Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Our lovely pediatric gastroenterologist has ordered me to clear The Girl's colon. I'm supposed to give her a full dose of Mirilax every half hour until, well, she only has liquids in her colon. Yikes.

So far, she's had SEVEN doses in three hours, and nada. The suspense is killing me...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stand by...

We're having something of a mid-life crisis, a bout of existential angst with homeschooling.

The Boy is starting an online high school with Calvert. He refuses to take Spanish.

The Girl still reads at a second-grade level. Her vocabulary, spelling, and grammar are at least sixth grade, and she reads with inflection. Without any comprehension at all. Not sure if she's just being stubborn, doesn't have the verbal skills to form her answer, or if she simply doesn't make movies from words. Either way, reading and being read to are equally difficult for her.

So, I'm back. Back to square one this year.

I'm looking at Charlotte Mason for The Girl, which means short bursts of work and having her re-tell what she learned. I've set up one big messy event for each day of the week -- art on Monday, weird science on Tuesday, etc. But botany, Africa, decimals/percents, reading, etc. come in quick bursts all morning.

The first real question that MUST be answered is, "What makes me think that this year will be any different from the other times you tried to get her butt working?"

And the second question is, "When is The Boy going to get any work done?"

And the third is, "Can we become a family school that runs on a schedule?"

And finally, "Why couldn't I have been  born a creature of habit?!" Man, would that make this easier...

Stand by for details.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sometimes, I just need a Bat Cave of my own

So, apparently, The Boy thinks he doesn't think he needs to go to bed until I do. The problem is that, while I may stay up late, I'll be up in the morning, gettin er done. He sleeps 10 hours. And that's a problem for all of us, especially if he's up until 3:00. (I'll give you a minute to do the math.)

Since I apparently still have to model appropriate behavior, now I have to set up a TV/reading nook in the bedroom where he can't see me. (Hey, sometimes a girl just needs to watch Bones!)

We just don't have one of those family dynamics where I can say, "Do as I say, not as I do," and get away with it. Because of my kids tenuous grasp of social skills and self-care skills, it all has to be taught. And modeled.

So, that walk-in closet? May become my Bat Cave. How freakin' weird is that? Probably too weird. Other ideas? (Ones that don't involve my going to sleep at 9:30 at night?)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A stranger in a strange land

Yet another epiphany dawns. The reason I feel so alone is that I'm a stranger in a strange land.

I was raised by a liberal-minded, college educated, professional working woman in the 60's and 70's -- by a true feminist. In 1968, she became all that and a divorcee. Whatever the men had, that was what we were supposed to want. Junior high summer  school: shop class or home ec? Puhleez! She put us in shop class. How I watched those sweet girls chatting over sandwiches while I was stuck with stupid boys. Story of my life.

So there I am, caught between the two worlds, neither fish nor fowl. My mother was the same, which is kind of ironic in a way.

But we gained some serious skills. And we learned how to talk to boys. And we went on to marry men we don't need for home repair. I guess.

Still, it's kind of lonely.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My son, the house pet

The boy wants to know why he can't live like the family pet for the rest of his life. I have two questions. What do I tell him? And where, oh where, did I go wrong?!

I blame video games for giving him a false sense of achievement and excitement. He is so lazy lately that he can't be bothered to make his own mental images if I read to him. Seriously lazy.

They say that sleeping too much and lethargy are signs of depression. Hmm.

I tried to explain the whole contributing to the planet, humanity, and the American economy thing, but he's against the idea. What now?

I'm thinking of boring him into submission. He'd have to get off his ass then, right? All I need to do is take a pair of garden shears to all the cables in the house.

Oh! I just imagined the ensuing carnage. It wasn't pretty.

This pediatrician on Thursday better have some good ideas or the phone number of a really good shrink.

But in the mean time, any ideas?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Uncommon courtesy?

Okay, tell me if I'm missing something here. I told my homeschool girlfriend that The Boy was cleaning out his closet and asked if she wanted me to save the t-shirts and shorts for her son. She said, "Sure thanks," and she offered Tuesday or Friday of this week to get together. Since the boys haven't gotten together in a long while, I offered a play date at the (free) splash park right near her house. We agreed on: Tuesday, 10am, splash park, three boys. Okay, so far, so good, right?

On the way over, The Boy had a massive nosebleed, so I had to pull over and deal with it. I called her to tell her we'd be five minutes late, and she said, "Well, my son had a leg cramp last night and doesn't feel well. We may not be going." I said I understood, asked if we could just drop off the clothes, and told her we'd probably go on to the park by ourselves anyway. ( I figured that'd give her an "out" for having bailed -- we could salvage a 20-minute trip across town.) We stopped at their house and found them having a quiet morning at home. We chatted for a bit and left the clothes. No big deal.

My only question is, "When was she going to tell me she wasn't coming -- when I called her from the park at 10:30?" My kids were in swimsuits and half-way across town. She and her kids were all just hanging at home. I understand that homeschoolers are notoriously flaky, but I don't think I'm going to call her again soon. I went out of my way to make a play date at 10am, and she didn't have the bare-minimum courtesy to call and cancel at the last minute?

Is civilization in decline when courtesy means "calling and cancelling at the last minute"? Or is it me?

Monday, August 5, 2013

paradigm shift needed

Trying to keep in the habit of blogging. Hm.

The cat is on my kneeling chair, trying to brutally murder his tail and/or the chair. The boy is sleeping. (Apparently, there is a difference between awake and rested, as his Algebra work this morning demonstrates.) And The Girl is making a whistling-wind noise with her mouth. She'll do this for another five minutes and then start gagging. No one knows why.

See? La vida loca!

I've already looked at the Calvert package I got for 8th grade. Oh my. This is like... real school. You know, where the kid mostly does it all day and gets evenings and weekends off? It can no longer be just something he does in his spare time when he feels up to it. It's his full-time job to do school. Yikes. That's going to require a paradigm shift. Responsibility and diligent work. During the day. Oh dear. What do I do now? First stop: the sleep clinic, to pick up a quart of ether for school nights. Oh, okay, the pediatrician on Thursday. Fine. Sheesh.