Thursday, September 23, 2004


Babygirl has potty-trained herself. She used her potty all day today, which is fantastic. Except that each time she tinkles, she says, "I peed in the potty!" I might be making lunch or teaching the boys literature or folding clothes or washing dishes or arguing with one of the boys about whether or not there truly are too many zeroes in math . . . and I must drop everything, because after she pees, she squats and peers with her face actually in the hot pink plastic pot until I come to admire her accomplishment.

Then, we must follow these steps:

1) Remove pot from potty chair.
2) Carry pot to bathroom. ("Don't spill!")
3) Dump contents.
4) Rinse pot with water.
5) Wipe pot clean with toilet paper.
6) Flush toilet.
7) Close toilet.
8) Wash hands with big bar of orange soap.
9) Dry hands on towel.
10) Replace pot in potty.

Then she immediately sits on the potty chair again to see if she can repeat these glorious steps!

She was dry all day today, no accidents. I cannot believe it. She even puts on her own pants and shoes. If I'd had this girl first, then my boys, I would have thought my boys were brain-damaged for sure.

This has been our first full week of schooling at home. TwinBoyA is a willing, eager, competent student. He hurries to do his best work and does a funky little dance whenever he gets a "100%", which is pretty much every time he completes something.

His brother greets every new assignment with cries of "It's too hard! I'm stupid! I hate math! It has too many zeroes! Do I have to do it all?" He spent two hours on a math assignment which was simple enough to complete in one hour. The thing is, if he were in a public school classroom, he'd be slacking, unnoticed by the teacher until test-time. By then, it would be too late and he'd fail while the class moved on to another concept. It's happened every fall for a few years now.

So, schooling at home is great for him. He is required to do all his work and if he fails an assessment, he redoes it until he gets it right. I think he might be actually learning, despite his grumbling and whining and dramatic complaints. I think he'll soon realize that it's to his advantage to pay attention to details, proofread and do things right the first time.

Babygirl has been more cooperative than I expected. When I sit at the kitchen table at 9:00 a.m. with both boys to introduce the day's math concepts, she comes running to sit, too. She has her own notebook and pencil and she "works" right along with us. I introduce the assignment, then the boys work on problems. We repeat that scenario until we work our way through math, language skills, spelling, literature, science, vocabulary . . . and next week, art and music. We're missing our history kit, so we'll be adding that when it arrives.

Generally, they are finished by about 1:00 or 2:00 p.m., though when we add art, music and history, we'll work later in the day.

Babygirl and DaycareKid nap at about 1:00 p.m., so I've been able to have a little break. Today, though, I put Babygirl to bed much to her dismay. She cried and screamed with complete outrage. After an hour, I rescued her, thinking maybe she'd fall asleep on my bed with me. Wrong, so wrong. She watched Winnie the Pooh, then took a shower (she's obsessed with showering) while I read A Secret History, which enthralls me. I love it when I am in the middle of a really good novel.

Anyway, I'm exhausted. (Can you tell from this rambling entry?) I have started exercising again (riding our fancy recumbent exercise bike for forty minutes each night). I've been trying to get the dirty laundry off the laundry room floor, where it has been overflowing for two weeks. Today, I finally achieved that goal, but alas, everyone wore clothes today, so I'm right back where I started. The housework cycle wears me out--the wrinkled clothes calling for an iron, the kitchen counter clutter piles, the floor which will not stay clean, the bathroom mirrors with spatters on them. I don't spatter the bathroom mirrors--why does everyone else in my house? I don't pee on the toilet seats and rims--why does everyone else in my house? I don't leave laundry on my floor--okay, well, actually, I do. Never mind.

Babygirl takes the following items to bed with her:

1) White rectangular calculator.
2) Red oval calculator, designed to clip onto a backpack.
3) Gnome.
4) Medium sized bear.
5) Two tiny bears.
6) Dolly, with hat.
7) Her own denim baseball hat.

When I open her door in the morning, she greets me wearing this baseball hat backwards, inevitably saying, "I poop in my diaper again!" She seems happily surprised every morning by this event.

It's quite a way to start a day. And that will happen in approximately eight hours. If I were actually sleeping right this second, I might not wake up with complete despair when the alarm rings at 6:25. And 6:34. And 6:42.

But when I go upstairs, I'll pick up that book and before I know it, midnight will arrive and I'll be sorry that I didn't go to sleep earlier, just like every night. Why are the days so long and the nights so short?


Blogger Tracy said...

I feel for your son! I have NEVER liked math, and it was very discouraging to me, since every other subject always came easily to me, yet math never has! I hope he doesn't stay too discouraged about it! Hey, I'm technically "genius" level, and I'm ROTTEN at math! Tell him he's certainly NOT stupid....actually I've noticed that very VERY intelligent people always seem to have one subject they struggle with more than others (Einstein couldn't tie his own shoes until something like 3rd or 4th grade!) That's just a personal observation with absolutely no scientific basis.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

My little one is no where near potty must be doing something right over there!

12:50 PM  

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