It's a cloudy day, so all I feel like doing is whining. I was trying to think of something positive for the first take to set the tone for great things to come, but really... clouds make me sad. I need a sun lamp or something.
A happy baby who has cut his 7th tooth and is almost ready to walk does cheer me up a little.
With two kids in school, albiet only Kindergarten and grade one, I feel like we are entering a new plane of existence. Suddenly there is all these things that need to be thought about and lots of the things are small, like 10 minutes of reading each night with the grade 1 child, and little projects that get sent home for the "family" to do with the Kindergartener or getting a six-year-old to find 3 things in our house that begin with the letter "H" that he can feasibly take to school without losing or breaking them.
Then there are the forms to fill out requiring my consent to be given. In some sense I feel like I'm signing their lives away with every form I read over and send back. I am that parent who has all the extra questions and concerns about everything, which I think might be a bit shocking to the principal and teachers, because even though I am not at all on the warpath, they seem always to feel the need to defend themselves when I simply want to know more. Am I not supposed to care? Am I just supposed to blindly allow my child to be swept into a system I know nothing about? But I'd rather be that parent than the one who has no clue. I guess I best get used to it. Or homeschool. As a case of successful homeschooling, I always have it in the back of my mind.
The two older guys in school has brought a different dynamic to our family. I'm getting alone time with my 2.5 year old, Zachary, while the baby naps, which has never really happened in his entire life. He and I have built block castles to knock them down, read lots and lots of our favourite books and watched a couple episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine, which my older boys say is a "baby show". We've made a couple trips to Starbucks too. It's a can of worms I might regret, but cute when he says "Mom, should we go to Starbucks and get an apple spice for myself and a coffee for yourself?" Sometimes we go to a small local cafe too, but they don't have a drive-thru, and someone told one of the baristas that "My baby brudder is sleepin' in the van." (which was parked right outside the door where I could see it on a semi-cold day where he wouldn't overheat or freeze). But she looked at me like I was physically torturing a cat, so we promptly took our order and left.
It's afternoon now and the baby has woken up from his nap, so the two littlest get to play in our playroom and be cute together. Zachary is currently trying to coax the baby into a nylon tunnel. It's not going so well. Martin is probably right not to trust him. Ah brotherhood.
Something I realized today is that I've inadvertently been pulled into the world of roughhousing. I'm not the touchy-feely wrestling type. I never had the urge to tickle someone till they peed their pants or tackle someone to the ground. Maybe my siblings remember things differently, but I can definitely say I stuck to the sidelines of this in my years beyond childhood. But I have 4 boys beneath age 7 now. Things have changed. This morning I spent a good 10 minutes after dressing Martin, just tickling and wrestling the 5-, 2.5 year and 10-month-old on the floor. I often finish such an encounter with my sons and think to myself, "What was that?" Same weird feeling I get when I pass a huge track-hoe or dump-truck and get mildly excited. These boys have changed their mother. It'll be interesting to look back in a decade and see what other things I do purely as a result of having sons.
It's almost time to head back to school and pick up the older two boys. It's sunny now, so I'll likely give them a half-hour on the playground while I chat to the playground moms about our weekend plans, kid's activities etc. It's an interesting social situation, as everyone makes small-talk and tries not to go too deep or get awkward. Most conversations are happy, and it's like a school situation all over again as we separate ourselves into categories of parent. There's the cool hipster parents (which I don't think I'm a part of), the tight group of girls (women) who actually socialize outside of this setting, and there's a Filipino crowd, which is hilarious, as they stand around speaking in Tagalog to each other, love it. There's a smattering more people who've been there longer than I have. It's going to be interesting to see how this all develops if we continue with this school for the forseeable future. As an introvert, it's taken me a long time to come to grips with well, socializing every single day for the sake of giving the kids some run-around time. Don't get me wrong, the people I've befriended are great people, but I've ceased reaching out to friends for play-dates because this is all the social I can handle right now.
September brought us a slew of illness. There is so much going around right now. It makes me crazy. Case and point: my natural-remedy loving side is coming out as I brew pot after pot of lemon-honey-ginger concoction and foist it upon the ill, with elderberry tincture whether they like it or not. Here's the crazy part: I attempted making some honey-lemon throat lozenges (because buying the ones that contain only honey and lemon with no added sugar was apparently too easy). I wish I had a photo of the disgusting, sticky, slightly burned goop I made, but I threw it out in shame!