Tuesday, February 21, 2017


1) Abigail had some trouble turning in an assignment today; the link where she needed to upload her paper was broken. She wrote an email to her teacher about the issue and attached her paper, and I was just sort of in awe of the fact that she was so confident and knew exactly what to do and was so pro-active about it (the assignment isn't due for another week, but she gets extra credit if she turns it in early). Middle school has been pretty nerve-wracking for me in terms of stepping back and having less and less interaction with her teachers and letting her take charge, but I am so darn proud of how well she is doing and how hard she is working.  My grandmother gave her a 2017 calendar and without any prompting or suggestion from me, she hung it above her bed and wrote down all of her due dates for major assignments, extra credit opportunities, music lessons, etc., and she checks everything off as she does it. Pretty darn amazing to watch your kids functioning as little mini-adults without your interference.

2) Isaac was my dinner helper tonight and he was so proud of the dinner he made (pasta primavera w/ homemade alfredo sauce with red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, onions, and tomatoes). He does not like either the peppers or the tomatoes, but he ate them without any fuss tonight because he made dinner, darn it! I love how these types of jobs help my kids take ownership (you better believe all of my kids clear and wash their own plates after meals, because the kid responsible for clearing the table and the child responsible for dishes will get after them if they don't and then it just ends up becoming a habit! Hah!)

3) Neil and I have a saying, "Never let a movie go unearned," which is why I bought off enough quiet to nurse Matthew down and put him to bed without Nathan/Luke interfering (Neil took the older kids to piano) by telling the little boys that if they cleaned up and vacuumed the living room and library they could watch "The Gruffalo" (which is one of their favorite books and the short film is absolutely enchanting). This is especially impressive because they had been playing with Nathan's construction wheat tub and there was wheat EVERYWHERE. But it was immaculate by the time they were done, and then I was able to feed Matthew in peace (super important because he is at the stage where if he gets interrupted even once by a loud noise anywhere else in the house, he won't start eating again, and that is not what I want when I'm trying to tank him up before bedtime).

4) Over the weekend, the department IT guy managed to crash all the servers, and I was super worried that--as happened once in the past--I would have to rebuild my website from scratch. But I woke up this morning to a functioning website--hurray!

5) I've been rereading some French parenting books lately. Today I tried out a few of the techniques on Nathan and they worked surprisingly well. This is a very good thing. (I spoke with confidence! I outlined a firm boundary! And I gave him the big "owl eyes" and stared him down! Now where's my pain au chocolat?)

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