Monday, December 22, 2008


Today was so cold out that I did not even entertain the thought of taking my kids to school. I decided that if ever there were a day to try home schooling, today would be that day.

I started the day with home ec. We made breakfast. Oatmeal with flax seeds. Ellie ate it with brown sugar. Adam flushed it down the toilet.

After breakfast, I had Ellie and Adam drag chairs over to the sink and wash the dishes. Then it was "craft time." We made four pots of homemade play dough. Adam made blue and green, and Ellie made two pots of pink. We sat around the table making dinosaurs and jungle animals. (It was only 8:08 am and I was thinking that if I hurried, I could still make it to their schools by drop off time.)

By 8:15 craft time was over and it was time for lunch. In Europe. But we live in New York, so too early to eat.

I decided it was phys ed. time. I had the kids change in to warm-ups and I changed in to my nicest tennis skirt. I told them to meet in the upstairs tv room with water bottles and towels.

So, by 8:27 am the three of us were in the upstairs room just looking at each other. There was only one treadmill, and I am the fattest, so I got to use it. I had the kids do jumping jacks and push ups while I jogged for 2 miles. (They did not last more than 13 seconds), so while I jogged, I encouraged them to play with Lego's. That worked.

I jogged, then did my ab workout, then my arm workout, and then ran up and down the stairs 5 times in a row. I got back on the treadmill for a 2 minute jog, then more abs and arms, and another 5 stairs.

Then it was time for me to lie on the ground and teach the kids about dialing 911. Which led to a mini lesson about our address, phone number and last name.

It was 9:09 am.

I had the kids make their beds and clean up their rooms, and told them that I would do the same. This was an activity that actually took a while, and I told them "whoever has the cleanest room at the end gets to choose the next activity." (That's probably how teachers decide what comes next in their day too, right? The best behaved/ cleanest kid picks what comes next??!?)

At 9:45, I blew a bull horn (my dad gave me one when I was in college) and I went through the hall way announcing my arrival to their rooms. (They didn't really appreciate the humor in my saying "Police, open up!").

Then I opened up the window and bull horned across the street to my neighbor that I would not be able to make it to her house tonight for book club. (I had to call her about it anyway, and I figured the bull horn saved me a nickel.)

She yelled something back but I could not hear her so I said in to my bull horn "What? I can't hear you.... call me." (Did she really think that I would be able to hear her yelling something to me from across the street WITHOUT a bull horn?)

When the phone rang, I totally screened it because I was busy homeschooling and did not want to take time away from teaching my kids. (I know she hates me and by my not answering the phone when she KNEW I was home probably really sealed my fate with her. However, I got a chuckle out of it.)

After announcing that Adam was the clear winner of the bedroom clean up, he was awarded the honor of choosing the next activity as promised. (I try really hard not to break promises with my kids.)

He chose to play the air hockey game that Hanukkah Harry had given him the night before. That was a good choice and playing that brought us all the way to 10:20 am.

Then Adam asked if we could go outside. I told him it was "too cold." But he really wanted to go outside, so I told him it was "freeze your ass off cold." STILL he did not understand, so I told him "If mommy steps one foot outside in this weather, she will drop dead of a heart attack." To which he replied "That's okay, I know how to call 911."

Wise ass.

I told Adam and Ellie that it was too cold "for realz" and that to prove it, we could do a science experiment. I got three cups of water, let the two of them put food coloring in to their respective cups and I kept my water clear. Ellie made red, Adam made green and we put the cups outside to see how long they took freeze. (I have to tell you, I was quite impressed that by 11am, I had already covered, home ec, phys ed, housekeeping and now science.)

At 11:30 I turned on the television for them. The Princess Bride. They were good to go. I got a little Facebook time in and was able to make some business calls.

When it was lunch time, the three of us sat down to grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat with carrots and celery stix and HUGE blackberries for dessert.

We then did a load of laundry and I taught the kids to sing "It's a Hard Knock Life For Us" from Annie. (That was because they started to whine a little for having to do chores.)

We checked the water an hour and half after we put it outside and Ellie's was the only one that was turning to ice. They asked me why. I had no fucking clue and at that point I was starting to eye the bottle of wine on the shelf, when just then the doorbell rang.

It was the mail man!!!!!! Hallelujah!

The kids thought it was a "special assembly." They asked the mail man a few questions like "Do you get cold?" "Do you like to drive?" "Where do you eat your lunch?" But the all time winner of questions had to be Adam who asked "Can you drive me to school?"

Anyway, the rest of the day went well, it really did.

I turned on the indoor jumping castle, and the kids got their exercise in and after that, they sat and read books for "library time."

They really are good kids and even thought the morning DRAGGED on forever, the afternoon kind of flew. They are asleep now (7:45pm) and I will be turning in too. I will be at the pool by 5:15 in the morning, and then the kids have one day of school before the Christmas break.

Having today under my belt empowered me and I realized that I could do it again if I had to, but to do it for 10 days in a row will be tough. That is why I am so very glad that Christy is home and can babysit for a few hours here and there.

All in all, it was a great day, and I really did have fun. And it proves that I really do have the best job in the world.

However, I could NEVER EVER home school my kids. Not being able to answer the question about ice proved it. And g-d forbid I had to do real math.

Ciao, ciao.

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