This post is dedicated to Dinah, who sometimes feels a bit intimidated by my awesome nature study posts, and to Stephen, who missed it all. You can see why I'd rather post about the fact that we had poetry teatime every day this week, and that on Thursday, the boys sat spell-bound as I read all 60 pages of Robert McCloskey's Time of Wonder. (Well, JJ did start making some noise on the last page, but SA shushed him and made me read it again.) It was a magical moment. Friday, SA wanted to read it again, and we did.
Monday The furnace isn't working. In the evening I get busy on a book review I needed to finish. It was due on October 1, but I have grace until Thursday. I stay up late. My brain doesn't seem to work that well in the evenings these days.
Tuesday I'm supposed to go to a planning meeting for our homeschool co-op this morning. Stephen thinks the furnace may just be out of oil, so I decide that I have too many errands to run to go to the meeting. Because I didn't clean up properly last night, today's chores take forever. We don't leave until after lunch. After my errands, I take the boys to Victoria Park. At some point, JJ has to go to the bathroom, but they've locked the bathrooms. I ask him if he can hold it, and he nods solemnly. We get back to playing. About an hour later, I notice that his pull-up seems to be falling down his pant leg, and he's walking gingerly. He wants to go home. SA isn't ready to go yet, but I round them all up and take them to the car. I have a pull-up in my diaper bag, so I lay JJ across the front seats, since he obviously can't sit with his pull-up around his ankles. It's worse than I thought...and I don't have an extra pair of pants. I manage to change him into the clean pull-up, but the pants and everything go into a bag for the trash. I still have to get my groceries. I go to Value Village, leave the kids in the car with the doors locked and strict instructions (What else could I do?), race to the kids section, grab a pair of pants, pay $3, and run back. We go grocery shopping, MM on my back, JJ in the front of the cart, SA holding on to the back. We get home past the supper hour, and I still have to unload the groceries. I sit them all down with bowls of cereal and get to work. More work on the book review this evening. Why can't I think clearly anymore?
Wednesday The furnace is still not working...the problem must not have been the oil, after all. The house is a mess again, but I go valiantly to work, boiling water for the dishes and mopping. The boys are playing indoors, but I want them out. It's a gorgeous day! So I go out with them, just for a while. I hang the laundry on the line. We have our poetry teatime outdoors. Things take a bit of a turn in the afternoon, though... SA discovers 7-Up in the fridge. He thinks he likes it, so I let him have a tiny bit in a glass. Sure enough, he takes a tiny sip and leaves the rest. I turn around to discover that he left the fridge door open, and MM has gotten the eggs...and is pitching them into the mudroom! Thankfully there were only three left, and only one of them is broken. I move MM and clean up. Meanwhile, SA decides to move the couches in the living room so we can get whatever's under them out. The scene is total chaos. MM needs a nap. I sit down to nurse him, and he falls asleep. JJ has a boo-boo, and I tell him to go get a bandaid and wait for me to put MM in his bed. I go upstairs and settle him down, quietly, slowly. SA comes up...I need to look at JJ's toes! JJ comes up behind him. His toes are a rainbow of pink and blue, and his pants are wet. Apparently, while he was waiting for me to be finished with MM to get his bandaid, he passed the time painting his nails. Sitting beside the toilet, he peed his pants. Ah well...the life of a mother. MM pops up. Nap's over! At least I manage to finish the book review in the evening...well, around midnight, maybe.
Thursday Swimming lessons day. Things are going well, until I get out and realize that I locked the keys in the car. My window is open a crack, so I make several efforts to try to get my arm in. (Picture the scene. Yes, it was that car.) No luck. MM has taken his socks off, and it's cold out today. The boys are cranky and hungry, so I find some crackers in my diaper bag and hand them out. I try again. I lean against the car and think. I pray. I look around. I remember a nail clipper in my diaper bag. Maybe that extra inch will help. Nope. I see a tree. I wonder if anyone will mind if I take a branch? The thick end doesn't fit next to the lock. The thin end crumbles, then crumbles again. Finally it works. Thank you, Lord! "Mama, God helped us," says SA quietly. "Mama! Mama! Jesus helped us open the car!" shouts JJ. Yes.
Friday I realize we haven't had a nature walk this week. I decide to go to the MacPhail homestead, and go to the library afterwards. I rush around trying to get things cleaned up before I go. The furnace is still not working, and I'm still boiling water. We've never been to the MacPhail homestead before. We manage only five minutes or so before JJ decides he doesn't like it there and heads back to the car. He had been expecting Mooney's Pond again. That one didn't go so well. It turns out, he's hungry. We all are! We had our tea time at 11:30, so we haven't had lunch. I give them some muffins, and I have some lentils and rice. Unfortunately, I accidentally choke on a grain of rice. It seems to take forever to get it out. I sit at the stop sign, tears streaming down my face, SA asking me anxious questions from the back seat. Finally I choke it out and we go. At the library, I see there are several homeschoolers. I say hello, but feel shy...they've had a teen book club meeting and I wasn't expecting to see them. I settle the boys and look for books. I think later that maybe I appeared unfriendly, and I don't want to seem that way. We go home. The furnace is still not working.
Funny thing is, I didn't feel like it was a terrible week. It may have had a crisis or two more than usual. It's just what you choose to focus on and remember. This week, just for you, Dinah, I've remembered the craziness. Maybe I'll still do a post about Time of Wonder and our other amazing library find of the week: Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost.