Ani told me that she is going to birth her babies at home, nurse them whenever they want and let them self-wean, co-sleep until they are three and then they can stay in her room but not in her bed, and homeschool them. Sounds like she will be a wonderful mother.
Our Ergo arrived yesterday. Fritz got very excited when he saw me put it on. He’s been happily getting in the one I borrowed from my friend quite regularly over the last few days. I put him on my back while I worked on dinner. It’s quite fun wearing him to do things.
And for fun the big two got to try it out, too.
Today was the first day of the first regular 8 week session at the gym where my big kids take gymnastics. Ani had already decided that this would be her last 8 weeks. She starts Irish dancing in about 3 weeks. Cameron wasn’t liking gymnastics much anymore because this summer was absolutely awful. The teams were training so it was chaotic in the gym and kids who had never taken lessons before filled up the classes, but, even worse, since the teams got first dibs on the equipment, the kids barely got to do much more than some floor exercises and the trampoline for an hour a week all summer long.
Cameron had said he’d like to take golf lessons and then swimming lessons and then martial arts lessons (in that order) but I wanted him to have a regular class before he really decided to stop gymnastics. I had forgotten just how natural Cameron is on the equipment. He went right back to nice vaults and perfect rolls on the bar. But after class was over he said he was sure he wanted to stop after the session is over. He is finished with gymnastics lessons. I think the terrible classes over the summer killed his enjoyment. So I guess it’s on to golf!
I like the idea of babywearing, but I’ve never been able to much or past a certain size. Mostly I’ve used slings and baby carriers for when we are out and very little at home. I have found it to be cumbersome to do anything around the house with a kid attached.
Before I had Ani I got a Nojo sling. I hated it and rarely used it. When she was a few months old I got a Maya Wrap and liked that much better. Still, even though she was small, my shoulder would ache after not all that much time with her in it. I used the Maya Wrap with Cameron sometimes. He didn’t care much for being in the sling. He liked his space. Ani was in the sling more after Cameron was born than Cameron was in the sling. She has always liked to be right up against other people.
I used the Maya Wrap a little with Fritz. When he was a few weeks old I got a Peanut Shell. We both found it to be very comfortable and used it until he was three or four months old. Then a friend sent me a Moby Wrap. We loved it. It was comfortable and I didn’t find it hard to use once I figured out how to wrap it around me. Once Fritz got to be over about 16 or 17 pounds, though, I found it wasn’t so great to use anymore. He was heavy enough that the fabric would stretch and he’d get lower and lower and I’d get more and more uncomfortable and my shoulders would hurt. So he hasn’t been in a sling or wrap since he was about 9 months old.
Yesterday my friend Megan and I went to the DC Baby Carrier Expo. We took Fritz with us. I borrowed her Ergo to try out. Fritz seemed comfortable and I was comfortable, too. I had no back or shoulder pain even after carrying him in it for a few hours. When we got home I put him in it on my back (which he thought was downright hilarious) and cleaned and vacuumed the living and dining rooms. It was amazing. I was able to do housework and still have him attached and I had no pain from it.
So I ordered an Ergo for myself from Abby’s Lane. I am getting a blue one with seersucker lining (I love seersucker so that makes me very happy). Knowing how fast Abby’s Lane ships and how close they are to me I should have my Ergo in a couple or three days. I am looking forward to being able to actually wear my kid while doing stuff at home like I’ve always wanted to. It’ll also be very useful on vacation this fall in Williamsburg and at the Renaissance Fair, places where strollers just aren’t so easy to deal with.
We liked the first set of bows we got from Five Blessed Bows so much we just had to get her more.
Last night I was in bed reading and Cameron was laying next to me. He eventually got down on the floor and we had this conversation:
Me: Cameron? Why’d you get down on the floor?
Cameron: It’s more comfortable than the bed.
Fritz rarely plays peek-a-boo in the traditional way. Occasionally he’ll cover his face with a blanket and pull it off saying “Boo!” Usually, though, he covers his ears. It makes sense really. When we say “Peek-a-Boo” he can hear us and so by covering his ears he is “hiding” from the sound.
If we say “Where’s Fritzy?” his hands fly to his ears…
And then he pulls his hands off his ears to complete the game.
I try to limit my kids to one activity at a time until they are 8. At 8 they will add a church activity as well as whatever else they want to do. It’s not working. Ani’s going to have two activities this year and then she’ll turn 8 in 6 months and have three at once. At least she won’t be going to school all day on top of it.
Ani will be stopping gymnastics the end of October (we’re paid through then). The first week of September she’ll be starting Brownies. We found a local homeschooled girls group. She’s been wanting to do Girl Scouts for a year but the school-based group was less than thrilled at the prospect of a homeschooled child joining them. Mid-September she will be starting Irish dancing. And then of course in 6 months she will start Achievement Days at church. They meet twice a month.
Cameron has decided to stop gymnastics as well. This summer has been awful with new kids who have never done gymnastics joining and the recreation class kids unable to do much of anything fun because the team kids are on the equipment. Today it goes back to just the rec classes there during my kids’ time slot so we’ll see if it’s better. Anyway, Cameron wants to start taking golf lessons. We have a place near us that has lessons for kids 4 and up so we’ll be signing him up for 6 lessons to try it out. We haven’t decided if we’ll sign him up for lessons while he is still in gymnastics (since we’re paid through the end of October) or not. We probably will so he can decide if he really wants to stop gymnastics or not. He’s also interested in learning how to swim. I’m all for him trying out lots of different things.
On top of all that a friend at church is one of the leaders of a homeschool support group and they do weekly field trips. We’ll probably go to some of them over the course of the year. And then there are playdates with friends. Having my kids get a little older makes things busy!
I’ve noticed more and more that when homeschooling is mentioned in books or TV shows it is neutral or even positive, as opposed to a couple years ago they always seemed to be negative. For example, in Mean Girls the previously homeschooled girl is presented as naive and totally unaware of what the world is like (though, honestly, I’d much rather my daughter be like that girl originally was than the girls in the high school and what the girl turned into but I digress).
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – It says that most wizards and wizards from Britain went to Hogwarts, but parents had always had the right to choose to send them to a school out of the country or teach them at home.
- The Suite Life of Zach and Cody – A girl was swindling everyone out of whatever she could get from them and one of the twins says that she’s only a third grader how could she do that and the other twin says “She must be homeschooled!”
- Hannah Montana – Lilly as Lola is trying to tell Jake that she can’t be anyone he recognizes and says “You’ve never seen me at school because I’m homeschooled… in Canada… where the moose are.”
- Hannah Montana – Miley is muttering to herself that she could have been homeschooled but nooooo she wanted to go to school like a regular kid and how could she be so stupid.
So while they definitely aren’t presenting homeschooling as “normal” (and in the context of our society and the vast majority of kids attending school outside the home, homeschooling just plain isn’t “normal”), at least homeschooling isn’t always presented as dumb and the homeschooled kids as naive idiots anymore.