Today, in theory, the kids are learning about the solar system.
We had some little science kits sitting on the shelf, the weather was lousy, and the kids wanted a break from the routine. I caved with one condition–the big kids had to set up and supervise while I did some work on my own. They set up a table and got organized before I could finish my sentence.
That is about the time that things started to fall apart.
The ones who weren’t at the table started complaining that the others were starting too soon.
The 3-year-old took the rainbow glasses and didn’t want to give them up. I have no idea why the kit had rainbow glasses.
Before long, the lesson on the solar system turned into a lesson on cooperation as everyone tried to figure out how to get along so that I would not make good on my threat to give them workbooks for the rest of the day.
In the end, the 3-year-old painted the world according to her own internal specifications. There was a bit of continental drift going on.
Everyone got over it because getting over it was more important than losing the rest of the experience.
Between breaking up arguments, comforting a child who needs a nap, and feeding the baby, I feel like I got precisely nothing accomplished.
I remind myself that feeding and cuddling a baby is a priority right now. Letting a 3-year-old paint is good for her, even if the Earth now looks like it was inspired by Picasso collaborating with Van Gogh. Encouraging the older kids to teach (and put up with) the younger ones builds some teaching and negotiation skills.
As the day wore on, Bella started baking cookies, and I got to help her figure out how to tell when it is time to take the pans out of the oven. Now that’s a lesson worth being interrupted for.
Time to pour the milk!