___________ October 22, 2015 __________

Sleep-Overs, Swim & Stalkers

Whew, what a day!  May I just say I could do without another day like that?  (My daughter would protest that – and claim hers was FAR, *FAR* worse.)  And what a statement THAT is, considering she was on a sleepover with her bestie, all day!

The boys woke up hacking up lungs and with snotty noses, so we made tea for breakfast, had chicken soup and orange juice and all of that good cold-fighting stuff.  I’m big on vitamin D3 for fighting viruses, so we broke out that, too.  They were doing better by afternoon.  And yeah, maybe I should’ve kept ’em home, but nobody does… that’s HOW we get colds.  I gave up keeping kidlets home, back in the days of church nurseries (germ incubators of the world).  We just treat it and build up immunity.  It’s just the way of it.

Tonight was the last day of swim for the boys.  I haven’t seen another session posted on-line, so I’m not sure what’s happening with that.  Isaac and Ethan (12 & 10) were bumped up TWO classes.  Aaron and Owen (7 & 5) were both held back.  I think it might behoove me to start taking them to the pool, myself, on Wednesdays for a while.  At least until the next session (which I suspect might be after the new year).  I can work with them, get them swimming.  Quite honestly, I’m fully capable of teaching them to swim, myself.  I was in a swim league as a kid, did swim team in HS, and did my lifeguard certification in college, so I’m able to teach them.  Thing is, I like them to answer to other authority than me, sometimes.  And be in an actual classroom situation, so that they know how that works.  So they can assume correct behaviors under specific circumstances.  But I don’t want to send them to the same level class, over and over again – that’s expensive and counter-productive!  Anyhow, I think they just need some one-on-one in order to progress, and they won’t get that in class.  Once we iron out some things I’m seeing (and not liking), they’ll be golden, and can go back to the classes, ready to take it all on like a boss.

I was actually a little proud of myself, in there, today.  Owen had set down his bag (with towel, underwear, and pants in it) to put on his shoes, and didn’t pick it back up.  It got left at home.  We always check when we get to the door to make sure everyone has everything, but it never made it OUT the door… and we didn’t realize it until we were half an hour away at swim.  BUT!  I have a little plastic tower with drawers in the back of the car, and guess what was in there?  Extra pants, extra boy undies, and an extra towel.  (I also have extra shirts, extra sweaters, extra swim trunks, even a pair of long johns… I’m a Girl Scout – prepared!)  So the catastrophe was completely averted.  Woo-HOO!!  ((Okay, so that five minutes of today was rather good.))

It was also Junior Discoverers, today.  I had thought it was going to be basic robotics, this time, but it turns out that it was basic Halloween.  (Harumph.)  So we got to float baking soda coated icky worms in vinegar to make them ‘come alive’, make slime, raise up static electricity ghosts out of tissue paper and build haunted gingerbread houses with black licorice.  I wasn’t really terribly impressed… that’s not… I mean, it *is* sort of ‘discover-ish’, but we’ve made slime at home before.

The sleepover people actually dropped Lydia off to us at the library, since it was closer for them than driving out to the country by us to bring her home.  When she got out of their car and I saw her hair… homigosh, it was so BAD.  It looked terrible, and it looked like it was going to HURT to get out.  I bit my tongue… until she got into MY car.  The girl smelled like she’d bathed in nicotine!!  Merciful heavens, I had to roll all of the windows down and *still* was coughing all the way home.  It just rolled off of her in waves.  She said that at their grandma’s house, there wasn’t a single room that wasn’t smoke-filled.  She stayed out of the one where the grandma was, because that was the thickest, but it must’ve been horrible, Cal.  I had her change and take her clothes outside to air.  I’ll throw them in the load with the chlorine-d swim suits in the morning – maybe the chlorine will help cut the cigarette stench.

She was SO relieved to be home, I think she even hugged Isaac.  She kept saying, “I’m just glad to be here.  It’s so nice here.  It’s so peaceful here.  Everyone’s so happy, at home.  I didn’t have a good time, this time.”  She sat down by me (where I was quilling), and she said, ‘They do crafts, but they don’t look like they like doing them.  They don’t laugh and make faces like you do.  It’s not at all as fun.”  I have NO idea what it’s like, over there, but she was not enjoying herself, apparently!  Poor kid.  She said that everything revolves around staring at a phone, tablet, computer, or TV.  That it’s just silent, because they’re into the screens and don’t actually talk to each other very much.  Our TV is never on before 8pm (if it goes on at all), and we don’t allow tablets or computer time until 4pm at our house, and ONLY until Daddy is home.  So she wasn’t used to people not *interacting* like that.

It was crazy, the things she said.  “I like that we eat together.” for one.  Apparently they don’t?  “It’s so nice that you actually FEED us meals… real food.”  Apparently snack bars and ice cream are meals over there?   “I missed my room – I can move around in mine.”  She said that there was hardly a room there that wasn’t a disaster, and she had a hard time with the mess.   I couldn’t BELIEVE when she said, “I’m even grateful for the school we do!”  I know they homeschool, but I have long suspected that it’s more of an unschooling situation.  She agreed – they don’t have any books or papers or study projects at all.  She says it’s like wasting a day, doing mostly nothing.  She sat for hours while her friend wrapped her hair in rags.  Said it hurt, the whole time, but she didn’t want to complain, and after all it was her friend’s house and her friend’s request to do the hair… so she mostly just held the sections, trying to keep it from pulling so hard.  I swear…!

I did something stupid, today.  I’d been talking about hater sites – there are actual sites out there that bash me, because I have maintained a weblog that goes kind of against the acceptable norm of thinking.  I’d mentioned it to mypen-pal, and the mention had them in my mind, and I went where I shouldn’t have, as a result, I found myself on-line, reading hater sites that tore up my character.  It *hurt*, y’know?  To see people saying they feel sorry for my guy, for my kids?  To see people claiming that I’m racist for costuming my husband ‘blackface’ last year.  To read people ripping my parenting, claiming I’m damaging my children with my ‘fanatical’ Bible focus, with the feasts and twisted f-up of belief systems that I’ve got going.  I got myself ALL worked up, reading that garbage, and why?!?!?!

And then Lydia comes home from… THAT… and tells us about how awful it was, and I think, “How can people think I’M doing a terrible job?  How can they talk down my way of doing things, when THAT is out there?  THAT is more of an acceptable behavior than ours!”  What kind of a fricked up world do we live in?   One where consideration and manners are disparaged, but dysfunction is elevated and given all of the ‘luv’.  What IS that?!  It doesn’t make SENSE to me!

(This would be why I was back to quilling, by the way.  I had to diffuse after that.  I was all shades of upset, and that calls for something distracting.  Like wrapping tiny strips of paper around a toothpick about five zillion times, until natural breathing resumed.  Please, please remind me not to go to those sites, anymore.  I can’t handle it.  It just rips me up inside.)

Anyhow.  At least the sleepover is done for the month.  There won’t be any more mid-week ones.  This week isn’t salvageable, but I’ll just use tomorrow to work on costumes: I need to do something about Gandalf, Galadriel, and Aragorn.  Do a few little things to Gimli… maybe if Brian’s got the helmet painted, I can start detailing it up.  There’s quilling, and there’s sketching (since we didn’t do it today, without Lydia).  We can just have a get-back-to-normal day.  That sounds good, doesn’t it?  Let the boys recoup, the girl regroup?

I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to get all emotional on you.  It’s really nothing that a little sleep, a little time, and a little distance won’t cure, right?  My own foolishness.  I just need t’not DO that, anymore.  That’s all.

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