Straddle Parenting

I am an anomaly, even in the microcosm of the homeschooling world. Day in, day out, I parent across the seasons. I do ortho visits and 6 month check ups. I buy bras and cloth diapers. I play Pat-A-Cake, Uncle Wiggily, Monopoly, and Chess. I count toes, find blankies, praise Lego creations, discuss Predestination, and wipe snotty noses. One foot in the Getting Ready to Launch You Into the Big World camp, one in the Oh, Please Don’t Put That Nasty Thing in Your Mouth group, spread over a whole range of Yes, You Have to Take a Shower and I’ll Read That Book to You One More Time and Then I Really Have to Do Some Dishes.

I Straddle Parent.

I whispered the term to myself a few years ago, googled it, and realized that no, it wasn’t something I had heard somewhere that had planted itself in the recesses of my brain. It was simply my head’s label for what my heart was doing: stretching itself over the framework of my duties as they needed to be portioned out.

Some days, it is exhausting. There are morning when waking up to Simon tugging on my hair after a late night talking over the delicacies of teen relationships feels surreal. There are days when I sit on the floor changing yet another dirty diaper and answering yet another question about Microbiology and think that if I hear another preschooler screaming the Veggie Tales theme song ever, ever again, my head will explode. There are moments when I do the math and total my anticipated total homeschool career (28years, people) and wonder how many times a person has to read Justin Morgan Had a Horse before they are legally insane.

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Advent intentions

Last year’s Advent season wasn’t exactly stellar. I mean, it was fine enough. Cookies were baked. The tree was trimmed. Merry was made.

And I had just about nothing to do with it.

Sure, I made the plans. I even nudged things into being by assembling our Advent schedule, putting together craft ideas, reminding Christopher to buy enough butter for the shortbread, and putting holds on our favorite Christmas movies.

But I was on bed rest. And really, there’s only so much jolly to be had while stretched flat on a couch. My memories of Christmas 2012 are all slightly sideways and from knee level. Incidentally, so are the photos.

This year, I was ready to go all out. I trolled pinterest in search of crafts to satisfy the teens and the tots alike. I checked local listings for fun freebies to round out our season. I plotted how to pile everyone in the van late one evening to ooh and ahh at light displays. I sent out invitations to our Open House party. All that was left was my favorite part: assembling a schedule of Scripture readings to explore this season as a family.

It was all coming together so beautifully. I may have even had a moment of insanity when I thought that for once, I was ahead of the game.

Cue the chaos.

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