Thursday, October 25, 2012

yet another day

8 yo charting the travels of Avram
We have been on a crazy trip to NY. My sister got married last Wednesday, so we drove up. By "we", I mean myself and the kids.

I am hoping to blog about the highlights of the trip someday soon.

We got back late Monday night and the rest of the week was spent trying to come back to our senses. We did a bit of Lashon HaTorah and math every day. I got 8 yo to review Chayei Sarah, to catch up to the place where we were. It only took two days, and he was able to translate everything on his own.

On Tuesday 8 yo woke up with a toothache, which was caused by an infected tooth and a few cavities. I am clamping down on my relaxed teeth brushing habits. My son is on antibiotic and, hopefully, we will save that tooth. He got pretty scared, decided to avoid dessert and is quite anal about taking his medicine. Thankfully, I do not even remember last time he took any antibiotic, so there is novelty in it. He also claims that it is like getting dessert three times a day.

Today was my turn to visit the dentist. I had to get a babysitter, as I was not sure how long the visit would take, and we got new insurance which sometimes takes forever to process. I did not want to make my kids wait for a long time in the waiting room. Now I know exactly how much my "services" cost: $13.75 an hour. Now 13.75 times 24 hours times 7 days a week is 2310$. There, that's my weekly salary.

While I was at the dentist, I got a call that the friends of ours from another town will be coming over for a visit. My kids like to play with them, and there was pizza involved, so when I got home, I used this as a bargaining chip to get schoolwork done.

This week is parsha Lech-Lecha, which 8 yo learned in school last year. I asked him whether he would like to prepare it and teach it to his brother. He agreed. I told him that I usually take notes of the main highlights of the story. He opened up a Stone Chumash, and wrote two pages worth of notes. He also requested a map of Mesopotamia to chart Avram's travels. Oh, and he wants to study a Ramban on the parsha. That one will have to wait till tomorrow, when I have time to prepare one.

When he was telling about abduction of Sarah, here are the illustrations he drew:

Apparently Sarah was referred to as "cutie pie", and, when things did not work out, Avram and Sarah were told to scram, in their car.

After this part, 6 yo lost interest, so 8 yo learned a valuable lesson of teaching: teach each according to his way. I sent him to do math. Both of the boys have been slowly working through Math Mammoth. Neither one adores it, but they do not complain too much. 8 yo is plagued by careless mistakes, and his addition/subtraction is still not automatic. 6 yo is moving right along, except when he decides that something is too hard.

By the time out friends got here, 6 yo has been done with all his schoolwork for a while, and 8 yo still had Lashon HaTorah and new pesukim left to do. We all went to pizza, which gave everyone a chance to catch up. Then the kids came over to play. I asked 8 yo to finish LHT before playing, and he asked his friends to stay outside while he finished.

The kids eventually subdivided by genders: all girls went downstairs to play with tents, while the boys played with bows, arrows and tepees outside. There was quite an age range, and the kids did mix for legos, but, overall, the division was by interests, same as grown-ups subdivide into social groups and clubs.

After the play time was over, I sat 8 yo down and reminded him that it's his night to make dinner. He said that he is not hungry yet. Then I said that we will do chumash. We had 4 pesukim left till the end of the perek, and he completed them. He called on one Rashi when something in the pshat did not make sense. I also asked him the overarching question of why spend all this space on telling us that Avraham got a burial plot for Sarah. Eventually, we concluded that this is the proof that the land was bought ( acquired) in a public transaction. I felt quite a bit of satisfaction, but my son glowed: I finished a perek in 3 days!

Then it was on to dinner. He originally wanted to make salami sandwiches, but he rebuffed my idea of putting necessary items on the shopping list when we went grocery shopping on Tuesday. Now it was a bit after 5pm, and he had to come up with dinner. He found some rolls from our trip. The salami he was planning to use was worrying me, due to not being the freshest, so I suggest frying it up. He joked that it turned into little kippas. While the salami was frying, he made a salad: sliced romaine lettuce, chopped cucumber and baby carrots. 6 yo came and also wanted to help. He chopped some pickles. The amount of ketchup used at this meal qualified it as a vegetable. In the middle of this meal, 8 yo said that he had a good day, not a fun day, but a good day nonetheless. He also expressed quite a bit of pride in his meal and said that now he can move away from PBJs. I am just hoping to get him into habit of planning ahead, executing, and cleaning up.

After everyone had diced peaches for dessert, I did a Tom Sawyer move of the night: I told boys that they could watch the presidential debate if they clean up everything upstairs. 6 yo protested and suggested Pokemon instead, but 8 yo convinced him that at least he gets to watch something. 6 yo lasted for about 20 minutes, while 8 yo had to be interrupted in the middle to go to sleep. The most curious thing though: after telling people that he would vote for Romney, he said that he likes the things that Obama said. He talked about taxes and solar power and new teacher hires and being concerned how much money those new teachers would cost. ( Confession: maybe this kid should vote instead of me, I did not watch the debate!) I am also so proud that he is open-minded enough to listen to the arguments made instead of sticking to his guns.

We concluded our day with a new nightly ritual: trying to feel the baby move. I get to answer questions like what's it like inside the uterus and can the baby cry and whether all the parts are formed already and why is the baby swimming in its own pee. Overall, it is very sweet and mellow, as everyone is being gentle and I feel so many loving hands on my belly.

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