Hubby was on call last night, but he came home for breakfast for an hour. All three kids jumped him, literally. We are big on wrestling time with daddy, and 2 yo does not let him leave the house without kisses. I remember, when we just got married walking by someone's house in Far Rockaway. The father was just walking up the driveway, and, in the window, there were two girls, jumping on the couch and cheering for daddy. I feel happy that this is the ritual my kids developed on their own. Some days, they will run out on the lawn to greet him.
After breakfast, it was time to change a tire on my van. I planned on walking the kids to nearby McDonald's with some schoolwork, and letting them climb on the play structure till it was time to pick up the car. In the ideal world, my husband would take the car and I could just stay home without hustling everyone out of the house early. In the ideal world, there would be a park nearby where the kids could play. In the ideal world, the local eatery would be kosher, or, at least, not so stereotypically treif. But this is the way the cookie crumbles, and I thought it gives kids a nice motivation to finish their work quickly so they could play. As we walk in and settle down at the table, I hear a voice behind me, saying: Shalom, chaverim! Boker tov! (Hello, friends! Good morning!) So much for coming in undetected... I got myself a coffee, so that we were not just using their facilities without them benefiting. I also learned that they blast music, which made it hard for boys to concentrate. However, despite all that, they were able to do Lashon HaTorah. 8 yo worked on memorizing his multiplication. 6 yo filled out a page of Lama. Then everyone went outside to play.
The tire was done, and, as I am picking up my car, I bumped into a friend. She told me about story time at the library which was starting soon. When the boys were younger, we used to go all the time. We were also in different cities then. Here, I tried it a few times, but it never worked out well: either the librarian quit, or the new librarian kept mispronouncing words from the books she was reading, or it was a month off, or something else. Besides, it is hard to justify dragging all three kids to an activity which is only meant for one. However, I had some books to return, and I thought that the boys could sit and read in the kids' section while I held 2 yo on my lap. So off we went.
What I completely forgot about was that today was Veteran's Day, so the library was closed. We still got to slide all 40+ books down the book drop and the boys informed all other people in the vicinity that the library is closed.
When we got home, I wrote up the list of what was left to do. It included raking leaves and going to farmer's market, neither of which happened due to the rain and sleeping 2 yo. She took a long time settling in and then a long time waking up. Those naps do not last forever, but I am holding on to them, with both hands and all my sanity.
I have an interesting dichotomy within my boys: one could not give a hoot about neatness of his work, while the other is paralyzed by the thought of getting something wrong. I find that I sound like a cray person, telling one kid to fix this and show me better work, and encouraging the other to write down just about anything, and that it's good enough. I wonder whether it is part of "chanoch l'naar al pi darko", teaching each child according to his disposition. I also wonder whether it will make me crazy. I wonder whether I will have enough patience to be really doing it, and not just paying lip service to the idea.
2 yo has been climbing into 6 yo's bed when I tuck him in, but for the past week, it was bothering him. He pulled on his blanket, tried kicking her off and came up with all different strategies why she should not be in his bed. Depending o the night, I could go along with that, after all, it is his bed and he should be able to make rules about who is welcome there and when. Tonight it happened that I was tucking him in and nobody else was in the room. We said Shema and then he wanted to know where is his sister. I said that she is out, and he sounded that he was expecting her to be in his bed. I thought about how he really wants her there, but on his terms, and now that she was not present, he was missing her.