Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

The Things We Miss May 23, 2013

I’m doing this writing week at school, and it’s been productive and fun. I’ve submitted two articles, drafted a conference paper, and started my book proposal. However, I’ve missed a few things. Like this:

Seamus Graduates from Preschool. Gilbert looks on.

Seamus Graduates from Preschool. Gilbert looks on.

I didn’t want to miss his preschool graduation, and I considered asking if I could get away for it. Actually, hmm…I might be feeling some regret about this. Seamus came home from preschool on Tuesday, and said, “Guess what Mama?! You get to come to preschool and stay with me on Thursday.” I then said, “Do you want me or Grandude to stay with you?” He chose Grandude. If he’d chosen me, I like to think I would have gotten away from work, but that’s probably revisionist thinking, and I would have tried to talk him into wanting Grandude instead. I did cut up strawberries for him to take to the class party. Wow. Now I feel guilty and weird. Working mom works too hard…but no, because getting all this work done this week means I won’t feel like I need to work much this summer. So there, conscience!

And, in happier things that I did not miss:

Both boys attempt to ride Gilbert's bike.

Both boys attempt to ride Gilbert’s bike.

They’ve been so delightful to be around lately. The weather has been good enough to play outside, so they’ve been hanging out and enjoying it. Scooters and bikes all the time.

I had a sitter come Monday and Tuesday this week, and she really only had Gilbert on Tuesday. I told her he’d probably be happy “snipping” for an hour. And he was. He loves to cut methodically with the scissors. When I threw away the flowers that had wilted and passed their prime, he asked if we could get some more when Grandaddy and Granny come back? (This is the story where my dad told Gilbert they needed to get Granny some flour, but when they got in the store, Gilbert stood in front of the roses, and yelled, “Flowers, Grandaddy! For Granny!” With that kind of persuasion, my dad had to buy them!)

Seamus entertains himself for hours counting and throwing paper airplanes. He’s much happier when Patrick makes him an airplane, then when I do. Patrick has better designs. The other day, he wanted to eat more hamburger buns plain, so I told him, “We had 8 buns, you at four, Gilbert ate two, how many are left?” I reminded myself of my dad when he used to give us math problems in the car. “Dustin has five cats, and they all have 4 kittens, but 3 die, and 2 run away. How many cats does Dustin have?” Seamus answered “Two! Now I can I have another?”

 

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