A Week, Briefly (10/5/20)

We had a joyful General Conference weekend.  And we celebrated by taking a hike on our neighborhood trail and following that with a campfire on Sunday night.


Hike #35 of 52--Neighborhood trail
70.66 miles + 1.92 = 72.58 miles


The kids discovered that throwing piles of dry leaves would make the fire flare up and burn intensely for a short time.  I allowed them to do it over and over again, and they began doing a grunting-stomping-celebrating-fire sort of dance. 

Then they discovered the intensity of the smoke that would pour out when they dumped the leaves on the fire, and Little Princess filmed them in the smoky mysteriousness of the evening.  Nature Angel screenshotted herself in the video and then edited the photo.  Eerily cool!

We found out that evening that The Munchkin wouldn't be joining us this week because he and his daddy felt sick over the weekend, and his daddy was going to work from home.  That confirmed what I'd kind of been feeling . . .

We needed a week off.

First thing we did Monday morning (after our usual morning routine) was head out the door for a hike at Little Blue Valley.

I thought we took a million or so pictures, but I can't find them, so here's the only one I can find--Mister Man admiring a katydid.

This katydid stuck close to Mister Man for at least half a mile.  He so enjoyed his little hitchhiking friend.

Hike #36 of 52--Little Blue Valley Loop
72.58 miles + 2.5 = 75.08 miles

In the afternoon we picked Sir Walter Scott up from the airport, did chores, played outside, ran errands, and had another campfire.

But before the campfire, we had dinner.  And just before dinner, I was carrying 2 gallons of boiling hot soup to the table.  Mister Man ran around a corner into me, and the soup spilled out onto his left shoulder.

I grabbed him and shoved him under the spray of a cold shower (I don't even know how the soup pot got out of my hands), picturing a hospital stay, debriding, and skin grafting.
 
I pulled his sopping wet clothes off him right there in the shower, and saw that his clothes had actually protected more of his skin than I'd thought.  He only had 4 red patches of concern on his shoulder and left side.
 
I kept him in that shower until he was blue with cold.  
 
Apparently, I acted fast enough because when I dared to turn off the water (because I was afraid of shock), he said the only place that hurt was his shoulder.  And on his shoulder was nothing more than a blister the size of a quarter.

I taped some fresh aloe to the blister, warmed him back up, fed him, and tucked him into bed.

We've applied aloe all week, and he's just fine!

On Tuesday, we did some core subjects in the morning because we had ABA therapy scheduled as usual.  We read and discussed Aesop's Fables during Elevenses, and then everyone was free to enjoy himself or herself as desired.

Belle, Nature Angel, and Little Princess did quite a lot of school work.  Here's Little Princess' art project as assigned by The Good and the Beautiful:



We didn't do Colloquium or Academy all week, but the young ones and I did finish Part 1 of Our Star Spangled Story during Lunch Time Reading.

On Wednesday we had a new small friend join us for full-time childcare.  I don't know his personality well enough for a nickname yet, so for the moment I've chosen Parvulus (Latin for "baby").  So far he's cautious, watchful, and really annoyed to be stuck with us when he has a wonderful mother that he adores.

 
He's been the source of countless lessons on sympathy, empathy, and compassion.  
 
Parvulus cried himself to sleep for his first nap, and Baymax, coming to find me for something, found me singing and rocking this precious, heartbroken soul.  His face clouded with concern, and he reached tentatively out to pat Parvulus on the leg--just wanting to do something to help.

On the next day, Parvulus cried during Morning Meeting, and I stopped the meeting to tell the kids that the baby mattered more than the day's reading.  As he cried, we sang together to see if we could comfort him, and I pointed out how his body language showed that he wanted me to take him to his mother.  
 
We talked about the difference between crying and tantruming.
 
We talked about how sad Ladybug, Brother, Beowulf, and Lola were when they first came to our family.  

We talked about how I tried to comfort them in their sadness just the way I was trying to comfort Parvulus in his sadness.

Several kids were in tears, and all of them expressed compassion for this distressed baby.

I'd promised the kids a trip to the Unity Village Nature Trail when ABA was over, but Parvulus' schedule didn't allow for that, so we compromised on a trip to Cave Spring instead.  I find myself unable to count the 1/2 mile we walked in total as a hike, but we had a lovely, lovely afternoon at the "waterfall" where the kids built a surprisingly effective dam, and Parvulus was able to feel some peace  out-of-doors.







That's Nature Angel's photo of her own shadow.

Apparently katydids like Mister Man.

On Thursday morning I couldn't bear the idea of Parvulus crying himself to sleep again, so we bundled everyone into the van and drove to a favorite park.  Parvulus fell asleep peacefully on the way, and Nature Angel and Little Princess took turns sitting in the van doing school work while he slept for an hour and a half in his car seat.


The kids turned our park outing into a delightful nature experience by exploring the insides of a cattail, following an ant trail, and counting bullfrogs in the pond.

 
Brother yelled, "Mom!  Mom!  There are millions and millions of frogs!  At least 36!!"

None of the pictures I tried to take of kids-and-ants or kids-and-frogs came out. :(

I spent far, far too much time on the phone or in telehealth meetings, but it was productive.  Beowulf will see Brother's psychiatrist in November, and Brother has an appointment to see a specialized psychiatrist in February.
 
Parvulus' current schedule prevents us from having a Wild Day on Fridays (his mom picks him up in the middle of the day to take him to a chiropractic appointment).  I'm working on how to shuffle things around, but on this day, Sir Walter Scott took the opportunity to take 7 of the kids on a 7 1/2 mile bike ride.
 



 
(Lola still can't manage a 2-wheeler, so she stayed home with me and helped entertain Parvulus before he left and after he got back.)

For fun, we've been watching lots of episodes of Fixer-Upper.  It's fun to watch the kids watch the demolition, construction, and design.  I can't fathom why it is interesting to them (maybe the trucks and tractors and tools?), but it is interesting to me, and we're discussing houses, yards, gardening, cleaning, building, farming, and budgets an awful lot.

We read aloud together every night.  The young ones and I have finished Henry Huggins as well as reading several favorite picture books.  The middle ones and I are reading Genevieve Foster's biography on Theodore Roosevelt.

This week has been so gently joyful and fulfilling that I find myself a little bit happy and a little bit sad to return to our usual schedule next week.  I know that several of my crew could learn quite well in such a laid-back atmosphere, but others of my crew need formal, incremental, repetitive structure in order to learn many of the skills they'll need in life, so it's not really an option to become full-time unschoolers.

However, I know that with The Munchkin and Parvulus to care for, we probably won't really have a "usual schedule" for a while, and we'll have to be very flexible.  How grateful I am for the meds and therapies that are helping my previously rigid kids thrive in more fluid circumstances!!!

Comments

  1. I am so glad that life is going so much better right now. My heart goes out to you over the soup incident. How terrifying. I am glad that everything worked out. That is so due to your quick and smart thinking. I hope you new little one adjusts well and you have a lovely coming week.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  2. I enjoyed this so much! Especially the lessons on compassion, the pictures of shoes and a shadow!--all of it! Thanks for taking the time for this kind of documentation.

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  3. New babies to love on are sweet and exhausting. I totally think you should count your half mile hike carrying the little one!

    Thanks for mentioning the fluffy cat tails. We found cat tails on one of our walks a while back, and I told the girls I'd bring them back when they were poofy. We'll have to get out and see them soon.

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  4. Poor, sad, little baby. How grateful I am I didn’t have to loan my kids out. And what a wonderful blessing to those sweet mothers who have found you. You provide a safe and compassionate place for bother babies and moms. The smoky picture is fabulous. Love your fire pit. 🔥

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