The Mud-Don’t-Scare-Me Mom Tribe

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My youngest son is 21 months old and is able to find a mud puddle in a dry park the same way I’m able to find a Starbucks in a new mall. Today was no exception, but instead of throwing my day into chaos, the mudpocolyps was managed with humor, a garden hose and the help of two great ladies.

Since moving nine months ago I’ve been trying to find like-minded moms of children the same general age and temperament of my boys. This proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated, but after joining countless area mom groups and trolling the neighborhood parks I am finally beginning to feel like I’m finding my niche. I’ve been meeting up with a couple of moms regularly for a few months now and today it was clear that we are all part of the same tribe- the mud-don’t-scare-me tribe. Finding your Mom Tribe is kind of a big deal-especially when your children are covered in mud at a park.

So, when my curly headed cutie began to splash in the mud with the joy and thoroughness of a hippopotamus at a safari day spa, these ladies didn’t cast me an “I can not believe she’s letting him do that” look.  Instead, they laughed along with me. Then when my 3 year old became so engrossed in play with their children that he had a potty accident I felt no fear of judgement when I sighed and said to him, “alright, take off your pants and join your brother if you want.”

This moment was the toddler exemplification of the phrase “in for a penny, in for a pound.”

While I was overseeing this bacchanal of mud, one of the moms found a garden hose and the other mom found the spicket. It is this kind of practical, judgement free, and resourceful problem solving that defines members of the mud-don’t-scare-me tribe.

Within 10 minutes both boys where hosed down and I was more than ready to fasten them securely in our mud puddle free car. While I was driving my half naked boys home I was grateful that instead of crying from the stress of the seemingly impossible task of managing them I was laughing at the memory of their gleefully mud-spattered faces and counting my lucky stars that there are other moms out there who aren’t afraid of a little mud.

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Morning 33: Eight Things I Hope Will Revitalize and Improve Our Homeschool This Labor Day Weekend

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1. Re-declutter.
This includes removing the crazy excess of stuffed “schoolmates”-seriously it took ten minutes to get class started today because we had to sing the hello for each of them.

2. Re-tape posters.
The mighty Patrick went on a tearing rampage today- nough said.

3. Create new learning areas.
The number of the day has been such a success I’m planning on making a word of the day/week (high frequency word) and/or maybe a dygraph sound of the week/day.

4. Establish new routines.
I want to work in a couple of more songs and possibly a theme of the week.

6. Find something meaningful for little brother.
The difficulty this is if the thing/activity is cool enough to engage Patrick it’s also cool enough to distract Maxwell.

7. Edit and update book selection.
We have way too many books and they’re not thematic or seasonal.

8. Figure out how to get coffee in my body BEFORE homeschool begins.
Maybe the biggest issue of – I’m not able to get them dressed, feed them/myself, do homeschool, and finally pour a cuppa joe until close to 10am.

When Little Brothers Attack

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Twenty-two months is the difference in age between a child who wants to play with toys and one who wants to eat them.

I’m really struggling right now to keep the peace and the integrity of our lessons with an increasingly “involved” 19 month old. When we started our hour a day homeschool less than a month ago Patrick was perfectly happy to wonder the play room and check into our activities when we were singing our making animal noises. I’m excited that he wants to be more engaged now, but ripping color labels of the wall and literally throwing today’s color activity in the trash is very upsetting to big brother and not the least bit distressing to me.

So far I’ve explained to Maxwell that we have to teach Patrick to be a big boy like him and that we’ll do our special Patrick free activities during baby brother’s nap. This works insofar as Maxwell will now yell instructions and remonstrations at his brother instead of just crying, but I haven’t been able to follow through on nap time special lessons because Patrick has been napping less and less.

I don’t have a solution to this problem yet, but will continue to try to encourage them both and minimize the damage.

Suggestions welcome.