Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Pinch of This, A Touch of That

I've been home for nearly a month now, between my foot surgery and broken arm. I'm getting bored.

BW's at school all day, so nothing to do there. I haven't felt good enough to really do anything but lay around and read or watch tv. And surf the web, which fills my mind with all sorts of crazy ideas.

Like what, you ask?

Well, I really, really want to live aboard a catamaran and sail around the world now. Which is kind of amusing in a few different ways: I get motion sick very, very easily - sometimes playing video games does it to me - and then there are my somewhat unnecessary but still very real fears of sharks and pirates. Unnecessary because I live in Arizona so it's sort of a waste of time as far as fears go. Real, because, well, it actually makes me a little nervous to think about sharks and pirates. Go figure.

Today MM got off work early, so we went to Jason's Deli for lunch. Since I'm trying to eat healthier and track those dadgum calories, I did not get the Plain Jane Potato. Over 2000 calories for a potato. Holy cow, y'all. I got my favorite, Jason's vegetarian vegetable soup and the salad bar. I actually feel like I get what I pay for at that salad bar. It's one of the few where I would actually pay more to buy those things and prepare a salad at home then I spend going out. A rarity when eating out, isn't it?

BW is starting tennis lessons next week. He's been wanting to do something, ANYTHING lately, and tennis interested him. It's a little less than two months of lessons, and I'm hoping he enjoys it. And it looks like we are definitely going back to home schooling this year. He is complaining more and more about school, which I find amusing because grade wise, he's doing better and better.

He's not liking all the 'just because we do it this way' rules that don't make sense, and there's been some bullying. Nothing huge, but enough that it's made an impact. We've had a lot of good conversations about it, and I hope it makes an impact on his treatment of others - you know, the now that you know how it feels, hopefully you won't ever call other people mean names impact.

Since it looks like this is most certainly what BW wants to go back to, MM and I had THE TALK. MM was totally on board when we started home schooling, but has become more and more disillusioned as we've progressed. Part of it is the 'it's not natural to be with your kids so much' mentality, which he realizes is more of a personal opinion based on his own feelings then a core belief. The rest is that he thinks we do nothing but play all day, and how can that possibly benefit our child - childhood isn't supposed to be all fun and games, by GOD. OK, he hasn't said those exact words, per se, but I can see it in his eyes that he wants to. And it amuses me to no end, because it's such a husband thing to feel. It was nice to see The New Unschooler post something very similar about her husband's feelings on this, at least I'm not alone there. :)

I'm going to tell you something today that I don't think I've talked about before. Ready?

My husband is a grouch.

It drives me crazy, I've tried like hell to change him, but it's been pointless. He's nearly always irritated about something. I swear, it's sometimes like he's the little old man in Up. Now, to be fair, he gets over his little pissy moods quickly, but he's still a grouch a good part of the time. And if he thinks other people are having too much fun, it irritates him. This the basic problem with our version of home schooling. It looks too much like fun and not enough like SCHOOLING.

Between not being able to see things being done on a daily basis (think worksheets and spelling tests and book reports and the like) and the appearance that we're doing nothing but goofing off all day long, he's not digging the home schooling. Listening to History of the World audio books is NOT the same as MEMORIZING all the IMPORTANT DATES, being TESTED on SAID DATES, and CREATING A SHOEBOX PANORAMA DEPICTING YOUR FAVORITE EUROPEAN DICTATOR, WIFE.

The fact that BW went back to school without a hitch did give me some validation for how we've spent the last two years, but MM's still thinking that it was ONLY THIRD GRADE, what about FOURTH GRADE, OR SEVENTH GRADE, OR HIGH SCHOOL. Just because it worked for THIRD grade DOES NOT MEAN it will work for the rest of his education. (That's how MM talks when he's irritated. All in CAPS.)

Anyway, today we had THE TALK. I have been recently told that I'm a little too critical, which is not entirely untrue. I began THE TALK with a little mental preparation. I asked myself the question I am using to try to become less naggy and critical - are you trying to launch a respectful, two way conversation, or are you just being a bitch? I decided I wasn't being a bitch (yay, me!), so I continued by asking what his latest thoughts were on home schooling.

He gave me the 'it's not normal for anyone to be around anyone 24 hours a day' crap. (Oooh, a little bitchy there, this is obviously a work in progress.) I gently pointed out that there's really nothing wrong with it, brought to his attention all the things BW does with people other than us, and that HE doesn't have to be around us all day since he's working, so if I'M ok with it, perhaps he could get over that hurdle. He agreed with me there, so progress was made.

Then, I asked him if he trusted me enough to home school - did he believe that education in general, and our son's education specifically, was of high importance to me? Yes, he said, he believes that. Does he trust that I wouldn't want to set my child up for failure by raising him in a way that would leave him unprepared to function in our society? Yes, he said, he trusts that I wouldn't want that. Does he think I'm smart enough, dedicated enough, passionate enough, patient enough to home school our child? Yes, he does. Well, then, can we start there, with that basic understanding and trust, and do this again? Yes, we can.

I have two goals with all of this: the first, is to be more respectful of MM's opinions, and try to incorporate things into our home schooling that are measurable to make him a little more at ease. Hello spelling tests and work sheets! Second, is that his grouchiness is more of an internal personality issue, rather than a personal reflection of me - and I really need to try to not let it irritate me. I react to his bad attitude with one of my own, and then it all gets blown out of proportion. I can change my part of that, and I'm going to work on it. Which is really all anyone can do.

Whew! I've been mentioning a little here and there about going back to home schooling, but I think today is the first day I realized that we are going to be home schoolers for real again, rather than just in spirit.

And, whew, what a long ass post. :) Feels good to get it all out of my mind and onto the blog. And as of today I can almost type like a regular person - albeit a much slower than average regular person who is in a moderate amount of pain!

Anyway, my point is, I feel like I'm home again. Things are starting to feel better, look better, my attitude is back in a happier place. I'm feeling hopeful again.

To celebrate, I think I'll price a few catamarans.


Sheri said...

Love this post! Mostly glad to hear that overall you're feeling better and in a happier place. That's always nice to hear about a friend.

Next, my husband's a grouch too!

And I'm not just saying that to be part of the "cool" group.

Seriously, he's totally the type to stand obnoxiously on the front step and glare at anyone taking to long to walk in front of the house.

You know, the whole "get off my lawn you hoodlums" type. And the man is not even 42 yet. Sheesh.

I too am working on not letting his irritability irritate me but it's not always easy. He can just be so darn negative sometimes.

I'm glad to hear that you guys are at least agreeing on the basics of your philosophies and compromising regarding homeschooling.

Homeschooling can be enough of a challenge without parents being at odds with each other.


lisafer said...

Thank you, Sheri! It's nice to know that I'm not alone with the husband thing. He drives me mad sometimes, but, I'm trying to not let it bother me. Some days though, it's all I can do not to start screaming and tearing my hair out! LOL!

I know that in theory he doesn't believe in home schooling, but he believes in me. Which is just going to have to be enough, I guess. Maybe one day he'll come around. As long as I have his grudging support, we can make it work.