Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Into the Woods

Am I the one who has been operating in a weird in-between state for the past TWENTY NINE DAYS in which no one has school and there is plenty of work to be done except NO TIME AT ALL and everyone is off their schedule and out of whack and man, that was really fun for the first TWENTY DAYS (TWEEENNNTTTYY!) but now, OMG someone just make me operate on a schedule again PLEASE. For all of our digestive system's sakes.

I got to that point this weekend (after my conference last week), and then we still had school off on Monday to contend with. Often Mary will have school when the boys are off and I use those days for things I consider to be Big Kid Activities, hiking or rock climbing or roller skating, but Mary was home with us too so I really wasn't sure what we would do with our day. I had just fired up the TV and settled into the upstairs couch with my laptop to try and squeeze in some work on one of my syllabi when my friend told me that Yes, we were absolutely going through with our plan to take the kids on a 3.5 mile hike today NO EXCUSES and I found myself gathering everyone into the car.

I am so glad I was forced into this situation because it was really lovely, even when we realized we were off the trail and accidentally turned our 3.5 mile hike into a 4 mile hike.

Seven children in the woods, what could go wrong?


The kids were often miles ahead of the moms. We all got a workout, fresh air, AND alone time with our peers. Hiking is amazing.


Kids? What kids?

There were numerous stream crossings. Surprisingly none of these ended in catastrophe.


There was some fun and potentially dangerous rock scrambling. When we got to the top of one hill, Mary stopped me and pointed up. "Mama. Look at how close the sky is to us now" she said reverently.


Mary was borderline amazing. I say borderline because she got pissed at mile 2.5 that she wasn't able to lead the pack of boys and refused to walk anymore. After some expert negotiating by my friend Cindy and some agreed-to turns and a stopwatch, we were finally able to proceed. But we still took turns carrying her a LOT.

Expert negotiating in progress. I will store this away for the next time I attempt to convince children to do things using only volume and hysterical gesticulations.

On her turn she couldn't help it and took off at a run. All six boys ran along behind her.


Many Dateline NBC jokes later, I was incredibly happy to see the car.

Amazingly we were all still smiling in the "after" picture.


We decamped immediately for lunch at a restaurant with a playground and a nice beer list.


And today the high was twenty five degrees and the thought that I was outside prancing around coatless and eating in the sunshine is ABSURD.

The kids and I had a snow day. Ryan stayed home to hold down the fort while I started digging out from work (the finals week, grading hell, Christmas prep to Christmas to New Years Gauntlet, followed by ANOTHER WEEK of kid vacation, followed by a week at a conference AND A SNOW DAY was a lot).

I took this picture of my coffee and candy wrappers that looks positively demure compared to the HUGE PILE of wrappers I just dumped into the bathroom trash can.


Other benefits to working from home? Adorable interruptions.


And now I must stop procrastinating and finish figuring out how to make grouped histograms in Matlab, which according to Stack Overflow is basically the white whale of scientific computing.


Anonymous said...

Totally not criticizing, because my youngest actually preferred this at Mary's age. Her shoes were on the wrong feet the whole time! Even when you're not trying, you make my day with reminding me of my baby!

Chiconky said...

My kids do the wrong feet thing too! And when I point it out they say, “I like them that way!” :)