I realized after my last post that telling you that I fell off the horse perhaps isn't as helpful as telling you what we did/do to get back up.
First off is just the recognizing. It is like the mindful meditation, where you recognize that your mind has wandered and bring it back to center, without judgment. In our case, it was obvious that we were off track this morning, but it isn't always so blatant. Sometimes it can be subtle, like a bit of squabbling or a slightly grumpy child (or parent).
So, I had to scrap my plans for the afternoon. I had thought I might take the boys out to lunch and then run a few errands. We needed groceries and cake. But I had to step back and see that eating lunch at home, as usual, and then having quiet time, as usual, would do a lot to get us back into the dance. We followed that with our usual snack, which is popcorn. Dancing the steps we know by heart.
Next up we worked on Papa's birthday card, which is really a little book we made. We did this in our usual practice time. It doesn't matter that we didn't do academic practice; we sat at the desk and worked. I always refer to this a "holding the space".
I also reread them our story from last week. Normally you wouldn't tell a story twice in grade 1, but it was a really long story and I didn't think recall would go well after 6 days. I took the time to read them the slightly longer version of the story, so now T-Guy is just about bursting wanting to talk about the differences.
We had to go out. I didn't have the ingredients to make a cake - not a vegan cake, not a regular cake. I don't keep cake mixes in my pantry, and even if I did we missed the farmer's market last week which means we are out of pastured eggs (free range, organic). And well, a birthday isn't a birthday without cake (ask me how I know...I didn't get cake for my birthday and it was just weird).
So we went to Trader Joes, but first we stopped at Papa's workplace to pick up a big bag of grapefruit his coworker had brought him (too big to carry home on his bike). TJs was crowded, the boys were rowdy, and T-Guy must have stepped on my toes four times (that's what I get for changing the question in my profile before we went). Plus I had a cruddy cart! I hate taking them there! But we got groceries and cake, then headed next door for tortillas and an "8" candle.
By the time we got home Papa was here already, so we gave him his cards and gifts, then headed out to vote and have dinner. I would have cooked, but we took so long at the market that we decided to go out.
We came home to a power outage, which the boys found hilarious. Papa hopped on his bike and rode off to figure out the problem (we could hear lots of sirens nearby); it seemed to be a blown transformer. I brought in the laundry (did I mention I had to hang it twice today because the gardener came and it wasn't dry yet?) so the boys could play basketball. I read the paper and Papa played his guitar for a bit.
We had our birthday party, with a cake and candles, and lots of singing.
Then I went out and spent some time with the boys; I shot a few baskets and then we went out front. They really ran around and got quite sweaty. We were up past bedtime, but I liked that they were active, and I have so many good memories of playing outside on summer evenings that I didn't want to end their play. It happened naturally, after J-Baby picked some lavender and wanted to go inside for a vase.
Normal bedtime routine. They love hearing The Boxcar Children, which we picked up at a used bookstore. They did have a hard time settling down and actually going to sleep, which may mean that we overshot the mark and should have got them to bed sooner. But they are really fighting going to sleep when it is still light out.
So we started Wednesday morning fresh, with the idea to let the rhythm carry the day. Up, snuggle, sing. Breakfast, clean up. Get dressed, make beds, brush teeth, clean bathrooms. Play. Hang laundry. Movement (makeshift at this point), candle, verse, morning lesson. Play. Lunch and clean up. Quiet time. Put away toys. Snack. Practice time (word families and handwriting). Play.
I resisted the urge to go to the health food store, even though we desperately need apples and I need iron (I'm suddenly bruising very easily, and have a history of anemia). Maybe we can stop by on the way home from BMX.