The Magical Peacemaker

We took the day off of school today.  I’m usually hyper-consistent about our school days;  not wanting to get into the habit of slacking off, I make certain we put in our complete 35 weeks of school per year, as mandated by the state of Arizona, come rain or shine or even sick tummies, even though no one ever checks up on us, nor ever will.

But, I’m getting antsy about getting all the things done that I want to get done before baby Fiala gets here.  (I’m due today, by the way.  I continue to have contractions, as I have for the last week and a half, but they never seem to go anywhere.  So, who knows?  It could be six hours from now, could be a week.  Hopefully, sooner than later.)

Being 40 weeks pregnant, I find that my energy lasts for about five hours, in the morning.  After that, I’m pretty much spent for the day, and spend the rest of the day dragging my feet through whatever’s necessary, and sitting down (or napping) as much as possible.  Since we do school in the morning, that becomes my energy-expenditure for the day, and try as I might, I just can’t will my body into doing anything productive in the afternoon, except make dinner, and even that’s a stretch many days.  And, I just didn’t get as much done over the weekend as I felt I needed to, so…  I decided to do all that stuff on my list — or as much as I could — this morning, in lieu of school.

So, this morning, the boys did their normal chores, plus one other extra “special project” and then watched Homeward Bound.  Audrey just tootled around.  I made a batch of rice milk, two loaves of bread, folded three loads of laundry, plus washed & folded three more loads, then started scrubbing baseboards, walls, doors and doorjambs in an attempt to fend off the neverending sludge that spontaneously emanates from the hands of boys.

After lunch, I read a book to Audrey and hung out with her for a bit, then put her down for a nap.  It was only 1:10, and the boys’ quiet time doesn’t usually start until 2:00.  I wanted to get as much work done as possible before I got completely worn out.  Every mother knows that constant interruptions are the bane of accomplishing actual housework.  Even though those “constant interruptions” could also be labelled “Actual Mothering,” and are important, too.  But, sometimes, there’s just an overriding need to get things done.  So, I sent the boys outside.  However, I didn’t “just” send them outside;  I sent them with some mandates:  “OK, here are your options:  You can play peacefully together, outside, until 2:00.  Or, you can stay inside with me and scrub baseboards.  If there is any fighting, you all come in for NAPS.  You may each come back inside ONCE for whatever — a drink, a toy, to go potty.  If you come in more than once, you may either take a nap, or you may help me scrub.  OK??”

And, just like magic, my three squabble-prone boys spent 50 minutes together in perfect peace, each coming in just once.  Voila!

My hubby tells me repeatedly to get the boys to help out around the house…  and they do.  Truly.  They each have daily chores, on a chart, and what they do is a rea. help to me.  But, sometimes, it’s even more helpful if they’re simply absent.  🙂


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 20, 2008, in Homeschooling, Housework, Motherhood, Pregnancy, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Bless your heart. I was wondering if your bun was still in the oven. 🙂

  2. I really liked your “post blog” introspect. I don’t know how I found you either but your title intrigued me enough to keep reading and I found you funny and truthful. Your joy in writing is all over the page and I can relate. I wish I had your energy in both mind and spirit. Anyhow, you are my morning coffee pal and I look forward to a peek into your life each day. Thanks!

  3. My girls are squabble prone… *sigh* Must be having three of the same sex in a row or something!

    Sending positive thoughts for a quick and easy labor… Soon!

  4. my kids actually play together better when they are outside so they play outside a LOT.

    We do the 4-day sonlight schedule. So on the other day they all get an extra chore. Today (although we had to do some school soon) was cleaning the fans. Oh that was scary . the dust was insane.

    Here’s hoping that you have that precious baby girl soon.

  5. Well, if you’re still waiting around for Fiala and want to pass the time….

    I just tagged you for a meme! 🙂

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