Actually I’m not sure we have any “normal” days, but here’s a little glimpse of a somewhat typical day.
5:30 am: The alarm goes off. I turn it off and snuggle up to S to drowse for half an hour and pray about the day.
6:00 am: Bull gets up and comes into our room. “Is it mawning? I am a kind, mawning lion.” He climbs into bed and snuggles for about five minutes.
6:05 am: Jack wakes up. “Bapa! Bapa!” He yells until S goes to get him out of bed, then greets S with a wildly waving sippy cup and indications that he is ready for his tea. This wakes up Buggle and Mouse. S goes downstairs with the little boys to make tea, thus separating the slow awakeners from the the bouncy-in-the-morning people!
Between 6:05 and 7:00 am: people drink tea and read, and have devotions (most mornings anyway). I chase Mouse and Buggle back to their rooms several times. I read the blogs I read everyday, draft an article, and remind myself of what needs to be done today.
7:00 am: I take over childcare and start people dressing and doing morning chores. Dress Jack and put him in his seat for his second breakfast (he’s already had a hard-boiled egg).
7:30 am or so: everyone sits down for breakfast. Once they are done everyone puts on coats and goes outside except Jack. He putters around the playroom and drives his trucks for a bit. I clear the table, start my coffee and get ready for school.
8:30 am: Jack goes down for a nap, children come in for school. Since we have our monthly outing to the VMFA today, everyone sits at the table for art. We draw faces and talk about facial expressions and how an artist shows emotions by changing the way that facial features are drawn. Everyone looks in the mirror and draws three different facial expressions. When they are done I send them back out to play for a bit, since they have a lot of energy this morning! I drink a second cup of coffee and write for 20 minutes.
9:30 am: We go through the “going out” routine of sending everyone to the bathroom and getting into the car. I almost forget the printable for the museum visit but remember it at the last minute.
10:00 am: At the museum, Jack in a stroller, Bull mostly remembering to keep one hand on the stroller handle. We head upstairs in the glass elevator, which is always one of the highlights of our visit. We look at paintings and discuss where the light is coming from, how does that effect the way the artist paints the picture? What does the light emphasize and what do the shadows hide? Why might the artist have painted a scene very darkly but used a ray or two of light in specific places? Where is the movement in the scene and how do we know something is moving? All three children really get into this discussion going back and forth between paintings and asking each other questions. They mostly remember to keep their fingers back and nobody actually touches although there are a couple of close calls. We fill in the squares on their scavenger hunt sheet.
11:00 am: Jack is done with the museum and we need to head home, grab a quick lunch and short naps before heading out to Bull’s Speech Therapy appointment. On the way home the children keep talking about light and shadow and Buggle tells me that that is what he is going to write his “story” about this week.
1:30 pm: Lunch and naps accomplished, I get everyone up and into the car to head to Speech. The left rear tire on the van is low again, so I drop Bull off and make a quick run to put air in it then come back to sit in the parking lot and listen to a CD until he is done.
The CD is Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart, 20 Bible verses set to simple tunes. On the way home Buggle says “The disciples wrote the Bible so it’s not really God’s word.”
“Yes, but the Holy Spirit told them what to write.”
“But it’s not in the right language. The Bible was written in Hebrew and that other language, so it’s still not really God’s words.”
Oh my literal child! Wiser heads than yours have worried about that same question.
His solution? “We should learn Hebrew and Greek.”
3:00 pm I send everyone out to play in the yard, even Jack. The house is blissfully silent for about 30 minutes. During this time I discover that Mouse cut a strip out of one of her blankets and dyed it with crayon melted on her bedroom heater to make a winter scarf. I take a picture and post it to Facebook, because that is so typically Mouse. Her trajectory from idea to implementation does not include a “stop-and-think” step. And it is creative, also I’m fairly certain I can “fix” the blanket enough to make it usable….
3:30 pm S and I email back and forth a bit. He is planning to take one of the boys to the Youth Symphony Concert and wonders who would be better to take.
3:45 pm Buggle comes in crying because Mouse won’t give him a turn on the swing. I call both of them in and ask if they are being kind to one another then kind them through working out the conflict.
4:00 pm Buggle comes in crying again because Mouse got cold and came into the house without telling him where she was going. I realize that he is tired out and begin the process of getting him into his bed to lie down for half an hour. He is completely focused on his grievance with his sister, but knows he is being unreasonable and melts down. I get him into bed with a series of steps, tell him he must lie quietly for half an hour and that the time will not start until he is quiet. As I close the door he is crying demonstratively, but quiets down after a bit.
4:45 pm Now that Buggle is in bed it’s time for the other two to do their evening chores and for me to make dinner. Spaghetti is easy and quick since there is already sauce made in the fridge. Bull will go to the concert and needs to be ready to go at 6:00.
5:15 pm Dinner is on the table, Buggle is asleep and resists all efforts to wake him! I decide to let him sleep. The others eat dinner.
6:00 pm S comes and collects Bull. Mouse and I decide to watch a movie, Jack is quite pleased with all of the cars in the early scenes of “Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang”
By 9:00 pm all the children are in bed, S and I spend some time talking then crash ourselves.
Not a normal day, except for the general flow of things, the conversations and the creative attempts. A good day though in which for the most part we were able to learn and enjoy one another, and that for me is better than normal!