaks in the world. The problem is when those two ideas introduce themselves to one another and shake hands. When my husband starts picking up around the house more than normal, it makes me feel defensive and self-conscious as I view it as my job. (He does help on a regular basis) I view it as my job and I view it as a job I don't do to his satisfaction very often. So I started to feel guilty as I see him bustling about. But I wasn't feeling any negative neat-freak energy coming from him as I sometimes do. So I asked what was up.

He explained that there was just too much for me to do today. I was on guard. Was he implying I was incompetent? No.

You see, he's studying for the professional engineer's exam. His boss has given him time to work at home specifically to prepare for this test. So he's been home during the day a lot more often than usual. He's seen things that the Men in Black should probably erase from his memory!

He explained that he's seen what I have to do during the day and it's not humanly possible to do what I do AND clean the house. He said that he used to wonder why I couldn't do it, but now he knows. I'd marry that man if I wasn't married to him already! It almost made me want to mop a floor. I told him he'd made my blog; a dubious honor I'm sure, but an honor nonetheless.

Good Moms feed the ducks

Today was one of those "Wow, I'm a good Mom but horrible housekeeper" sorta days. The horrible housekeeper happens often enough...

Anyway, school went great. John was learning! He was engaged. We worked on ADDING FRACTIONS today. He just seems so old. He finished all his subject quickly and without much pain.

In the middle of science, he said, "Mom, can I give my brain some fresh air?" He wanted to go outside and get the mail. So I let him (That's one of the "good mom" parts). He came back in and sorted our mail from my mother-in-law's mail. (Extra reading!). This is one thing I do love about homeschooling: fresh air for your brain opportunities at will.

John learned that Psalms is smack-dab in the middle of the Bible. If you open the Bible in the middle, you can find it. You'd be surprised how happy something like this can make an 8 year old. It's like a magic trick. I'd have let him do it several times but as the book just after Psalms tells, I suppose happiness is fleeting.

After school he went outside to dig in his "garden". This is a bag of dirt my mother bought him and poured into an abandoned flower bed. Woohoo, I'm the honored recipient of wild onions. The harvest of the last several days will soon yield enough to make a whole garlic, according to my horticulturist. I'm not sure how that's going to work but just listening about it and receiving those onions gets me more "good mom" feelings for the day.

Then he came in and did some crafts while Hannah slept and I surfed the 'net. That's the part where he got "good son" points. He made me a necklace using pony beads, buttons and a shoelace. He tied it on my neck while I had my eyes closed to avoid ruining the surprise. I'm still wearing that necklace.... the boy ties a solid knot!

This afternoon we ventured to the park yet again. (Yep, good mom points) He even found a couple of children to play with. I watched from afar as they rubbed some sticks together trying to make a fire. My good mom feelings led me to think about enrolling him in Boy Scouts. My common sense suggested encouraging him to build fires might not be conducive to continuing to live in a house.

Hannah climbed things on the playground which should not be possible developmentally for her. I let her do this. More mom points.

I just didn't want the day to end so after we returned out videos to the store after dinner. We went to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge and bought duck food and fed the ducks and took a walk.
Hannah finally learned to throw food to the ducks instead of eating it herself all the while calling "woof-woof, woof-woof".

And I got to listen while a fellow parent tried to avoid explaining why the ducks were wrestling tag team with one poor other duck. Gotta love mating season for teaching opportunities.

Hannah was dry and peed in her little potty in the car before we went home.

Yeah, it was a good day.