Patrick has just bought a new Nintendo DS with the money he has saved over the summer! He's very happy with it. I don't know why he wanted this, though, since he already has a Wii. These video games are very important to him. Things like new clothes, other toys and etc. are not significant right now. He works about eight hours a day watching baby J or helping me with small chores like vacuuming or lifting laundry. He'll be paid $150 total for this, of which he's received $30 last week.
I have tried to start caring for S during the day for most hours and am hoping to find an easy transition for J when Patrick isn't his personal entertainment committee any more. It will be hard for him, though.
We'll be homeschooling as well, and S will be crawling soon. I am not "borrowing my troubles," but I do believe it will be a difficult year in terms of keeping the house neat, the children all safe and fed, and the homeschooling finished. I'm hoping for "quality" homeschooling, too, not me shouting math problems over the toddler screaming that he wants something (like my pencil that he can't have), and doing an angry dance while generally being a distraction.
Have you noticed that those parenting magazines and other sources of "wisdom" simply advocate that you get this or that done during the child's nap? Um, J sleeps for one hour from the time he shuts his eyes to the time you'd BETTER wake him up or else. All the vacuuming? Oh, you can get that done in an hour, right? Homeschooling? That can "just" be done while the baby sleeps. Shower? You do have a whole hour, you know. Relaxing time for yourself? Fit that in, too.
I find those parenting magazines more funny than anything. Usually they feature a stick-thin lady with perfect highlights and largeish breasts holding a baby and sitting near a toddler. The article marvels that she cares for not one but TWO small children during the day and still has time for applying mocha-berry fo fanna lip gloss, available at SnootyPalace.com for only $85. And her tip for other new moms? "I try to get a little exercise in every day and eat only organic food grown by Pygmies in the South Sahara. It's just the socially responsible thing to do."
OK, I just checked to make sure that there is no SnootyPalace.com before I published. The web browser was oh-so-helpful and wanted to know, since they couldn't find it, did I mean the "booty palace dot com?" No, I didn't click it, but I did briefly wonder what the Queen looks like and how she holds court. Bleck.
In other news, I've been hitting the back-to-school sales even though four of my children really aren't going back-to-school. Good stuff, though. And I was compelled to purchase sneakers for Patrick in size 13 because the 12's he had didn't fit anymore. Well, they fit if "footbinding" is the goal. His toes were all scrunched in the front. I was pretty scared for a bit because he tried on a pair of 13's that were TOO TIGHT and I thought that is not a good thing. Can you imagine shopping with a picky *teen* shopper for 14's in the local mens' department? I could, briefly, and it was not a fun imagining. Thankfully we learned the magic of "try a different brand if the first doesn't fit" and I was able to escape with only a $64 singeing.
I also bought him two BRAND NEW pairs of pants from LL Bean, purposely in too-long size. He loves them. He probably will have a hard time wearing thrift store pants again. He likes pants that are all the SAME colour with no holes or wear marks on them. He's particular and would probably have fared well in the era when boys tucked in their shirts and ironed their jeans.
G is still off at his aunt's place. I imagine he'll need a haircut, a deep scrubbing and a couple of new pairs of pants as well. Last time my children were at their aunt's, they came home wonderfully tired and refreshed, but their fingernails! You know, the first time I saw Lord of the Rings on video, I was relieved that someone else had fingernails as grubby as those boys' the day they returned home.