Last week we managed to only miss one day of school in preparing for the Oktoberfest. In all honesty, had there been no Oktoberfest, there probably still wouldn't have been school, since Bill had Friday off and we might have done something together.
So today is Thursday. If Tuesday being Thursday confuses you, realize that it confuses me even more! Two school years ago, I numbered all the days in the curriculum because I would get really upset if we did Tuesday's work on Wednesday. So, instead of today being Thursday of Week 4, it is Day 19. The curriculum still lists it as Thursday, and Friday, regardless of what day of the week it falls, is still a very light work day which I eagerly anticipate tomorrow.
Yesterday was a pretty good school day. We stopped everything in the late morning to go to the library. Everyone behaved themselves, and Katie, much to her delight, got her own library card. And the fine for the really late Signing Time video rental was only 90 cents. Thanks to Nutmeg for cluing me in to those videos. The kids love them...but the one week library rental kills me.
We came home and had lunch, the baby took his nap, and the boys and I finished their schoolwork (Katie having been done for hours). They worked hard and got it done without too much of a fight. Then the boys went outside to play in the backyard under a big blue sky with puffy clouds and the warm sun. Katie asked me to read her a book. I set the timer for 15 minutes and told her when it went off I would. She joined her brothers for play instead of throwing a fit, as per usual when anyone asks her to defer her desires for longer than half a second. Jenny amused herself with the puzzles while I worked on cleaning the kitchen and the rest of the house. When the timer went off, I called Katie in and read to the two girls. Then they both joined their brothers in the yard where they played for the next two hours.
The phone didn't ring. The doorbell didn't chime. The TV was off. The kids played happily together, for the most part. I had to step in once or twice to calm a dispute. I was aware that they were misbehaving, but since they were cooperating in their mischief, I let it go.
At one point, Fritz suggested that they all pretend they were drunk. I don't know where they get this. I was unaware of any drunkenness at our Oktoberfest, I swear it. There is a cooler in the yard that we used for soda, juice and water. The kids were helping themselves to the leftover soda, which is normally not consumed by those under 30 in this house, and pretended it was beer. For the record, Bill would never permit canned beer on our premises. He is just that much of a beer snob.
After Pete woke up, I took him outside and realized that there was soda all over the swings and bees were beginning to gather around. I feigned righteous indignation and commanded Fritz get the hose and clean the swingset. I removed Pete to the house for safety, and then ignored the shenanigans that I knew would occur on a pleasant day when an 8 year old is given permission to wield the ultimate water gun. Ten minutes later, they were all soaked and shivering, and I reminded Fritz that he was supposed to wash the swingset before I went for towels.
With the water supply dried up, I allowed Pete to return to the yard and all the kids continued to enjoy their free time. Billy and Katie were playing some pretend game and I heard Billy say, "We're not married." To this, Katie responded, "We're just friends, right?" Again, I do not know where they get this.
In the meantime, I made a huge dent in the chaos that is the reminder of our bash. Pete, who really can't be taken any where any more, is proving that he also can not be left any where any more. He pushes the kitchen chairs around and helps himself to whatever he wants. I had been feeding him fruit salad. He wanted more. I wasn't in the room. He climbed up and got the big Tupperware container off the counter and took it outside. I am amazed that he didn't spill any of it. I found him in the yard reaching in and grabbing fistfuls of blueberries. He had added a few blades of grass, but the salad was unharmed.
By 5 pm, the kids had started to get a bit argumentative, and I had to remind myself to be thankful for the hours of happy play and to not get upset with a few minutes of bickering. Would that all afternoons be passed so nicely.