You know all of those adorable First Day of School photos everyone is posting on social media these days? Yeah, you won’t see George and Olivia in their apple-y best for another two weeks. Y’all, how long has it been since schools actually started after Labor Day?! I feel like the answer is at least 35 years.
Since we moved in mid-March, I decided not to bother tracking down a new preschool for the last six weeks of a 3-year-old class. I mean, moving is traumatic enough, so why toss my son into a pile of small strangers? Therefore, we have been on summer vacation for…*counts on fingers*…about five months. Yeesh.
No well-intentioned chore chart or schedule on the planet can last for five months of home-time with a 2- and 4-year-old. Therefore, our daily schedule looks more or less like the following:
7:00 a.m. – George wanders into his parents’ room to stare into his mother’s face. Mother rolls over, hoping he’ll miraculously take a hint and go back to bed.
7:03 a.m. – George insistently pokes his maternal beloved in the rear end, coaxing her gently to abandon her cocoon of warmth for the harsh realities of non-dreamland. Mama sends her offspring downstairs to beg milk from his paternal parental, who is trying to wake up over a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats.
7:20ish a.m. – Mama’s alarm blares, jolting Mama awake. She slunks out of bed and into some quiet Bible reading…until her eldest tracks her down.
8:30 a.m. – Youngest offspring bellows.
8:32 a.m. – Both children request screen time. Mama offers daily reminder of the family’s one rule against watching TV before lunchtime. Some whining occurs before they wander off to play/spar, carrying a nutritious breakfast of Fruit Loops and a gummy vitamin.
8:40 – 9:30 a.m. – Mama blearily eats her Mini Wheats and ignores chores as she falls face first into her novel du jour.
9:35 a.m. – Mama doesn’t know where the last hour went and begins to feel guilty for not being productive. In passing, she mentions getting dressed. Eldest offspring protests loudly. She meanders upstairs to pull on presentable clothing.
10:15 a.m. – Mama is once again shocked at the time. She picks up the pace, pulling together outfits for small children. Children generally protest. (Note: This is why the family’s one screen-time rule exists. Whining used to be so much worse when the kids were allowed to watch early-morning TV.)
10:42 a.m. – All three humans are strapped into the minivan, after a bit of coercion, bribery, and mom-voicing.
10:45 a.m. – noon – Some kind of errand, usually involving the grocery store, the bank, the library, or something really rowdy, like a visit to the gym. Though, some days we just stay in our pjs until bath time when we get clean, then put on fresh pjs.
Noon – 1 p.m. – Children rejoice as the TV begins to glow! Their current favorite shows include:
- Blue’s Clues – the Steve years, not Joe’s feeble attempts, obvs. (watched on Amazon Prime TV)
- Blippi – This guy is found on YouTube. He’s basically a single dude in his late 20s who decided YouTube needed a better offering of education videos for children. Therefore, he began playing on any and all indoor and outdoor playgrounds in the American Northwest to teach children colors, shapes, and more! Eh, they’re not brilliant, but they seem general harmless and my children love “Blippi Bloop Bloop!” (as he’s been dubbed by Olivia). Somehow, he’s garnered more than 8 BILLION views, and our family has only contributed about 1.2 million of those views. For weird, too-in-depth fun, check out Blippi’s personal Instagram account, stevinwjohn, as the mom comments about Blippi’s attractiveness are hil-arious and super disturbing.
- Creative Galaxy – A sweet show about an alien kid who solves all of life’s problems with art! I’m pretty sure this was created by the same people as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. My only complaint is that it makes George want to do crafts, which is one of my least favorite mommy-y things to do. (Amazon Prime TV)
- Tumble Leaf – I’m actually sad that Tumble Leaf has fallen off the top three list in our house. This stop-motion show about a little fox and his friends is beautiful and super sweet. (Amazon Prime TV)
- Peppa Pig – We’ve seen every episode YouTube and Amazon Prime TV has to offer. And yes, I do mean we. There’s just something addicting about that sassy British swine.
1 p.m. – We head into nap time and quiet time. Olivia still naps fairly easily (that or she rearranges everything in her room for two straight hours). George does an hour of quiet time, which usually looks like him sitting near me while flipping through a book or writing lists of whatever he’s into at the moment (countries and capitals most recently). After an hour, I let him watch TV until Olivia wakes up. I mean, how else would I successfully finish my nap?
4 p.m. – I usually start thinking about dinner. My husband is 73 years old and enjoys eating dinner at 5 p.m. I kid…about the former. If I didn’t get to the grocery store earlier in the day, I usually feel a jolt of panic, then a sigh of relief when I remember that frozen pizza tucked away for such a time as this.
The rest of the evening – Since my ever-wonderful spouse has returned to the domestic chaos, evenings are usually pretty calm and sweet. I clean up after dinner while the hubs wrangles our small children. We tag-team bath time and bedtime, so by about 8 p.m., we’re looking at a few hours of kid-free couch time, usually accompanied by Netflix, video games, or books.
When school starts, things will look different, especially as my kids are getting old enough to join activities. I’ll put significantly more miles on the minivan puttering around town, forcing my children to branch out and try new things. Until then, let the lack of productivity thrive!
Hope everyone is having a great start of the school year! Can’t wait to join you!
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I had been eyeing Bardugo’s Six of Crows for years. Sometimes you can just tell a book will be good by the cover. I knew it’d be a young-adult book I’d enjoy, but sometimes knowing that makes me avoid it. Weird, I know. I did enjoy Six of Crows, but it ended on a cliffhanger. Therefore, I immediately started the library’s copy of its sequel, Crooked Kingdom. Basically, there’s a slummy island full of debauchery and crime. An unlikely team unites to pull an insane heist for an unseemly amount of money. There’s a bit of romance, a sprinkle of magic, and a smidge of unlikely good luck. This is where the story continues.