There comes a time in home schooling where mothers are so full of joy at the freedom this method of educating one's children offers that it's way too easy to overschedule the kids in an attempt to fit in every single activity the world has to offer. Unfortunately for me, that time has never really left and I am still all twitchy and weird about this and inclined to try to register the girls for workshops on textiles in the United States (where they would have the opportunity to weave their own cloth and make a dress) and tours of every historical marker in Marion County.
I say "try to register" because, as the girls have gotten older, they've become much more savvy about my sneaky ways of getting them signed up for things before they know I've done it.
"Mom," says Meelyn, tapping her foot on the floor, arms crossed. "I see that you have registered Aisling and me for a aqua kickboxing class at the Y that meets at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, November through January."
My eyes shoot guiltily around the room. "Uh....uh....uh....I have no knowledge of that event."
Meelyn puts her hands on her hips. "Mother, DO NOT PAY THAT FEE. There is no way we're going to be want to get up that early and get in the water when it is freezing cold outside."
Grumpily, I say, "Well, fine. But you're going to wish later that you'd learned to kickbox in the water! Someday someone might be swimming around under the water wearing goggles and you'll think, 'Gee, I wish I'd taken that class so that I could make that prevert stop looking at my rear end, but you won't be able...."
"Mom," she says, "I am perfectly capable of stopping someone from looking at me under water. Without taking an aqua kickboxing class IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. In the WINTER."
"Well then," I say, brightening up, "how's about taking a biology workshop where you'll dissect earthworms, cow's eyeballs, frogs and fetal pigs? It meets just after lunch at the public library in Oaklandon..."
But then I find I'm speaking to an empty room.
Anyway, I say all this because I am very sad, but we're not going to be able to do 4-H this year. I should have had the girls start their projects about a year ago, like, the second last year's fair ended, but I didn't and this summer thus far has been crowded with family activities including Kieren, Dayden, Carol and Susie, and I wouldn't subtract a single second from any of those. But driver's ed and CousinFest did detract from the time they could have been using to get their projects completed, so they lost some time there, even though none of us can bring ourselves to regret it. Plus, Mee is starting her new job. Plus, the girls will be gone to Florida with Nanny, Poppy, Pat, Angie and the kids during the entirety of the 4-H Fair this year.
So no 4-H in 2009, in spite of the fact that it is one my my favorite, favorite activities for them to do. Sad, but you just can't do it all. I know. I've tried. And all it does is stress everyone out and make them mad at me. I have learned this from painful experience.
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