Today I'm starting with a request: If you're a fellow Home Edder and you've had a serenely beautiful day, gliding through from start to finish, please would you close this post and read yesterday's instead? It's much better! If you're a Home Edder who's had a bit of a rubbish day and are somewhat trepidatious about reading yet another blog that makes you feel inadequate, fear not! Come and join me in my inane ramblings - you'll feel so much better about yourself!
So - not a great start of this morning :( I woke up with a nasty headache & really annoyingly itchy eyes (hormones & hayfever are a vicious combination!) That really set the tone for the morning. Youngest was obsessed with wanting to play on MathsWhizz, despite not having an account - and Middle was already on the computer anyway, but it only occurred to me to put my laptop on with the trial MathsWhizz games that Youngest previously loved, the second after he had just given up on pestering me and whining non-stop for a-g-e-s. I needed Eldest to tidy his room before doing anything else - so the dirty clothes now covering his floor could go in the wash, and to eradicate the scattered landmines of lego bricks, just waiting to be trodden on in the dark when we go in to say goodnight. However, Eldest wanted to do anything but tidy his room - hence much complaining about how l--o--n--g it was going to take him (complaining from him at that point, not me - yet). Middle was just overtired and reacting to everone else without understanding why - he subconsciously picks up on emotions very quickly. So I sent Eldest to his room anyway, checked that Middle was OK on the computer with Youngest observing (he settled for watching his brother on the CBeebies website in the end) - and as I popped my laptop on to check emails etc, I spotted a couple of blog updates, and thought I'd check them out to help me focus more positively on my day ahead. Huh - I just felt even more miserable that "everyone else" was so articulate, insightful, so great at parenting, educating etc - and all their children were angels! OK I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the point: I was feeling sorry for myself (with no good reason I might add). I even commented on another blog (Classroom Free - it's a lovely blog & well worth reading, despite my grouchiness) about how happy I was to have left my old bossy self behind (see Goodbye Sergeant Major), and then within five minutes found myself bossing the boys about! So, in an effort to get myself back on track, I turned my laptop off and having made sure the boys were still all ok, I started cleaning the pile of mess that had accumulated in the front room, as I usually find tidying fairly therapeutic. However, today I completely failed to get to the bottom of the mess (hardly made a dent in it) - which is not therapeutic at all, just annoying!
Happily for Grumpy-grots here, and all her offspring, at that point there was a ring at the doorbell which heralded the arrivial of our rescue pack: our Book People delivery. I love getting a parcel - even though I ordered it and paid for it, there's something about opening parcels that always feels exciting to me, like a celebration! There was much delight all round - Eldest couldn't wait to get his hands on the Star Wars sticker book included, and suddenly found his motivation to tidy his room in ten minutes flat! Middle was remarkably cheered up by a series called "I Wonder Why", and a beginners Italian dictionary (purchase inspired by their joyous exploration of the Yogi-Bear-in-a-foreign-language-DVD the other day) - which distraction allowed Youngest his turn on the PC (Reading Eggs). Having the older two happily occupied, I joined Youngest on the computer for some lovely one-to-one time with him showing me his stuff... and I have to say, I am astounded by the progress in his reading! He was recognising lots of letters, blending sounds and reading words. He is three-and-a-half! I was sat next to him, looking at the screen, every time thinking, 'he won't be able to do that yet', or 'no - he couldn't do that last week' - and then he just did it! He totally blew me away! You see, there's proof: books and reading have a magical quality about them, to help you escape even the gloomiest day!
So this afternoon, feeling a bit better, we went to visit some Home Ed friends, and had a thoroughly lovely afternoon playing with them and exploring the woods near their home. Unfortunately, by the time we got back in the car tiredness kicked in and much squabbling was to be heard from the back seats on the way home - to the point where by the end of tea time I felt like morphing into Bonnie Tyler and belting out, "I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero till the end of the night. He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast, and he's gotta put the kids to bed all by himself..."
Well lo and behold my hero arrived, somewhat prosaically in a Ford Mondeo - no white steed or Harley Davidson here, but I could not have been more grateful for the rescue. As he whisked the children upstairs to bed and my headache started to ease, I heard him reading the bedtime stories upstairs, and you know what? I was a little bit jealous! Contrary or what? It's OK though - chances are, tomorrow morning I'll have some snuggly boys creeping into bed with me while Daddy goes off for his run, and we can catch up on sharing some good books again then :)