Some Days

My neighbor came over yesterday to check on us after Rose spent about half an hour screaming at the top of her lungs and drumming her feet on the floor.  I reassured her that we were mostly okay – we had been trying to finish the writing part of home school for the day, and Mirin would keep singing the first few verses of “Yellow Submarine” until it finally drove Rose insane.  I wonder how many other home schooling parents have that happen?

Mirin came out while I was explaining, his shoulders shrugged up sheepisly, and an unmistakable look of mischievous glee on his face.

The home schooling has been hard lately.  They had a two-week break while I was very, very sick, and it has been hard for us to get back into the rhythm.  I also have realized that it seems to be the factor that makes me so exhausted every day (well, that and nursing Clothilde at night – it is so much easier to put her to bed, but then she wakes me up….I just can’t decide if I’m ready to wean or not.  There are serious draw-backs and benefits either way).  It is unbelievably draining to sit over Mirin while it takes him five and a half hours to finish about twenty math problems.

It’s not that he isn’t smart – he can figure out incredible mechanical things that I would never even hope to be able to do.  He can carve amazing things out of a block of wood.  I remember in second grade we read a story about the Eskimos, and as an activity we got to carve cakes of soap.  I decided to make a whale.  It turned out to look like a demented tadpole before the tail broke off.

So I really respect how good he is at that.  Just about a month ago he almost blew his fingers off making “ammunition,” which involved hand-sawing off pieces of metal bar, shaping it with files, drilling a hole in the back, and then (unbeknownst to us) filled with a few grains of gun powder he found rattling around in an antique powder horn someone had kindly given him for Christmas last year.  He hammered the back on, and added a cap from his cap gun, thus almost blowing his fingers off.

As soon as Ethan found out about it, they were taken away and soaked in a bucket of water.  (Geez, I expect the crazy 3-year old to be the one to almost blow her fingers off…I thought by the time they were 11 they would be old enough to know better.  Of course I was right there while he was working on this, but I had no idea he had any gun powder.  He just seemed very busy on some project that involved sawing, a vice, and lots of hammering.  I hoped he would have better judgement.  Apparently not.  [sigh].  Only four and a half more years until he can get behind the wheel of a car.  It’s terrifying.).

The problem is really his constitutional laziness, and I’m not sure how to deal effectively with that.  Since the problem at the Waldorf lecture, I’ve been torn between finishing what I’ve already planned, or scrapping it and doing something different.

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