Today my children were all sent home early from school. Not because they had done anything wrong (phew!) but because of the weather. A snowstorm loomed and the school district issued early dismissal.
I squeezed all my chores into a two hour window, although my tennis workout had to be forfeited, and had big plans for my children’s early arrival from school. This is what I planned…
All homework was to be completed as soon as they got home. After that we would all take the dog for a long country walk(in the freezing cold). Arriving back at home we would bake cookies and then each child would complete half an hour of reading (not comicbooks but a proper intellectually stimulating novel or text book). Any children with outstanding school projects would dilligently work on them while I prepared dinner. We would then eat together as the dog snoozed and the fire roared.
This is what has happened so far…
My kids arrived home and proceeded to chase each other around the house, yelling and shrieking. Their laughter soon turned to tears as one or other of them took a tumble or bump.
My younger son retreated into his bedroom to play with his Lego. My older son, after incessantly tormenting his younger sister, hooked up with a buddy online, also released early from school, and began creating some new world where characters buy and sell coal while defending themselves from attack (or at least that’s what it looks like to me).
My daughter decided to have a long, and much needed, bath. Afterwards I attempted to style her hair with hair products, which didn’t go so well. After a bit of a disagreement on hairstyle options, my daughter settled down to watch something funny on TV. I made a cup of tea, in which I dipped two Oreos and listened to my daughter chortling.
Eventually I took the dog down to the garden and collected the eggs from my rather bedraggled looking chickens. When I came back my younger son greeted me in a cowboy hat, riding an imaginary horse.
I’ve yet to make dinner so there’s still hope that we may all sit round the table but it could get fraught later because as far as I know no-one has done any homework!
I used to get frustrated when things didn’t go as planned but you know at the end of the day, it’s been a nice afternoon and I’m happy to say I have, at this moment, three calm, contended children.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a happier parent when I stop lamenting how often things don’t go as planned and instead, happily, take things as they come…