Wednesday, February 3, 2010


So last night I ran to the garage and realized I needed to move the van, ran back to the house to get the keys, realized they were in my pocket, ran back to move the van, back to the house to give Jer the keys and then back to the garage to pull open (that's right, pull - no electronic lift in our crooked garage) the garage door and back out in the station wagon to go to class at AU. If I did not hurry, I might not find a parking spot in time. I had to pick up my carpooling friend a few blocks away and as I sat in her driveway looking at her darkened house wondering if she was home (she was and we made it) I felt the anxiety merging with the dinner too-quickly-eaten in my gut. I wondered if maybe this is all too much for my family.
Mondays are the worst. Closely followed by Tuesdays. Every day we watch a friend's kid after school, so all of our afternoon activities are delayed until after 4pm. Honestly, we could not make it anywhere before then anyway! They get home, wash hands and sit down for a snack. Then it is homework time. Hannah has one spelling/writing worksheet to do every day plus a reading assignment or two and then the extra stuff like the poster for the hundredth day of school that she has to cover with 100 cut out words that she can read and the valentine's cards that have to be made. Eli has a spelling/writing assignment every day. I help him and he is usually done pretty fast. Then I help Hannah with hers and by the time we are done, it is time to leave for our afternoon's activities.
On Monday that is swimming. So first the kids have to change into their suits. Then we rush out the door and thankfully they are both in class at the same time, in the fall I was driving there twice a week! Class is from 4:30-5pm. They get out shivering and I toss them their clothes and send them to change in their respective changing rooms. We usually make it home by about 5:40. I have left dinner directions on our chalkboard wall for Jeremy who usually gets home by 5pm and has it on the table for us to eat quickly because Hannah has ballet at 6:15pm. Of course this was the only class at her level that 'worked' with our schedule. So she and I scarf our food and I yank her wet, chlorine-smelling hair into a bun and we charge back out to the car.
While Hannah dances, I read for my class which is on Tuesday night.
Tuesdays are not all that different. Hannah has guitar at 4pm, so we rush a little more to get there and then I entertain Eli and Evie for an hour in the hall of the rec center. We get home at about 5:20 and hopefully Jeremy has started on dinner again because I have to leave by 5:45pm to get to my class at AU.
Wednesday is not as bad, choir is not until 4:30 and in just a few weeks the Lenten dinners will start up, so I will not have to worry about making dinner!
Thursday both Evie and Eli have tumbling class, Evie in the morning and Eli after dinner so that is manageable.
Fridays I teach in the evening so I spend most of the day cleaning the house and preparing for class.
I started out with every intention of not overbooking my kids. I wanted to limit activities and allow for lots of free playing time. This new study just came out saying that American kids are using media for about 8 hours of the day. I do not understand how this is possible. We do not even have a tv in our house and the kids are allowed to watch movies on Friday evenings and maybe on the weekend, but there is no way there is time in their day for any quantifiable time spent with entertaining media. Poor Hannah was crying last week because it was Wednesday and we were running out the door to choir and she pointed out that she had not had time to play with the boys after school all week. It broke my heart to realize that here she is, only 7 and already there is no time in her day for playing.
I do not think they go to bed too early either, it is 7:30 by the time they are out and it is still hard to wake them in the morning at 6:30.
How can I fix this? Or is it even possible, does it just come with the territory of three kids? I want them to try new things in order to find the things they are passionate about so quitting classes altogether is not going to work. I suppose we will take a break from swimming although they are both getting so good at it, it seems a shame. Hannah has said that she does not want to sign up for guitar again so in a few weeks that will be done. But I do not want her to give up on it altogether so there will be something in it's place eventually.
And then what about when Evie wants to be in tumbling and swimming and a music class?
What is a Mom to do???
Oh, and as I am writing this, thinking that I will be in bed soon, the phone rang and it is one of my students who is likely in labor and will probably be calling back shortly to ask me to meet them at the hospital. So much for sleep!

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