Monday, January 30, 2012

Ambivalent

I am feeling ambivalent about today.  If somehow I could calculate the goodness of the day, I would say it turned out well.  However, it felt trying...

I stayed up late last night washing all the laundry so that today I would only need to fold it and put it away.  I had to stay up especially late because I accidentally forgot to put the clothes in once and the machine ran empty.  I was pretty tired last night too.  I knew that if all the laundry were washed it would help to make this day feel less strenuous.  All this to say, when I started this day early this morning I was working off six hours of sleep and I expected I would be crashing at some point in the afternoon.  Surprisingly, I kept up all day long.

I prayed with the kids this morning. Success! It's not easy praying with three preschoolers, or even to get them all to the prayer corner all at once.  It was a struggle to get them all dressed prior to prayers.  Afterward, I figured I would put on a little music while they played and I would work on a few chores.  But Alex had another idea, instead of regularly planned homeschool lessons the kids listened to a CD of Aesop's Fables.  Alex came to me in the middle and said they all needed popcorn to eat while they listened.  I thought that was a great idea.  At least it was a great idea until Alex finished his popcorn before the girls and then stole Kristiana's popcorn bowl and she melted into a fit and kicked popcorn all over the room.

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We went to the grocery store and Alex and Kristiana had an affectionate, playful, fight all through the store.  Kisses and pokes and boisterous giggling, which would sometimes digress into scratches and tears.  It was sort of cute, but also extremely annoying and embarrassing.  They fought enough to not get any sort of reward at the end of the trip.

Lunch happened next.  I put away the food and doled out freshly bought vittles.  I let the kids watch T.V. for a couple of hours while I caught up on a little work.  But, before that time was over Annie awoke from her nap wheezing.  I laid down with her a little while in hopes she would fall back asleep, but she was struggling to breath too much.  So I got her up and she cried for a couple of hours while I tried to make her comfortable.  I finally gave her a breathing treatment and tylenol and then she was ready for more fun.

I tried to get Alex to read aloud this afternoon, but he gave me heck about it.  That is about the time I got fed up and said to myself he is going to school next year, because I cannot go through this daily refusal to learn just because I asked him to do it.  It's not good for anyone in this situation.  We are going to have to try to make tuition for Catholic school.  Besides with a new baby in the house, we are going to need a little extra time to spend with the girls.

The children then played outside in the chilly, but mild January weather for hours.  Alex got constructive bringing playroom furniture outside and up to the top of the play house.  Hey, it kept him busy and it only took ten gummy bears to get him to put it all back before dinner.

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I guess what made the day stressful at points was all the picking and bickering the kids did.  For some reason Kristiana was malicious toward Annie today.  She would push her down and kick her for no reason.  I caught her smothering Annie under a bean bag.  I don't understand.  Maybe she just wanted to see what would happen.  It's just hard and taxing having to discipline and break up fights consistently all day long.  Plus, I take it so personally when they treat each other badly.  I am sure they are not thinking conscientiously.

However, in retrospect it was a pretty good day.  The kids went to bed on time.  Alex did learn despite not sitting down for a homeschool lesson.  We talked all about the calendar before his bedtime story.  Everyone got fed and tended to. The laundry and the shopping are done.  I just want everyone to get along.

1 comment:

kayleen said...

I think you are doing a great job, mama Renee. There is so much going on at your house! I wonder how my kids will be as they get older and continue to spend all day together. Louisa and Josie have their moments...but I have yet to really have to play referee all day to them. Do you ever have times during the day where everyone must play by themselves, either in separate rooms or doing completely different activities? (Well, when Alex is doing homeschooling I suppose that happens) I'm sure that's easier said than done at this point because they are so young so you need to be able to supervise them all...but maybe as they get older they will have to have time to themselves (in bedrooms or wherever) in order to not bicker as much. Sometimes when Lou is getting aggressive with Josie, I just have to give Lou more of her own space by putting Josie in the highchair with a snack or holding her while I"m cooking. It seems to give Lou relief and pretty soon she comes looking for Josie to play with her again.