Thursday, August 14, 2008

Domestic Life

Now that "real life" schedules have started and we're starting to see what ^J^'s schedule will be like during school, I'm getting used to this home-maker/house-wife/stay-at-home-mom thing and liking it. I've been working part-time and going to school for the past few years and although it seems I would have had time to become "domestic", I really haven't. Plus, a change of scenery has really helped. As much as I loved our old house, I always thought it was too small for us and I love being able to spread out and take care of things properly (even if that means (H) is still surrounded by boxes as he sleeps). Today the kids and I just took it easy and organized their toys. We took everything out of where it's lived in chaos and put it all back (except for the 20 or so dolls/animals in *A*'s bed right now while she's napping) in organized baskets, bins, etc. ^J^ does not see the value of this, but I try and appeal to his Montessori-trained mind. When he cleans up toys, he puts(throws) them where ever there is space which means the books and markers and legos and doll clothes may all go into the same basket. This is how I found everything today because approaching our move we really didn't care how things were organized as long as the house was showable. The toy box (which I do not like on principle because it becomes a bottomless pit) was overflowing with toys of all types so we took it all out, and now it's the home of all stuffed animals which seems much more manageable.
All this to say that I had a really good day working and playing with the children. Admittedly, some days at home are a chore and you have to find excuses to leave the house, but today we all played nice and I was able to do laundry and straighten in between organizing toys. After all that, *A* helped me load the dishwasher. It was classic Montessori practical life, except it was just life. She scrubbed and rinsed the dishes and then set them on the counter for me to put in. Her new favorite "practical life" activity is "Doing the Ice". We don't have a water line hooked up for our ice maker so we have trays and she loves cracking the tray, dumping the ice and then refilling the trays. She would do this all morning but we only have 4 trays so it's a short activity. I am feeling more confident about homeschooling them while we are here. If we can just stay civil and sane towards each other during the morning hours, we can do lessons and learn just from what needs to be done around the house everyday.

Like feeding the pets, helping prepare meals, setting the table, etc. (H)'s favorite domestic activity is putting wet clothes into the dryer. Then I have to lift him up to push the start button (or "poosh butt, butt!" as he says). And, because we're all hippie-fied and domestic, we've started hanging a lot of our clothes outside. We've had our AC off for about 2 weeks now and there is always a pleasant breeze. We plan to have a bigger clothes line outside eventually, but that would mean driving 30 minutes to the nearest hardware store, so for now we'll use our makeshift porch version. I need to get the kids in on this and have them start hanging them, this is a classic Montessori activity.

Being "domestic" has negative connotations for some, but I disagree. I think I am enjoying it so much because #1 it is so new for me to be home all day with no papers to write, j.o.b. to worry about, etc, and #2, because I chose it. This is what I want to be doing, and in the process I'm creating little Miss Suzie and Mr. Sam homemakers who are learning to love life at home too.

1 comment:

ukebard said...

Great pics to illustrate. I do see the value of organized toys btw, but I'm just lazy. It's funny how neccesity teaches so much, wouldn't you say? Like with A discovering making ice, never would have happened with an ice maker. I think the modern era is the story of taking us further away from these little joys, then renaming those joys "domestic work."

Much love,

J