February is the month when our longing for spring becomes palpable. Like Gregory said, “Just thinking about spring coming in one month makes me all shivery.” 🙂
I spent most of the night attending to the needs of a sick little girl. This is the first throwing-up sickness for all seven of us, all winter! I guess she decided to make up for lost time, because I lost count after 9 times of cleaning out the bucket and comforting the sick one. It became a sort of hazy routine: Mama, please may I have some water? Against better judgment, Mama has mercy. Sip, sip. Mama falls asleep. Olivia starts making those noises and scrabbles madly for the bucket. Mama drags off the couch and does what needs to be done.
School is plodding along. I find myself
bribing using all sorts of incentives to keep the ball rolling. I would feel guilty, except I distinctly remember using all sorts of things to prod my [bricksandmortar] students along pleasantly when we hit February. We are now the proud caretakers of an elderly encyclopedia set, which really pleases my trivia loving Greg. “These books are for getting information, not picture books,” he importantly informed his little sisters. I am constantly amused at the flights of fancy that trail out of the right side of his brain. How can someone give you ten random facts about the electric eels he drew, yet ask, “Is before after?” I thought he was joking and started laughing, but he was aggrieved. “If you thought like I do, you would know what I mean.” Ah, yes, that is the thing.
I think about my second grade self, trying to explain to an exceedingly busy teacher why it was that all my subtraction problems were wrong by one digit. I had some complicated reason, which she just didn’t get, so she brought me an abacus to help me out. I remember how insulted I was, and I try to afford my little boy the dignity of at least listening to his case as to why it is confusing that Monday comes after Sunday because he can’t remember the difference between after and before. I would be quite open to suggestions as to how to clear up the confusion. This also explains the recurring problem with prefixes and suffixes. I thought I was so very clear about where they are applied to the root word. I made charts. I illustrated! I told him over and over that “pre” is like “preschool”. You do it before you go to school. But now I understand that his frustration went a little deeper to the whole after/before issue. If you see us playing Follow the Leader around and around the back yard, chalk it up to learning!
Addy is delighting us with her growing language skills. She just hit the repeating stage, which gives the older children lots of amusement when they ask her to say long, funny words. She has chosen our large, illustrated dictionary as her favorite book. It is quite hilarious to see her hefting it onto her lap and paging through with such an important expression. I think it makes her feel big, like she is catching up with the rest of the crew. When you are fifth in line, catching up seems to be really important. She reminds us of Petunia, the silly goose, who carried a book around under her wing to make her wise.
Well, it is lunchtime. We have three kinds of soup left over in the fridge. Long live soup!