Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Early to bed, early to rise ... late to leave the house
Every year, my kiddos look forward to VBS. And every year, we forget the very valuable lesson we learned the year previous: like many homeschoolers, we have a very difficult time getting up and out of our house first thing in the morning.
It's a bit comical, really. Or rather, it would be--if I didn't always end up feeling like somewhat of a failure as a mother. I think I understand the awe that homeschooling inspires on the part of institutional schoolers because I can't possibly do what they do every day.
Monday morning is always the best. Motivation is high. Anticipation is crackling in the air. The children scoot from their beds and throw on ratty clothes (the result of yet another lesson we've learned: never wear clothes you would like to keep in good condition to VBS). Chore time is fast and furious, and breakfast is gulped in record time. Teeth are brushed. Faces washed. Hair groomed (even Logan, though you can never tell thanks to a fascinating series of cowlicks in the back of his head that resemble something akin to crop circles). A few minutes to dawdle around. Then whooosh! We're out the door and running.
This enthusiasm is hard to maintain, however. The exhaustion of all that fun takes a toll, not to mention the newfound lack of novelty in leaving the house during what is normally some of the best playtime of the day.
By Wednesday, I am cajoling kids through breakfast. Let me be clear: I hate cajoling kids through anything. I can slip quite quickly into a tone that is remarkably like the one Charlie Brown's mother and teacher used on him.
"Eat your bagel. No, Logan, eat your bagel. Yes, now. You can show me that later. We've got five minutes here, guys. Atticus, it's cool now. Really. Yes, cool enough. Trust me. Honey, just eat your bagel. Four minutes, kids. Logan, I said eat your breakfast. Jo, get back in your seat. I know he needs juice, but I'll get it. No, you need to eat. Eat. C'mon, guys. Eat. Three minutes and we're out the door."
The soundtrack of our VBS morning!
All of this reminds me of two key things every year:
1. A family of early risers does not necessarily translate into a family of early out-and-abouters.
2. Somewhere on that list of 197,234,987,324,872 reasons why we homeschool is the fact that MG's family could not possibly do this every day of the school year. No way.