Monday, June 29, 2009

Lazy Summer Days

Usually I awaken before seven when Curly wakes up. Hubby, of course, gets up even earlier since he has to be at work at 7:30 in the summer, but usually I sleep until I hear her little voice call, "Mommy, can I get up?" sometime between 6:30 and 7:00.

She comes and snuggles into my bed under the covers and turns on the television where we get a grand total of four channels, all of them PBS. We're one of the few households who still uses bunny ears and luckily we bought one of the digital converter boxes. So she turns on Curious George and Sid the Science Kid and Super Why. Finally after watching those together we both tiptoe downstairs so we don't awaken Little Mister and I fix her some breakfast, usually a cereal bar and a banana, reminiscent of the hurried mornings before preschool when I needed a fast breakfast. When Mister wakes up he needs a change and food as well and I check the cats, dog and birds to make sure they have food and water. Only then do I feel like my day really begins.

Mornings are our free time to play, have play dates or go to the park. Several mornings a week we walk across the street and down the block to the playground, but some days we just stay home in our pajamas, playing with toys and blocks and games. The kids like to make up songs to sing to one another or to build forts on the couch. I usually do some chores, tidy the house, check my email and make myself a cup of coffee. Curly often chooses to do schooly activities; since learning isn't a chore for her but fun, she doesn't feel the need for a summer break. She'll play an addition or subtraction game, do a workbook page or practice reading on the computer. Often she'll spend a whole morning homeschooling, delighted in the mental stimulation. I remember feeling the same way about learning. Long past the age where most kids hated school, I used to look forward to reading my school books, problem-solving or investigating something I hadn't known before.

At lunch time I fix them food, usually healthy and well-balanced, although today it was only a bowl of cereal. After lunch we read a chapter of "Little House" and tuck Little Mister in for his nap. Curly Miss goes up to her room too, but she looks at books and plays quietly with toys rather than sleeping for the most part.

I use the time during their nap to work on my moonlighting jobs on the computer, write in my blog or sew. Usually there are more chores calling as well, though I do my best to ignore them. The hardest part for me is feeling like I'm trapped in the house; I can't even leave long enough to walk the dog and often I feel like I'll scream if I don't get out to go somewhere. But I don't dare leave my sleeping babes and so I stay, the quiet, watchful mother, guarding her precious children from fear and harm.

After nap, the kids have a snack and play some more while I usually do my best to think of something for supper. Since I put off this necessary activity as long as possible, I usually don't come up with anything very exciting, much to my gourmet-loving hubby's chagrin. But I'm too frugal to cook gourmet (and I hate cooking) so he has to put up with old favorites like spaghetti and hamburger-gravy most of the time, although when I do bother to cook fancier food, it usually turns out pretty well. In the summer, I usually have fresh lettuce for salads at least.

After we eat, we like to go places as a family, although the park gets a little old since we go there so much. But we rotate through other parks or the mall or downtown; in a town of our size there really aren't many choices. Hubby's job upon returning is to supervise the music practices, get little jammies on and ready children for bed. While he does this I usually sneak in a little more computer time.

For the two hours before bed-time, we like to make a snack and find something entertaining to do. I think these evenings are my favorite time of day when the long, lonely, chore-filled days are finally over and I can do something fun with my hubby. We play Scrabble or Starcraft or watch a movie or bake treats together. Although I love my kids, it seems like they are constantly demanding and constantly making messes that I have to clean up. So two hours of watching a movie, uninterrupted by anything other than a trip to the refrigerator seems like a slice of heaven. Hubby usually does the dishes while I feed the pets and get ready for bed.

As the summer waxes, I hope to add activities like the Library story hour and the swimming pool. There's the Parks and Rec program and even the fun of running through sprinklers. We'll take trips to the cabin and the lake. So each day is filled with its own schedule as the summer goes along.

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