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. 🙂