Today. It's just a Tuesday, right? It's harmless, not Monday, almost mid-week, thunderstorms sounding off in the distance, hugs from the hubs, coffee and the Word... Per my usual mental preparedness for the day, I spend my last few minutes praying and visualizing (thank you years of coaches who taught me the art of mentally shooting thousands of free throws and walking through at bats...that now has overflowed into my parenting!)... and then the clock strikes 7:00am and eight feet hit the floor! And just like that, they're off! We have one hour to hit the road. It's a race to the toy room to play 'police' with their dollar store guns, or to the bathroom, depending on the kid. It's a holler for help with clothes from Sophia and to 'TURN OFF THE LIGHT" from Timothy. Our house is not for the faint of heart in the early morning hours... So, if you've come this far, here's just a small peek into our Tuesday home school routine, and the way it went down today.
Tuesday's are our town days. We have therapies, allergy shots, swim lessons and Kroger click list (thank you for this one Jesus!), and a swing through Wendy's drive through as we head home. My days are still very driven by our nap routine, even though I have two that have moved into the "quiet time" phase of these sacred hours, so with our drive time to get home I've had to master back scheduling in order to make it home, unload kids and groceries and still get the little ones in bed on time. Some call me crazy, or over structured, but I like to think of my particular mom skill set as falling somewhere between a loving drill sergeant and ninja nap master. Over the years, this has both made me crazy and preserved my sanity.
Every Monday night I lay out their sweats with their swim trunks to put on and have them bring me their undies to pack in our swim bag, which they did today, like every other Tuesday morning. However, this morning, I had one wake up with a tummy ache, one complaining about an ear ache and one gagging on snot, even though he's finished his third antibiotic in six weeks for a stubborn sinus infection. So, after taking temps and pushing fluids and giving four complete child assessments, I made the call to the doc for appointments, then called our swim teacher to let her know.
Now, you should know, at this point in the game, we've already done the "Are you dressed, have you brushed your teeth, did you make your bed, do you have on socks, did you put your undies on my bed?" dance a minimum of three times per kid (for those of you counting, that's at
twelve times!) I've made egg and cheese sandwiches, peeled bananas and poured juice that at least three of the kids ate, medicines dished out and water bottles made for the day.
As I was wrapping up my calls, I hollered at the kids to come back downstairs and get their undies, take them up and put them back on, swim trunks back in the drawers and make sure they completed the aforementioned morning tasks. Response's ranged from moans of "but I'm already dressed", to cries of "I really want to go to swimming", the exasperated "yes, I've brushed my teeth, mom", and finally, "good, because my ear hurts" (poor baby girl). The time crunch was in effect by now, so the routine shouts for one last pit stop and shoes had begun over the sounds of cheap toy guns and shouts of "I'm not the bad guy, you are!"
Side note here.....I know some of you are thinking,
I thought you said the kids weren't feeling well?
Yeah, my kids don't really ever stop. Sick or not, (unless they have a pretty good fever) they are on the move.
So, back to the encroaching departure time... My boarding call, "Time to load up!!!" came at approximately 7:59, with one kid running down and out into the van. "Come on you guys, we've got to go!" brought down another kid, but only as far as the hall bathroom, where my assistance was needed and then to the shoe basket for help with laces. Two down, two to go.... "Boys, please, we're going to be late" was followed up by four trampling feet racing to the garage. "Boys you need your shoes!" Oh yeah, help me mom, and hurry so we're not late!
(Eye roll of grand proportions happened here.)
Finally, all four kids are in the van, I was doing my last walk through...got the waters, Epi pens, reading books and lesson plans for car rides and waiting rooms, glasses, five rain jackets, four kids..... and then the door opened. It's Mason. My eyes must have begged the question, what are you doing?!?!, because he ran past me, in his full on toe sprint, shouting, "I forgot my underwear!"
Moms, there are no how to books written for this moment. Just take a deep breath and think grace. Nothing you say or do at this point is going to make him move any faster. Nothing will guilt him into doing better next time. Nothing will keep you from being late.
I ran upstairs to offer my assistance and found one pair of swim trunks that only made it as far as the stairs, one toothbrush un-brushed, two beds unmade (despite ALL my prompting and reminders to do these things, and their assuring me all had been done) and one boy frantically stepping into his undies. I hugged him. "It's ok buddy, bring your shoes and put them on in the van, let's go." His hug was worth it.
Off we went in the thunderstorms with our snotty noses, hurting ears and shoes in hand, and arrived only five minutes late to our first therapy appointment. The doctor visit later would confirm one ear infection, one virus, and one possible stomach bug. From there we got our allergy shots, picked up our groceries (seriously, Kroger click list folks, you rock!), and had our Wendy's burger fix.
As I got the big ones started on some school work and the little ones tucked into bed, I was giving myself a mental high five for making it through another Tuesday marathon town trip, when Eli gave me a kiss and said, "thanks mom, I love you". And just now, Mason brought me this artwork and said, "It's my Valentine for you mom, because you are our very super good mom." Who says being a homeschool mom doesn't pay? I say it pays more than you could ever imagine.
Be blessed, Jules!