Little I.8 is teething. He is more miserable than any baby I've ever had. Frozen blueberries, ice cubes, and frozen peaches seem to work the best, but they can only be used intermittently, and he won't nurse well.
He's not sleeping either.
So when he was screaming in misery as I tried to lead a history lesson, I turned to E12 and asked her to read aloud to her sisters as I attended to the baby. She wasn't happy about it, but she complied. I left the room hoping to return to at least find all of the older girls still in the same place I left them.
It only took 5 minutes to see that I.8 was going to need my full attention for quite some time. We're trying to finish school by the end of the month so that we can take a break in August. I wanted to get that lesson completed, but my wiser side finally admitted that my baby was far more important than my schedule. I walked into the kitchen to release the girls from our afternoon lessons and found them . . .
listening to E12 read aloud!
They actually groaned when I told them that school was temporarily cancelled!
"Awww, Mom! I was listening to that story! It was a good one!" said M10.
Thank you, my dear ones, for that small, happy moment in an otherwise most difficult day.
The girls scattered to their free-time activities of choice, and I settled in to figure out how to soothe my desperately uncomfortable baby. The afternoon passed quickly. The dinner hour passed amicably. Evening story time arrived.
The girls reminded me that they had a history lesson still to do.
[Who are these children? And what did they do with mine?]
I pulled out the history book and started reading. They listened; they contributed; they putzed around a little bit. They're really my children.
We read and talked and thought together. I didn't require the usual written response, and they were glad.
It was a good lesson.
I'm glad I cancelled afternoon lessons.
I'm glad I took care of my baby.
I'm glad my children are mine.