If I hadn’t made a commitment to blog every day for this our first year of homeschooling, I wouldn’t write down anything about today. It’s a day that I would rather forget. Or mull over to see what went wrong and why. I think it all went downhill after the moon walk…
It started off well enough. We worked on posters for tomorrow morning, when we’ll join parents and kids who attend the local elementary school to stand in solidarity with teachers and protest the budget cuts in public education. We talked about the political situation at a very high level, about how hard teachers work and how they need the tools to help their students, who they care about very much. We decided upon three slogans to put on our posters. Leila wanted to trace letters, and Noah wouldn’t even let me pencil in the letters for him to trace—he wanted to write them out himself. All three of them were engaged.
When they were done with those, I turned their attention to the subject of the supermoon lunar eclipse, and then we started talking about the moon. I have a really cool mini-course on the moon, and I wanted to do a couple activities from it this morning. Maybe my transition was a bit forced. Maybe the kids are done talking about the moon. I don’t know.
I was explaining how the moon rotates on its axis and also orbits around Earth. I put a chair in the middle of the room to represent Earth and asked them to be moons orbiting it, always facing the chair. Right there, I lost Noah—in an activity where he could be up and walking, at that—and he decided he wanted to use felt, glue and construction paper to make a picture of the moon orbiting Earth. Fabulous. Who’s going to argue with that?
Then we talked about gravity on the moon. They’re already quite familiar with the concept of gravity on Earth, so it was easy to explain that the moon has less gravity because it is smaller. We went on a pretend moon walk around the room, bouncing and throwing ourselves around, and giggling hysterically.
They look happy here, right? And then someone got pushed. Someone didn’t make it across the moon as quickly as someone else. I couldn’t even tell you who because there was so much shouting and whining and crying that I started shouting (and in my head, whining and crying as well). When that settled down, I tried to move on, but they could not stop talking. At every single moment, someone was talking over me. And then Leila knocked the coloured pencils off the table (I want to believe it was an accident) and Noah couldn’t stop droning on and on about pure nonsense and Zahra couldn’t stop giggling about Noah’s nonsense.
Time for a break. I sent them to their rooms to clean up while I made lunch. They did clean…very slowly, and the noise level was insane, and I had a strong urge to drive them all to the school and dump them in the secretary’s office. There was more fighting and more mischief (throwing things into each other’s rooms, claiming that it was someone else’s mess, arguing about who would clean up what between the girls) and more yelling (some of it mine), and I wanted to rip my hair out…and then, I took a step back and said, “Why?”
Yesterday should have been a crappy day. Yesterday, I badly needed a working washing machine, and then we were locked out of the house for 7 hours, and then we were caught in the rain without coats. Why did we have so much fun yesterday and today, warm and cozy in our house with little but games to do, was it meltdown after meltdown? Why did I feel like selling my kids to the highest bidder? Why was I questioning my ability to do this?
Attitude. Mine, not theirs. Well, both, maybe—but I’m a firm believer that the only person you can control is yourself. And today, I was running very low on patience. Saïd came home from work early and brought us the dose of positive attitude that we needed. People who know him and I well can appreciate how funny it is that he was the one to turn things around for us today. 😉
So first on the agenda for tomorrow: better attitude. And more coffee. Definitely more coffee.
Ever have a low-energy, bad-attitude kind of day? What are your tricks for turning it around?