Parenting From My Chair

This is a photo of one of the most intense, stressful, rewarding, useful, and busy times of my day:  HOMEWORK TIME!  
   At a full 36 weeks pregnant, and measuring a little ahead of schedule (as usual), I am now guilty of employing a new parenting strategy:  seeing just how much parenting I can do from the recliner in the living room.  It’s not that it’s hard to walk around.  I do okay.  It’s not that I’m in pain.  I only have pain when the baby jabs me really good or a random contraction hits.  The thing is I’m tired, just plain old tired.
  Taking my iron as prescribed goes a looooooong way in combating this tiredness, but see, that’s where we run into an old April problem.  I’m simply not the kind of person who remembers to take a pill THREE times/day.  On a really good day, I take one two times, but most days I only get around to taking one.  I think I really need all three now.  Perhaps I should start tying strings around my fingers.
  Chair Parenting Accomplishments for Today:
1.  Balanced my checkbook……it counts!
2.   Answered emails……also parenting related:  most of my emails relate to the social schedules of my children…..which reminds me.  My voicemail light is on on my cell phone……….. 
…..Confession:  I check my voicemail about once every 1-2 weeks.  I’m sorry.  I don’t like voicemail.  I also do not check facebook messages regularly.  You can bank on email though.   At least I am faithful there!
Best way to get in touch with me when I don’t answer my phone:  text message or email.   I usually have my computer with me when I’m in my chair…..but my phone……not so much.  I don’t even know where my cell phone is right now.  
3.  Forced Caleb to read to me for 5 minutes.
4.  Forced Joshua to read to my for 15 minutes.
5.  Tried to read one book to Daniel, but he kept closing the book.  I guess he just wasn’t in the reading mood.
   Homework time really can’t be done from the chair.  Joshua is really the only one with assigned homework, but since Caleb also needs some extra practice I always assign him homework as well.  Then Daniel joins in because he has to do everything his brothers do.  In the above photo, Daniel was coloring a clock Caleb had made at school.  Caleb had already finished his three assignments (the boy is FAST), and Joshua was working diligently.  As long as the t.v. is turned off, homework time is finished quite quickly.  I’m very fortunate that Joshua needs minimal help.
  The boys now only have three weeks of school left.  They get out of school the day before my c-section.
   Here’s a little progress report of where they are now:
Joshua, finishing 1st grade….
  — I have recently discovered a series of books about “Nate the Great” that are perfect for Joshua’s reading level.  The books are all clean, normal life books with no strange paranormal activity, as you find in many books written for young boys these days!!  Joshua feels that he can relate to Nate the Great because Nate loves pancakes as much as he does.  
   I also like that Joshua can read these easily, while also learning a new reading word or two.  Today’s new word was “recipe”.   I googled these books to see what reading level they are considered to be.  They are a 2nd grade reading level.  That makes sense, since Joshua is going into 2nd grade.
–Joshua still likes to leave his tennis shoes in the middle of the living room floor…..
–Joshua takes Daniel’s safety VERY seriously.  There was an incident this weekend where Caleb accidentally hurt Daniel.  Joshua felt that it might actually have been himself that hurt Dan.  It bothered him so much he ended up having a terrible nightmare about the whole ordeal and hanging out in our bed from about 3-4am that night.          …….which wasn’t so bad until Caleb also had a nightmare and ended up in our bed as well…   Alan was only able to stand about 5 minutes of that before he shooed them all back to their respective beds!
–Joshua has informed us that Daniel is actually not supposed to be playing with their Legos.  Then he read to me, from the box, where it says “not intended for children under 3 because it is a choking hazard.”  Oops.
–Joshua and Caleb are both hoping to play basketball next year, and they are very excited about that.
–Joshua still likes to talk about video games non-stop, but he doesn’t actually like to play video games that much.  Usually, when it’s Joshua’s turn, Caleb is begging for it to be his turn (on my tablet), and I’ll tell Caleb to wait 10 more minutes.  Then 2 minutes later I will look up and see Joshua jumping on the trampoline.       (This rule does not apply to Caleb.  I think he’s capable of spending 16 hours/day playing video games, if left to his own devices!)
–Joshua still mostly strikes out at baseball.  I don’t know if this is just because his hand/eye coordination hasn’t caught up with him, or if it’s b/c we were never very good at practicing with him.
–He has found his niche in running, though.  Sometimes they do races at baseball practice, and the longer the race, the more likely Joshua will win, and with a greater lead.  He’s definitely a good runner.
–finishing kindergarten
–He can read easy readers now.
–Caleb gets discouraged and tries to quit faster than anyone I’ve ever seen when it comes to reading and writing.  This is so crazy to me b/c he’s just the opposite when it comes to video games.  With those, he has this insane level of focus, and he never gets mad at a game b/c it’s hard or quits b/c he can’t win.  If only we could carry that over to school work!!!
–Caleb makes friends faster and easier than anyone I’ve ever seen.  Everywhere we go, he makes friends.  He doesn’t care how old or young a child is, whether they are male or female, ugly or cute, if they want to play, they are in.  Now that’s a skill that could take him far in life!
–Caleb felt bad for Joshua, since he didn’t have any money, so he bought Joshua a very nice Lego Chima set with his own money, just to make Joshua happy.  He said to Joshua it was, “because your my best brother.”  $35! 
 Now neither of them have any money.
–Caleb is still the source of SO MANY hilarious quotes.  Last week at the park Caleb told me, “I like to make the big boys chase me by calling them ‘stupid head’!”  …….I was floored!  I told him next time to just ask the big boys to chase him.  That way perhaps they would just chase him, rather than chase him and then hit him…What am I going to do with that boy!?
–Caleb still follows Joshua around devotedly.  He was doing that at the pool Monday, and Joshua came to me and filed a complaint.  I said, “Caleb!  Joshua doesn’t want you to follow him right now!  Go follow Zoe–but only until she tells you not to or hits you.”  (No, Zoe has never hit him.  But if he follows her enough, I figured she might….)
   A few minutes later, Hans (Bailey’s dad) said, “I think Caleb likes this little red-head (Zoe).”  Then he said, “Well, you know what they say, boys either marry their mother or their anti-mother.”  Ha!
   The good news is that she let him follow her, anyway!
–There’s a kid at the park, where the boys play after school, that is running a “fossil school.”  Wiley is a few years older than my boys, so he leads all the K-2nd graders around, teaching them things about plants and rocks.  It’s really quite cute.  Caleb says that he’s the “fossil school line leader.”  This is something the boys have rather enjoyed and looked forward to.   
   Today, after fossil school, one of Caleb’s friends came to complain to me that my boys had been “drinking juice from honeysuckles because Wiley told them to.”  His mom wasn’t too happy about this.
   I assured the boy it was okay.  I grew up drinking lots of juice out of honeysuckles myself!  Or did I just smell them?  I don’t remember, but I’m not too worried about it anyhow.
I’m pretty sure my few childhood years (ages 5-7) in rural Alabama, running freely through a peanut field behind our house, would rather shock some of my more cultured friends….
  It’s official:  the boy finally talks.  He will repeat anything he feels like repeating.
His favorite phrases:
–“It hard.”  (when told to do something he doesn’t want to do or when needing help)
–Mama,  Daddy  (when he needs anything)
–Outside?  Outside?  Outside?
–Whoo whoo whoo whoo  (I have a dirty diaper.)
–“Ball.  I want a ball.”
–“TV?  TV?”
–“Car!  Car!”  (every time I go to put him in the stroller to pick up Joshua and Caleb….Dan prefers to take the van).
He can really say anything, but those are the things he says most often.  Don’t expect much if you don’t live in our house, though.  He mostly only talks to us, for some reason.  He’s not really shy, but in public he’s a lot quieter.  
–We fell behind on potty training b/c we are not home more than a couple hours at a time.  I need to camp out here for a week and really finish the job!
–Best napper ever.  Now that’s a gift!
–He still bullies Caleb a lot.  He LOVES Caleb, but he’s not always nice to him.  Joshua and Caleb have always shared my chair (the recliner).  Daniel only shares it with adults.  No brothers allowed in the chair with him.  Joshua never sits down, so I’m not sure how he’d handle Joshua.  He will see us call Caleb to go do a chore, steal the chair, and then scold, hit, and try to push Caleb out of the chair when Caleb returns.  
–Sharing is going to be a big problem for Dan when he starts preschool in the fall, I’m afraid!
Psalm 127:3-5  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


  • Anonymous

    I guess I can confirm that you did drink juice from honeysuckles, like every other kid I ever knew. I really enjoy reading about all that the kids are doing. Nana

  • Anonymous

    Poor Alan…he really missed out on the good feeling he could've had from buying me things with his saved up funds…

    I always love the posts where you give a few notes about each boy specifically, and this one did not disappoint!


  • Anonymous

    Remember when Caleb was bullying Joshua because naturally Joshua had been taught to not hit or hurt the baby, than Caleb got big enough to take advantage of that. I don't remember what you told Joshua about taking up for himself but it worked. I bet it is time for Caleb to get that same advice. Loved the post about each of the boys. Maybe put iron pills in kitchen and take one at each meal. That is how David remembers his. Keep the great pets coming. Love, Nonna

  • Anonymous

    Correction, I meant to say, “Keep the great posts coming. Love, Nonna”

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