Thursday, March 6, 2014

We fort for our peace

    My husband and I were putting the kids to bed last night and I was finding Alec's books all over the place.  I'd flag him down only to have him tell me, "oh, I read that one already."  Ordinarily I wouldn't think much of it but these were new books from the library.  I quickly counted them up and asked "you read 8 books in the last two days?!"  Now, that in and of itself isn't that shocking when it comes to Alec but 6 of these were chapter books!  My husband was very skeptical (and I'll admit I couldn't help thinking-- "really??" in my head as well) and so my husband told me I needed to ask him about the stories to see if he was really reading them.  I told my husband that if he didn't believe Alec he needed to ask him himself.  Then, of course, my husband realized he had never read any of these books and he asked me "how will I know what the story is about and if he's telling me all about it or not."  "Just ask him and you'll know; if he really has read these books he will talk your ear off about them!"  Well ten or so minutes later my husband was begging Alec to stop telling him about his books and to start getting ready for bed. 
       Once all the boys were tucked in my husband turned to me and said "what other 8 year old reads 8 books in two days!  That's a lot of reading!"  I just shrugged.  Alec LOVES to read and these past few days without any video games to fall back on I have been finding Alec in the same weird positions he uses to play video games (feet on the couch and head on the floor; legs folded over his head like a pretzel, hiding under blankets, etc.) while reading book after book.  He's even been taking books in the car to read while listening to other books on CD.  That's the one that puzzles me!  How can you read one story while listening to another??  I have no idea but I do know he can summarize both stories for me when he's done.  He's a fast reader and he loves reading.  As I sat at computer with all three kids in bed I could hear him reading out loud to all of his animals.  He reads fast, accurately and with such unbelievable expression. He was yelling, squealing, and I could just hear him dissolving into fits of laughter.   I knew there was no way he was skipping through these stories only reading the first few and last few chapters (like my husband suspected) because he genuinely loves the stories and can't wait to find out what will happen next.  If I could only get my other two boy to enjoy reading half as much as Alec I'd feel like the best homeschooling mom ever!
      The boys spent the morning playing together.  They were playing air hockey, foosball and setting up a fort.  They worked together to build a big, elaborate fort in the middle of our living room.  They used to do this all the time but have not set one up in a long time so they had to re- figure out how many chairs to use, where to place the chairs, how many blankets and sheets to use, where to place all the clothespins, etc.  They worked together and were all getting along!  They went from diving me nuts the last few days snipping and bickering and fighting, ready to kill one another to best friends today.  I kept thinking I just had to wait them out and eventually they'd find their way back to getting along.  Phew!  This is one time I am so grateful to have been right!  Not that they got along all day; they are brothers after all so they had the occasional fight about the fort and I calmly told them if they couldn't work together and get along then they couldn't have a fort and we would get ready for school.  Anyone who was not helping to build the fort could not use the fort and so they worked quite well together in the end.  They ate snack and watched a movie together inside their fort.  They picked Night At the Museum. which, call me crazy but, I think it's educational. 

      They happily spent the afternoon playing games, playing with their toys and playing outside.  Did we get any "actual" schoolwork done today?  Well.... no.  But I still consider our day a success.  It's one of the first days in at least a week that I don't feel like I need a break from my kids for our combined safety, or feel like I was nothing but a big referee all day long.  I've learned over the past few years that sometimes we just need those little sanity breaks to keep us from killing one another and if they all bonded and got along by taking a day off to play and watch a movie or two than so be it.  The peace that is reigning in our house right now was totally worth it!  We'll tackle some schoolwork another day.  I never pass up an opportunity for my boys to bond.        


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