Friday, August 13, 2004

finding a new normal

Day 2 of the school year... of course we're nowhere near settled into any kind of a routine, but we're getting there. Fortunately the evening routine isn't all that different: supper, baths, bed, with tv or video before/between baths... we're working hard to make sure they're all in bed by 8:30 -- we actually aim for 8, but rarely achieve that -- since we have to get them up at 7, and they rarely go right to sleep.

DS2 slept in this morning and didn't get up until almost 8, for which I was very grateful. He's in a much better mood. I think he is relaxing about DS1 and DD being in school again, now that he has been through one day of it. It was really not a big deal... DD is only gone for a few hours in the morning, and then he gets her back for the rest of the day (hehe).

Me, I'm trying to figure out what my own routine should/will be... so far, so good, on getting up with the kids, getting them their breakfast, and getting them out the door with DH at 8. Today I also had to make lunch for DS1, and remind him that he also has his own snack... slight differences from last year. I'd like to get into a routine where I can work in the morning for at least an hour or two. It seems as if that will be amenable with DS2, at least until he starts school... and when he starts school, that will add 2 more trips to my driving schedule, but will give me some honest-to-goodness alone time, if only in very thin slices. Still, I'd like to have mornings for writing, reading, research, and leave other tasks for later in the day. I think that could be a productive routine for me.

DD spent well over an hour on her homework last night. It was a very simple get-to-know-you assignment, with 2 pictures for her to draw, too. She insisted on writing in almost every response herself. This is such a contrast to DS1, who refused to write at all before starting kindergarden, and maybe spent 5 minutes on that same assignment when he had it 2 years ago! I was very happy that DD actually learned the names of some her classmates already. There were only 15 other kids in her preschool class last year, but she never learned all their names! Or maybe she never made an effort to try and remember them when talking about them? It's hard to tell what's really going on in that little head.

So... DD won't have homework tonight, I think I remember Mr B rarely, if ever, assigning weekend homework, but DS1 might, in fact I'm rather thinking that he should... he didn't have any yesterday, at least not that he brought home. There's the possibility that he did have homework and he forgot it, as he didn't have his folder in his backpack. But I'm not going to assume that he screwed up on his first day of school, there's no reason to. He really is a great kid. He asked me yesterday afternoon, when I asked him about his first day, "Were you worried about my temper?" I honestly answered him, "No, not at all." Three or four years ago, yeah, I was concerned about how he would deal when I wasn't around, but now I have confidence in him, and I told him that.

DH says that DS1 will be riding his 2-wheeler all by himself with just a few more practice sessions. He hopes to get him going this weekend! It's a funny thing, we'll be finished with supper, and just as we should begin clearing up, DH will look at me and ask, "Do you mind if I take him [DS1] out to ride?" I don't mind... I don't mind him taking him out, I don't mind him leaving me with the dishes, either! I can tell DH has a bit of guilt about leaving me with the cleanup since I cook everyday, but at this point, the after-dinner cleanup is reduced to sticking everything in the dishwasher, and wiping down the table and the counters. There's not a whole heckuva lot going on there... I try to do all the other cleanup before dinner, so DH doesn't have to do it afterwards.

Besides, I can get it all done in 10 minutes whereas he'll toodle about the kitchen for a half-hour, and then the kids' baths are late... I should just take it over on weeknights and give the guy a break. Well, maybe that will become part of the new routine...

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