A few sound bites from our day today, in no particular order:
“Why is your underwear in the garbage?”
“Please keep your tongue inside your head.”
“Stop licking me. You’re not a cat.”
“No, you can’t have more grape juice. You already had two refills… Of course I know that, I’m the one who poured them!”
“Listen, I know you’re bored. That’s no excuse for swinging your hammock into my elbow.”
“I’d take the sheep if I were you. It’s almost harvest time and you have no food!”
“Would you get off my farm and take your turn already!?”
“Hey, look! There’s a tiger carrying a unicorn, running along the beach! And he’s being chased by a reindeer!”
We went to the beach at 6 a.m., where we swam and I introduced Mr. December to a sun salutation (his downward dog could use some work.) When we came home, Mr. December asked what the kids were supposed to do today.
“I think it can either be a day off or an unschooling day,” I answered.
I’m not sure which of the two it ended up being. The kids built an epic fort with a giant cardboard box, enlisting me to make a latch for the door (problem solved with two popsicle sticks, two wooden beads, and a very neat machine screw with its own sheath-type screw. I don’t know what it’s called, but IKEA uses it to hold multiple bookcases together.) N read a whole lot of Horrible Science books, popping in to share the gruesome details every so often. We made challah.
Then I played Agricola (a board game) with E and R, which was agonizing. In retrospect, I should have known that they’d be more interested in creating plot lines for their little people-shaped player tokens and the Fimo livestock they raise. It was adorable that whenever they took a “family growth” action (where you add an extra player token to your board) they needed to discuss names and genders of the new family member, but by the second hour I was getting antsy.
“Just give everybody five food and skip to the last round,” Mr. December advised. I took his advice and silently added some of my own: do not play this game with these girls while they’re still interested in playing with dolls.
Tonight, at my parents’ house for Shabbat dinner, I moved the TV remote and told the kids they couldn’t watch at all. They complained about boredom and “nothing to do,” and I ignored them. In the end they made up their own game which involved one person as the “judge” and the other players singing a song, in turn, that they thought the judge would like. It was cute.
On the way home I joined the game. I won three rounds in a row before we got home, and the kids learned an important lesson: when it comes to picking an appropriate song for an individual, never go up against a music therapist. We’ll always win.