(K. Showing off medals for Spelling Bee 2nd Place and swimming medals, cheered by B.)March has found me busy taking care of my grandchildren--getting them off to school in the morning, picking up the kindergartener at 11:30, and tending him in the afternoon, and picking up the fourth-grader at 3:30. I arrive at their house by 6;15 as the parents leave for work that early. I get the kids up, dressed, fed, teeth brushed, hair combed, faces washed, and allow them to watch a little TV if they are ready early. Then we pile in the car for school. I stand outside with the kindergartener until the bell rings and the teacher comes to lead them inside. Most parents do that with these little ones. It's hard to leave them on the playground until you see them safely in the teacher's care. I prepare lunch at home for the little guy. In the afternoon, along with play we practice letters, numbers, reading and math. He likes school and we make a game of it. After school, I prepare fruit snacks and help the kids get started on homework. The parents arrive home around 4:15 and I'm pretty much spent and ready to go home and relax.
This schedule has allowed little time for everyday housework, let alone projects. And I reward myself with birding outings even when I should really stay home and clean the house. But this is temporary. I can catch up on housework later on. The schedule will be so much easier when both boys are in school all day in August.
But April will find me busier than ever. The kids are on a year-round schedule and they are "off-track" for the whole month of April. They will be back in school for May and June, and then off-track for July and half of August. Having both of the kids full-time presents extra challenges. I will no longer have even those couple of hours in the morning to myself. And I will need to establish a routine to keep the kids occupied and interested. We also have to keep practicing certain math and reading skills every day.
It's hard at my age to have the energy I need to do this right. But I do it anyway, though it leaves me exhausted. I look at this not just as a responsibility or duty, but also as an opportunity to give these kids some valuable one-on-one time and to help them grow mentally and emotionally as well as physically. If that's not time well-spent, I don't know what is.