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a week in the life

Each week is filled with a lot of adventures around here, many of which go un-blogged because not everything is interesting or striking enough to merit a full blog post. Often I blog something not because we went to the farm and I took a picture but because we went to the farm and I felt something touching or troubling or judgmental, and the blog post wrote itself. So beware children, if you are looking at your young lives years later through this bloggy filter you are already one step removed from your real experience. But I digress. I thought I'd jot down notes about a week's worth of adventures and present it here as a sort of "Week in the life." If nothing else, to show that I do something when I'm not blogging and it seems like I'm not doing anything.


I thought we would have a Montessori morning and do stations. Stations are just about the entirety of my knowledge of the Montessori method — but I had read a quick description somewhere and I figured if I put out a lot of different things for the kids I could get 20 minutes to sit and eat breakfast quietly. Of course, the kids only got as far as the pouring station, because it was a new thing, and the blocks station was really just me putting their blocks onto the floor, and then putting them back into the box. I went into the whole think kind of on a whim, because I was tired and wanted to have a minute to myself, so I just screamed, "Let's do stations!" and grabbed some things to pour with and didn't really think through what would happen if I introduced several jars of rice and beans to my living room.

Yes Miss Jo, that's the last of your nicely labeled chickpeas.

After they mixed up the rice and beans and chickpeas they wanted to cook them, so I got down a pot and helped Harvey measure the water and pour the things in, and then they looked at me like "What Next?" and I realized that even though I had gotten lunch started early I hadn't really gotten time to relax and also there was rice all over the living room floor. But, lunch was cooking!

Zion's friend Nathan came over at 8am and we walked to the playground and library. In the afternoon we played in the street for a looooong time.


I promised Harvey we could go on a train ride when Dan started working again, so good to my word we left first thing in the morning for a trip into the city.

the train! the train!!!

I chose Harvard square as a destination because it's the shortest hop I could think of and Zion doesn't really enjoy riding on a big shaky monster. Harvey was super excited about everything about the train: the elevator at the station, the map of the stops, the advertising and the windows and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! IT'S A TRAIN!!! Compared to that the "destination" was sort of unimportant, so it ended up that we paid $12 in transportation to visit the Curious George Book Shop in Harvard Square for an hour. I tried not to be sore about the cost - it wasn't me who wanted to go anywhere on the train after all. And my kids were wowed by Curious George story time.


After some confusion about the return trip (Harvey: "Why do we have to get on the train again?" Mama: "Wait, it costs $2.50??? OMG where's the card machine.") We made it safely back to our car. While I put Zion in his car seat I caught Harvey looking over the edge of the parking garage, and I remembered my childhood trips to the Science Museum, how the parking garage was almost the most exciting part because it's like half open and half closed - a weird building trait for being so high up. Harvey pointed down to the parking garage across the street. With wonder in his voice he asked, "Can we go THERE next time???"

new outfit courtesy of auntie Oona

Personally I dislike the city and the cost of getting into the city. I'd much rather take a relaxing drive into the country or stay in Bedford and go someplace we can walk to. But I'm happy to put my preferences to one side to make a magical morning for my sweet first born. The way he bounced up and down when I said we were going on a train... priceless. Also I was well rewarded for all that external stimulation; when we got home they played quietly with playdough for so long that I was able to straighten and vacuum the whole downstairs.

quietly intent

In the afternoon we played in the street for a long time.


In the morning we played in the street for a long time.

In the afternoon Grandma Beth took me and the boys to Brookline to visit the Great-Grandmas in honor of Yom Kippur. Despite a 40-minute drive either way the kids were super good and sweet and little rays of sunshine for all the old people who saw them going in and out (to say nothing of their actual great grandmothers.) I didn't take pictures because, I dunno, this sort of trip is a little overwhelming to me, especially the city driving. When we came back I took a tylenol, and then later drank two mudslides and after that I was ready to do Wednesday night bible study. Unfortunately or fortunately non-Archibald attendance was limited to Mr. Kyle, so we ditched studying the bible and played a board game called Stone Age. I almost won but in the end Dan won, and by the time I went to bed at 10:30 I was sober enough to co-sleep.


I needed a nature break after the previous two city days, so I took the boys to the Minuteman National Park, which might be one of my favorite places in the world. The rolling fields, the field stone walls, even driving through Concord to get there soothed my soul. When I was training for the Cape Cod marathon I ran in the national park at least once a week and I love it there so much, I feel like the perfect job for me would be to live in the 1775 house and act as a full-time historical interpreter. I would have to wear a cap over the dreads, though.

scaffolding and sand amidst natural beauty

The boys hung out in the sand pit next to the burned out house. I had expected Harvey and Zion to run the dirt paths with abandon — we've given up walking them and the dog together because Zion wants to get down and walk and sometimes dig in the dirt on the sidewalk and sometimes roll on neighbor's grass. It's very adorable but not really fair to the dog. So I thought this would be a fun nature walk just for the kids, but Zion was all "I'm a clingy baby today" so mostly I held him while pushing an empty stroller. Harvey wanted to investigate the old chicken coops, and as we approached I said, "Looks like the doors are all closed up." And then I said, "Doors! Closed up! Harvey, I forgot to put the chickens back in their cage before we left!"

So we didn't stay as long as we might have. When we got home the chickens were still pecking happily in the yard, but they weren't upset to go back inside either.

In the afternoon we played in the street for a long time. Well, Dan was home on a half day so he played in the street with them while I filled out some paperwork and typed these notes and did some laundry. Then we all went up to the community dinner followed by the playground. Zion, despite being sleepy on our nature walk, didn't nap at all the whole day. At one point Harvey said, "Zion, when do you think you want to go to sleep?"


It is raining. The children insist they must go outside and play anyway.

not quite enough water to float the boat

Zion refuses to put on Harvey's old rain boots and plays a good three minutes before he realizes his feet are wet and cold. Then he decides the raindrops on his forehead merit a constant chorus of "ow" so we go inside and wait for Nathan to arrive. Then it's off to the museum!

Museum worker: "There's a 30-45 minute wait." Me: "I have a PREMIUM membership." "Oh, well go right ahead in, then." (THANKS GRANDMA!!!!!)

the only time I could get them all in the same shot

The kids had an awesome time in the packed museum, though Nathan doesn't have that same stick-with-the-pack instinct that I expect from my kids, and I had to do a lot of running and grabbing to keep them in the same room at the same time. I found myself wishing I had en empty museum that they could wander as they please. It wouldn't be any safer, but they'd be free from the eyes of other parents thinking, "Who does this child BELONG to?" Seriously, if you can't let them run free in a completely child-proofed environment made for toddlers.... but social mores are what they are and doubly so in public places.

Due to the rain there was no playing outside in the afternoon, but an evening outing to Small Group rounded out the day with extra stimulation for Harvey. Zion was overly cranky and we spent Saturday doing a lot of resting as a result.

Looking at the week altogether like this makes me feel a bit overwhelmed by all we do. I'm a little bit sick going into this next week and wondering how I'm going to do it all with half the energy. Then again, I find the daily grind of housework more overwhelming than anything else, so leaving the house is a nice escape for me as well as for the children. Most importantly, the more interesting things I provide for them to do, the happier they are, the less they whine at me, the happier I am.


Ah yes, my son the adventurer... At least he eventually stops and expects you to follow when he takes off. Not that the other boys are likely to want to follow... I don't know how you do it. Next time you take the train, park outside Amy's house and walk to the T. The extra schlep might be worth the $7 saved.

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