This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Rant and a Bigger Rant

Alternatively: Not Very Spiritual and Very Self-Involved

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down!
Hickory Dickory Dock.

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The bird looked at the clock,
The clock struck two 2,
Away she flew,
Hickory Dickory Dock........

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

The mice are back and they were running, not up the clock, but up in the wall behind my bed in the wee hours of this morning. Ugh. Gross.Yuck. Have I mentioned before that I do not like mice?? I take personal offense that they would enter my home, uninvited and unwelcome, stay and multiply. Ugh. Gross. Yuck.

Sleep was elusive with the pitter patter of little feet scurrying and sharp teeth chewing. When I did sleep I was bombarded with nightmares that we filled with—you guessed it—mice.

Actually the worst dream started with mice sized mice and developed into guinea pig sized mice (or maybe they were guinea pigs) and morphed into capybaras!! The holes they were coming from got increasingly larger and larger.

I’m sure the fact that The Nutcracker has the King Mouse and the army of mice/rats who fight the nutcracker and surround Clara hasn’t helped because the soundtrack for my dream was Tchaikovsky’s score.

On another, more paranoid, note, I am allowing myself to be stressed out by people who surely have no ulterior motives or sinister meanings to their questions—but it seems everyone is asking the boys how much school they have, or how’s school going, or lots of homework right now??? And then they look at us as if we are slackers when they find out we are in very low gear at home.

What? No overloaded school schedule to top off Nutcracker nuttiness?? How dare we? Yeah…I’m pretty sure I’m overreacting. But the looks when told we did school in July and August (Boo was even doing school in June) so we are able to relax a little in December border on disbelief.

As we’ve entered the fourth year of the Sugar Plump Fairy drives to dance I’ve found some truths I hold evident: (cue the world’s smallest violins playing “My Heart Bleeds for You.”)

First, driving seven days a week for near two months to the same place looses its shine by about week three (or sooner).

Second, while I’m very appreciative for the socialization aspect (mine as much as the boys) sometimes I really would just love to curl up and not talk to anyone. There’s been little time to read, craft or do any of the activities I thought I might be able to. But I don’t want to go sit in the car and be anti-social, either. A couple people I only get to see this time of year.

Third, when I hit overload I can only take so much. (Insert proper whining tone here.) I’ve found the week after dress rehearsals is when I collapse. I try very hard to keep the boys from getting overwhelmed and strive to make sure sleep and eating well and smart are priorities for them, but sometimes forget myself. Or eat stupid and the hormones are in control of my sleep so there either not enough or too much—a vicious cycle, indeed.

So, here I sit stewing. I am sure no one is trying to upset me, but I wonder about the socialization of adults who don’t know how to talk to children about anything more than, “Are you getting all of your homework done?” My children aren’t allowed to roll their eyes at anyone (I’m sure they have behind my back—I’m not that na├»ve) but I’m about ready to start rolling my eyes!! No wonder we hear kids think grownups are clueless.

I actually find that the grownups most worried about my child’s schooling situation have no children of their own. What is up with that? I’m sure they are well intentioned—they just haven’t been socialized for actual real conversations with children. (And obviously aren’t aware of some of the perks and benefits of homeschooling!)

Asking kids about homework is akin to asking, “How are you?” Does the asker really want to know? Are they going to get panicked if we really tell them how we are?

What would I propose as good alternative questions? Since I’m complaining I should have thought out a solution. Well as a matter of fact I can think of several:

“Are you reading a good book right now?”
“Have you learned a new Christmas song?”
“Do you have any recitals to perform in?”
“Are you getting enough rest? How are you feeling?”
“How ‘bout them Chiefs?” (Never mind...they’re still losing.)
If one must ask about school the question could be, “Do you have a favorite subject?”

Children can be just as fun, sometimes more so, to connect with than adults. I’ve really enjoyed the students that I’ve come in contact with this year and have learned some really neat things, founds some interesting book ideas, or heard about all the family traditions they share with their family. Sometimes they have to be drawn out just a little bit.

Whew…that was a bit spewy…I’m sure it applies to no one who reads this. Just overflowing today.


luvmy4sons said...

LOL! LOL! I get it...thanks for being real! What I hated when the kids were YOUNGER was being asked all the time about girlfriends! They were clueless. That pairing up at such tender ages wasn't a reality for my sons being home schooled. Now that I actually have one who has a girlfriend, no one inquires! Yeah. Girlfriends at five but not 17! I pray this play goes well after all of your horrible dreams about mice!

DebD said...

LOL - I get it completely - although my stresses aren't related to Nutcracker madness.

Anonymous said...

I found a dead mouse last year in our family room. I thought I was going to die. Since I never found/saw/discovered "evidence" of any other mice, I am quite content to believe that he somehow wandered by mistake and died of fright. Yeah, I'm sure that's what happened. Gotta be.

Heidi @ GGIP said...

I have to agree that many adults, including myself, have a limited reperitroire (I know that is spelled wrong, just can't figure it out tonight) with conversations with kids. I like your suggestions though. Very helpful.

Barbara H. said...

Mice really gross me out, too.

I think people who ask about homework and such really do mean it on par with "How are you?" and "Nice weather we're having!" -- just a conversation starter. But I really do like your alternative questions.

Kim said...

This made me laugh! Not at you mind you, but because I so remember getting those exact same kind of comments, and worse too sometimes, when I was a homeschooling mommy. That whole socialization thing is what really got me though! The world should be happy to know that my oldest managed to be socialized to the point of getting married to a wonderful man!!! And after 2.5 years is still blissfully happy.

I used to take the whole month of December off from school--apart from assigned reading, and 1 of those kids of mine has graduated with a Master's degree, the 2nd one will graduate with his BA this spring, and my two youngest are now in public school yet I try to have high hopes for them despite public school! (I will always be a homeschooler in my heart. ;) )

Try to let it are doing a great job! What a wonderful thing you are giving your boys with their dance!

Renee said...

Oh Julie, I so completely understand! We homeschool all year too and take it easier in December. I love your alternative questions list...will have to keep them in mind!