The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Homeschool Edition)


Jamie over at Simple Homeschool asked for readers to document their homeschool days this week. Below you will find an actual account of our day Tuesday. Times are approximate. Events are accurate. (If you would like to see what “normal” looks like, see this post and this post.)

11 February 2014

5:45 am Alarm goes off.

6:00 am Start coffee. Do eurythmy by candlelight.

6:15 am Turn on lights. See note from husband, “Vet 3:30. Bring poop.” Think of heading back to bed.

6:30 am Have coffee and blog by candlelight.

7:00 am First child up. Grunts morning greeting. Has slight panic that NOAA radio is not coming in clearly. Informs me of impending snowstorm and importance of hourly weather updates.

7:15 am Wake up husband and dog. Hear continued radio static from downstairs.

7:30 Second child up. Sweetly greets me with “Good morning, Mom.” Husband and dog stumble downstairs.

7:45 am Serve delicious whole grain breakfast to self and first child. Second child asks for a plain bagel leftover from the grandparents. Husband finds sausage and French toast in the back of the fridge. Dog eats dog food. Scrounges for crumbs.

8:00 am Take shower. Get dressed. Brush hair. Brush teeth. Moisturize. Moisturize again for good measure. Feeling pretty good.

8:30 am Mix bread to rise. Assess refrigerator for lunch and dinner options. All seems well.

9:00 am See husband out the door. Reminds me of vet appointment and poop sample.

9:30 am Rouse boys to stop playing Legos, get dressed and ready for school.

9:45 am Continue rousing. Louder this time.

10:00 am Give bi-weekly speech about expectations, attitude and responsibility. Put bread to bake.

10:30 am Enter schoolroom to find second child on the floor moaning, “What do I have to do? How long will it take? I’m so tired.” Give him 5 minutes to “Get it together.” Hide in kitchen. Starving! Grab a hunk of cheese and a few crackers. Come back and start lesson with multiplication tables and bean bags. Second child can barely throw hard enough to reach me. First child interrupts, “Mom, where’s your phone so I can time my quarter-mile run?” Dog throws up.

10:45 am Take bread out of oven. Admire crunchy crust. Inhale yeasty aroma. Pat self on back. Continue lesson summarizing Br’er Rabbit tale. Plot out drawings for reader. Second child can barely contribute to lesson. “I’m just so tired.”

11:00 am Second child dismissed. Proceeds to bound up the stairs and shoot 651 consecutive baskets in Nerf basketball hoop. Dog throws up again. Contemplate the statistical probability of dog vomiting exclusively on rugs, when 90% of floors are hardwood.

11:15 am Text BFF: “Remind me again why I homeschool?” Copy, paste and text the same to husband.

11:30 am Starving! Mix up protein powder/chai seed shake. Wonder who invented such things. Wonder why I drink such things.

11:35 am Start main lesson with first child. Sail through eurythmy, cursive practice, report writing. Complete section of business math. Remember why I homeschool. Dog throws up again. Think of vet appointment and wonder, “How much is that going to cost me?”

1:00 pm Second child asks, “Mom, can you buy me a sombrero?” Try very, very hard not to roll eyes. Text brother in San Diego: “Nephew wants sombrero. I want tequila. Send mine first.”

1:15 pm Go in kitchen to start lunch. Glance at table to see detritus of energy bars, potato chips and remnants of freshly baked loaf of bread hacked to bits. Breathe deeply. Make lunch.

1:30 pm Serve lunch. Inquire about bread. “We needed a snack.”

1:50 pm Take dog for a walk. Procure poop sample.

2:00 pm Read two chapters in Anne of the Island for afternoon storytime. Wonder if the Anne/Gilbert storyline is lost on the boys. Decide I don’t care.

2:45 pm Starving! Eat bowl of soup and broccoli from last night.

3:30 pm Arrive at vet with dog and poop sample. Dog pees on floor of exam room. Vet comes in just in time to catch me mopping it up. Asks questions and permission to “check some things.” Wonder for the second time, “How much is that going to cost me?” Multiple attempts to draw blood (from the dog and the vet). Make small talk about whipworm, urinary tract infections, food sensitivities and the impending snowstorm.

4:15 pm Get my answer: $289. Leave with special non puke-inducing food, doggie antibiotic and an appointment for canine dental extraction in 7 days.

4:30 pm Come Home. Make delicious cup of chai. Check email. Boy Scout meeting cancelled due to impending storm. Dog sleeping in little doggy circle. Boys quietly playing upstairs. Think about dinner.

5:30 pm Husband calls to say he’s on his way home. Tell him about the vet bill. Mutters something about whose idea it was to get the dog in the first place.

6:15 pm Blessedly uneventful dinner. Extra glass of wine afterward with husband. Makes me promise we will never, ever get another dog. Admits he has always preferred cats. Feed dog new food and first antibiotic capsule. Both go down (and stay down) easily.

7:30 pm First child puts together emergency preparedness kit for likely power outage due to impending snowstorm. Asks if it is a true emergency, would it be possible to eat new dog food since it is made solely from salmon and potatoes. Reassure him this won’t be necessary. Secretly think husband would eat the dog first.

7:45 pm Husband gets kerosene heater out of shed and begins to read assembly instructions. Decides power outage to be highly unlikely. Gets boys ready for bed instead.

8:00 pm First child checks NOAA weather one last time. 4 – 8 inches of snow predicted. 100% probability. Fills pots with water.

8:15 pm Boys in bed. First flakes begin to fall.

9:00 pm Crawl in bed myself. Don’t bother to set alarm.

29 thoughts on “The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Homeschool Edition)

  1. Sheila, I swear you are one of most hilarious people I know. Thanks for sharing this. Makes me feel A LOT better about myself…and my impending possible several snow days with my public-school-educated child at home. Sigh. :) Andrea O

    • When I went to the vet, I said something about the boys driving me nuts. (They stay in the car as they are too chicken to come inside!) He said “You know they are canceling school tomorrow too.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I homeschooled.

      I think you guys might get it worse than us. At least that’s what NOAA weather is saying.

      • My challenge with snow days is the fact that even though I don’t homeschool, I work from home. So there is no such thing as “I can’t get in to the office, therefore I can’t work” excuse. So I’m at home working, with a kid who is either bouncing off the ceiling because it might/did snow OR one who is bored and lonely so will you please play with me OR a craft-inspired kid who is destroying our house with her latest project.

        Fingers crossed that we at least don’t get hammered with ice. Stay warm up there in the hills!

  2. You are hilarious! No one could make this stuff up. Why do dogs always vomit on the rugs? But really, these crazy winter storms pull our attention and absorb our energy, I’m convinced. I’m off to make my morning green drink! I’ll probably be starving and foraging for crackers or chips before lunch! Hope you don’t lose power and that you have fun in the snow!!!

    • Storm is still mostly south of us. The good thing is, temps will be warm tomorrow and then really warm the rest of the week. We’ll be fine.

      Siobhan said they are expecting a foot of ice and snow. And they just got their power back from the last storm. Crazy, crazy winter.

      • Loved this funny, funny post. Eurythmy by candlelight sounds way cool. In the Philadelphia area, this is apparently our ninth storm this winter. One daughter got out a ruler to measure 15 inches of snow (with drifts) in our backyard. But I am very grateful to have the comfort of heat, electricity, phones, and internet.

        Hope you are cozy and comfortable “down South!”

  3. I so needed to hear this. Minus the dog throwing up, this scenario happens regularly (weekly?) in my house. Boys, who come to the table without a backbone and holding up their weary heads, are miraculously recovered by the time they cross the thresholds into their rooms. Then they play contact nerf basketball, Lately, they’ve enjoyed “snow smackdown” – a game that I can’t quite relate to (“you mean that it is fun to have your brother pummel you into that frozen wall of snow?”). Yikes, this has been a long winter! Now that I know what happens with you, I may start texting you my Calgon plea! XOXO!

  4. Sheila,
    All I can say is that I LOVED this…I was wondering if you would get out of bed this morning, but it looks like you did:) I am getting the urge to tear apart a freshly baked loaf of bread!

  5. Ha! Will you hate me forever if I say reading about your bad day kind of made my morning? ;) I love your emergency tequila text, and I relate deeply to your experience with an exploding, leaky pet. Also, tell your husband: cats are not cheaper. Either are chickens ;) I hope today is much, much easier!!

  6. Oh Sheila,
    I can just picture you jotting down your day yesterday–from your beautifully candlelit morning eurythmy to that extra glass of wine…Your stories are so alive and funny! You and all other homeschooling Moms ROCK. I used to think that being a Mom was the hardest job in the world but I’ve just changed it. “Homeschooling” Moms have the hardest job in the world! Thanks for sharing your day. Aloha, Lori

    • I don’t know if that’s true. I think you pick your poison, so to speak. I always think a lot of my friends who don’t homeschool do way more work than I do. Between driving, volunteering in the classroom and the homework – oh the homework!

      None of us has a cakewalk and I think appreciating that makes a huge difference.

  7. Having a similar day. My favorite part is the hacked up bread. Why only to the beautiful loaves? Caught an 8 year old disemboweling one the other day. Egads. Hang in there! February is short(ish)!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Heather I wrote a different post for the Simple Homeschool link up – just kinda outlining our day and then when everything started going south yesterday, I was like “This is what I need to talk about!” Everyone has days like that and it is good to let it out (it was a lot of fun to write) and also not always be sunshine and roses. I am revising my blog and I keep coming back to the word “real”. Still refining some things, but it is getting clearer and clearer.

      Hope you are having a good day where you are.

  8. LOL! There must have been something going on on Tuesday because we also had “one of those days” here too. Mine involved a vomiting cat, who managed to vomit over a pile of freshly laundered slipcovers which I hadn’t yet found time to put back on the armchair…..; a new laundry detergent which caused suds overload coming out my machine; the discovery of yet another outbreak of fleas; the very same lecture about expectations, taking responsibility and time management; a tired, complaining, negotiating child (why can’t we just get on with it???); the discovery that the dishwasher was on the blink and everything needed to be re-washed by hand…….oh the list goes on. I enjoyed my glass of wine (or two). C’est la vie! Cathy

  9. I got a chuckle from the NOAA checking. That happens here, too. And my day starts similarly to yours, although I love the gentleness of candle light. I might have to borrow that!

  10. Hi Sheila,
    I loveeeee your posts. Wanted you to know you are keeping this grandma sane. I am so tired of snow and ice and cannot wait for spring. Best to the hubby and boys.

  11. Great post! “Mix up protein powder/chai seed shake. Wonder who invented such things. Wonder why I drink such things.” – I can totally relate to this, lol. :-)

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