Monday, March 15, 2010
Cruise Question: How do you do it all?
That's a funny question to be answering during March Break, when I'm not actually spending the days reading to people and teaching math. I don't feel like my life is that exceptionally overloaded. I don't have chamberpots to empty or beetles dropping from the kitchen ceiling (I was reading a book about Victorian housekeeping on the weekend). I'm not trying to run an accounting firm from the kitchen. I'm not trying to juggle hockey practices and hospital trips, or take care of sheep that are about to deliver. I'm not in the last throes of trying to get the entire homeschool conference together (I just have to do one workshop). Our furnace is working, our ceiling is solid, and everybody's pretty healthy. Compared to some real-life heroes I know, I feel like a lot of my to do list is pretty routine and minimal these days, so it makes me a bit embarrassed when other people think I get a lot done.
Except that this week I have to cram for a driver's license exam (long story), get ready for the workshop (much more interesting than studying road signs, but it does involve re-reading at least one of CM's books and some of Cindy Rollins' posts on education as leisure--how ironic is that?), start the whole laundry process again (I thought I got to the bottom of that on Saturday), keep everybody fed and happy while they're bouncing around out of routine, clean up a couple of rooms that look like Smaug's cave, organize social events involving schooled friends who also have the week off, go on a grocery trip that we skipped on Saturday due to winds that could slide you right across the parking lot, re-organize the homeschool group's library stuff and track down some overdues, and spend time with Mr. Fixit who's also taking some days off. And read Terrible Lizard. And do some other stuff that has crept up. (AWW, you're saying--okay, I know that to some of you that does sound like a holiday. Don't compare, ok?)
Well, there's always Wally Fuel.
Other people have answered this question with a response like this: "I don't." And that, more or less, is the truth here too. Part of the reason is that Mr. Fixit just likes to clean things, and often recruits one or more of the Squirrelings to help get the living room vacuumed or the car washed; like Warton and Morton, we divide things up. Or things just stay dusty for awhile. Mama Squirrel is somewhat nearsighted.
Another reason is that we mostly stay home during the week (at least during the day). The third reason is that we have so many little helpers like (as the Deputy Headmistress refers to them) Mr. Crockpot and Mrs. Washing Machine, who mostly just need to get fed but do their work on their own (no dishwasher, though, there's no room for one in this kitchen); and we don't have anybody (at the minute) who needs to be diapered, toileted, or otherwise watched to make sure they don't eat the drain cleaner or otherwise decapitate somebody. (Were you going to say something, Marsha?) The kids pick out their own clothes in the morning and at least get them as far as the hamper at night. They are all very good about helping when it's needed, and even redecorating the mantelpiece. And I'm not just saying that in case they read this. (I also read Organized KidZ with them a couple of years ago.)
If there's a fourth reason, it's probably that we only get a few TV channels.
If there's a fifth reason...it's that I mostly like what I'm doing, most of the time, and I want to do it, so it gets done (except for the laundry).
That's how I do it.