Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An update

We were supposed to move, to a bigger house, in another neighborhood. I spent most of the summer packing, decluttering, and dealing with all the things that come with buying a house. I even spent energy on those hypothetical closets, convincing myself that it will he painful for a bit, and then there will be order.

The house sale fell through, but not early enough to realize that this is not happening. Some paperwork was required at the last minute, and that paperwork was something that we could not produce, no matter how much we pushed, begged and pleaded. Maybe I will write up one day what happens when a doctor gets a frivolous lawsuit and how little it matters who is right. Maybe I will write how some things have nothing to do with prudence and planning and saving. It is ironic that the house prices are so ridiculously inflated that it is impossible to buy a house without financing, no matter how carefully you save. The bottom line was, the same week that we were supposed to move, and all extensions were filed and not even exactly accepted, it became clear that this house is not going to be ours.

That left me in a very bad pickle: I have packed up all the books and most of the homeschool materials. I have taken all the posters off the walls. I was also planning on being near JCC and rely on their homeschool, afterschool, and adult classes for enrichment. We were supposed to be near a community college with its own course offerings. I gingerly checked out homeschool resources near the new location, but I definitely did not sign up for any classes where we live.

3yo made a fire-shooting tail for his dragon.
He is happy as long as he can find scissors, tape and paper
Those who were following this blog know that I also signed up 10 yo for school. First I put him on the bus so I would not have to drive him, then I told the school to take him off since there is no bus from the new location, then I had to beg them to please put him back on the bus since we did not move after all... At least his school bought all the school supplies through PTA and I was not stuck hunting all over town for perfect folders and exact markers. So far, he probably has a more put-together life than we do here.

MIT open course video that 12 y dug up
Since he already started school, I chose to start with 12 yo, 6 yo and 3 yo. But all of my materials are still packed up. And we still might be moving: our house did not grow more space just because the move fell through. The kitchen did not expand, the bedrooms were not added, more children did not move on our block... in short, all the reasons to move are still valid. So I started with whichever resources I happened to have on hand. I'm quickly discovering that if I let 12 yo have a lot of computer time, he will cobble something together. The problem is, without his brother to drag him out to the trampoline, and without classes set up, and without friends popping by, he will not see humans for days. He will not call for a play date (but my 6 yo daughter will!) So do I let this child stay at home and do his own stereotypically nerdy antisocial thing mostly on the computer, or do I set limits, boundaries, force him to go on outings that delight his younger siblings, all in hope of getting him out of the house?

I am also guilty of using him as a babysitter. I do it a lot: he does not want to go to the grocery store, but he will watch the rest of the kids, for example. Often I just want to run an errand by myself, and with all the stress of this "almost move", my need to be by myself is higher than usual. And he is so conveniently at home, and willing to stay at home. I am very conflicted about this. Is it a right thing to do to a 12 yo?

Since all the books are packed up, and I begged boys not to renew their library cards and confirm the addresses till after the move, we have a general lack of reading material. Everyone is listless. 6 yo wants a plan, and all my hopes, dreams, and plans got flushed away, so I swat her inquiries because, frankly, I want a plan, too.

Art supplies are for dumping
Don't forget the baby. She is a firecracker. She screeches on top of her lungs and gets 3 yo involved in yelling competitions. She is not walking (we are starting physical therapy which I need right now like a hole in my head). She is climbing instead, pulling herself up onto the couch and the chairs and the bay window. Then she launches herself down, body-slamming into the cushions. I worry that she will crack her head open. 10 yo worries with me, to the point that he cannot sit still and eat if she's on the couch. It's a good thing that he is in school most of the day, missing her antics. She crawls across our laps as I try to read to 6 yo and 3 yo. She pulls the books out of our hands and has been pulling 3 yo's hair. Thank G-d he's a mellow sweet child, who had not smacked her back. She destroys his puzzle, she dumps the crayons and the drawers full of clothes. When she had her fill of destruction, she heads over to me to be picked up. Then she wants to be carried either by me or by one of the kids. The baby is cute, but she is not easy, and she does not make any of our lives easy either.

12 yo helps make armor.

We have started homeschooling, but I have no idea where this year will take us. I know everyone loves the first day of school pictures, with their promise of new beginnings and order. I bring to you the messy reality. I also hope that those homeschoolers who have not started yet and dread seeing yet another post about organized resources will not feel so bad about hot having it all together.
First day of school.
Typical uniforms.
The boys laughed when they realized what they were wearing.