Walking on egg shells

It’s been that sort of day!

One of those days that I was reminded that I am, on the whole, not too bad at this parenting lark and am quite good at thinking on my feet, but also reminded that there are some things I am really not good at (tact and other people and not over analysing stuff that probably never crossed other peoples minds).  A day where we’ve really embraced the flexibility of home ed but have had a little reminder of some negatives.

Firstly the positives.  Think we had a good parenting of teenager moment this morning, that’s all I’ll say on that (teenagers are hard!).  As I mentioned in my last post Sam is under the weather, sounds a bit wheezy but more tired and emotional.  Quiet day was definitely a good call.  When I woke him at 9.30 he looked very sad and peaky.  So I told him to stay in bed and went downstairs, returning with crackers, fruit, milk and books.  We spent most of the rest of the morning snuggled up in bed reading firstly a book of nature rambles written over 100 years ago, then a long spell on the founding and expanding of the Roman Empire and finally a picture book about geology and the journey of a pebble through time.

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By then Sam seemed to be rallying so we did some Spanish while still in bed and then got up and quickly sped through Latin, Maths and English.  I think it took little more than 1/2 hour all in, I shudder to think how long it would have taken first thing.

Sam was very pleased to hear that it was Cheese Lovers Day so I made cheese wraps for him and he sat down in front of his new Richard Hammond dvd.  Never let it be said I don’t capitalise on interests 😉

Meanwhile I sat down and tried to work on pulling together a set of vague ideas into a workable plan very much hampered by internet signal wavering.  Sam has mentioned a few times in the last week about more social contact.  The trouble is I’m sick of travelling into Portsmouth and can’t afford to keep doing it in terms of time and money, even once a week is a push and I feel it shouldn’t be unnecessary – there really are LOADS of home educators locally, I’m just not that sure what they do?!  Although Sam did say earlier in the week he’d consider the group run tutorials, they just don’t feel right for us, it feels wrong to use them for social purposes when we actively don’t want the teaching side.  Not a criticism of the teachers, we’re just confident and happy with what works for us.  Plus we’ve discovered from other tutorials that it doesn’t matter how small the group if you don’t have similar ability and commitment things get frustrating.

We’re working towards a coding club but that will be in Portsmouth (they tend to have cheaper and available venues) and while on paper it is right up our street and Sam is really keen, I have my doubts whether it will work for us long term because of distance and I wonder if it might be a bit basic.  It’s a balance between the fun of doing it with others and the fact that going to the club will seriously cut into the time he currently has working on it at his own pace at home.  While he does use books, he needs persuasion to try the projects in them and once he’s done one tends to spend weeks going back and improving old projects with his new knowledge.  I think we definitely need to try it for a while anyway, plus it ties in to going to another activity after that we enjoy when we can face going.  Thinking neither on their own are enough but together… pity it’s Cub day though as does make it a long one :/

Anyway back to today; I’d managed a plan that I was feeling rather chuffed with.  Then I noticed that I’d replied to a group message when I could only see a bit of it and on my phone not really concentrating and started beating myself up that my reply was rather brusque and rude and I start fretting I might have caused offence.   Then a good friend posts in a group arranging one of the activities I have on my paper plan but somewhere and at a time I wouldn’t travel to.  Now my brain is in over analytical mode and I start thinking what does that mean for my plans… absolutely nothing numbers will be fine for both as suspect the ones that would come if I can get it going here share my ‘nice activity but not one to travel far for’ feeling… but stupid brain queries ‘will this make me sound interfering/controlling?’.  I have a dread of sounding bossy and controlling, mostly because I know I am bossy and controlling (and it can be a virtue) I just don’t want people to think that! I’d come up for a plan for a group which had been touted but I assumed forgotten, seem to have stirred up motivation again there.  Over analytic brain worries about stepping on toes but actually that is the one I am least convinced on for Sam and I’m very happy not to run (even if it was the one I’d sketched out a financial plan for 😉 ).  Where as he’d love it on paper, it will depend so very much on the other children there for it to work for him in practice.  I think he’ll be very sceptical of having too many little people around him when building Lego, experienced too much over keenness to join in resulting in breaks, frustration and frayed tempers all round, so the right age mix I think would be so vital to him.  So not sorry for someone else to be responsible from the start so we can bow out easily if needed.

Don’t worry I can laugh at how stupid my brain is and how no one else would give any of it any thought but me, I don’t need you all to tell me.  I’d planned to drown the devil voices with a glass of wine with tea but my message asking for wine did not find it’s way to Pete.  I am sure I remember sending one but isn’t in out box 🙁  Wonder if I sent it to someone else.  IF so whoever it was didn’t bring me wine!  Writing it down did the job though as written down I can clearly see I’m a paranoid idiot and marvel at my own stupidity and therefore stop worrying 🙂

The laughable thing is after worrying the afternoon away I don’t know if
a) using the venue I want is an option and not sure I would pursue any of it any further if not
b) Sam is even keen!

I asked him expecting keenness, excitedness and instead got tears.  He liked the ideas but not sure he wanted to sign up to anything, he didn’t need friends and he’s happy indoors :S  Calmly told him not to worry, if he didn’t want to do it no problem but it was what he’d asked for and we’d dismissed other options. Then there were more tears as he didn’t know.  I apologised for asking when he was obviously under the weather and said lets talk about it another time when leaving the house doesn’t sound so bad.  After more tears worried that he’d missed the opportunity, and lots of reassurance that he hadn’t, the internet, thankfully, came back on and he cheered up very quickly when sat in front of the games on the BBC History website.  While I made a large coffee and proceeded to mentally beat myself up a bit.

Conclusions of the day:

I am not too bad at the parenting/home ed thing even if I say so myself
Home ed is fantastic when you have a sickly child
I can be an idiot
My plan is really quite a good one if I can pull it off.

And that might be one of my most self indulgent rambles yet! 😉

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