I have calm, intelligent, thoughtful children - when I don't over stretch them.
But I think part of that is how I react to them when I'm feeling over-stretched. At the park this half term I asked Matt to go watch the kids in the play area and let me walk the dog. He pointed out that the dog had already been on a long walk and I had to openly admit that I was just feeling overwhelmed. Half term in an adventure park is crazy - especially when you are used to only visiting that kind of stuff in school hours where you and a couple of other homeschooled friends can have it to yourselves!
Maybe the kids are just picking up on my tension, because I'm feeling overwhelmed.
This weekend my little boy has been struggling. He caught hand foot and mouth disease from somewhere. Although he's feeling much better, thank goodness, this is not a time to test his limits. To be honest, mine are being tested too with a broken dishwasher (again) and a child who wants to be cuddled all day but is too heavy to be worn in a sling and get anything done.
That's when I decided we just need to slow it down. Obviously washing dishes is taking forever (little counter space and I don't have many dish cloths, because I have a dishwasher) but I also grated cheese by hand (the processor was dirty) and Lila got to help me. She loved it.
Next we had to do some "garden chores" (what my kids call gardening - although they love it, so I'm not sure why it's a chore...) So whilst I pulled up weeds, she spent a long time carefully carrying them one by one on a scooter to the compost bin. Realising that the compost bin could use some shredded paper, we had the option of opening the paper shredder - but in the spirit of doing things slowly I convinced her to sit down with me and shred a whole newspaper by hand, whilst we had a lovely conversation which I think was about pretty flowers, but it's hard to know because her consonant sounds aren't so great yet.
So today certainly hasn't been productive in the traditional sense, but Will and I finished reading a book together (four chapters!) and Lila has enjoyed the garden and I can always do the laundry and dishes once they've gone to bed.
These are my favourite days.