Academic Leigh Speaking

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

Alone Time September 11, 2015

Filed under: Academic,Events,Family Life,Growing up,School for Boys — leighj @ 8:38 pm

My ability to blog often depends on the time I get to spend by myself. In the last three weeks, I have spent very little time at home by myself (I’ll even count when Porter is napping as being by myself). It…hasn’t been much. Not that I’m complaining; it’s been fun to have visitors, the kids have worn it out with squeezing their last bit of fun out of summer (they swam every day for the last week before they had to go back to school…we thought about taking them swimming today, but we were worried that they were so tired they’d drown themselves). I think I’m going to have to do short points:

  • Meet the teacher. We met both boys’ teachers last week. We, of course, already knew Gilbert’s teacher, but he didn’t, so we went it. Seamus’s teacher also seemed good, so we are happy they’re in for a big year.
  • Gender stereotyping in ads. I’ve been teaching my 101 this semester as a study in gender and composition. We worked on toys and advertising today. A good lesson, and they were so excited to play with the kids’ toys and draw ads that didn’t depend on gender specific stereotyping for the different toys. (I included a transformer, a kitchen set, and a train set, among others.) It was a fun class. It’s hard teaching two back to back, but I’ve enjoyed how different the groups are and how they interact with each other.
  • Paper. Back to school means we are LOSING the paper fight. So much paper in their backpacks, on the table, on every surface, in the recycling. I worry we’ll miss something important, so I haven’t just chucked it all…yet.
  • Friday night cleaning and movie night. We have a default plan which involves waiting to start the movie on Friday until the boys’ room and the living room are acceptable to our levels of tidiness. I have to help them (and really, I should muzzle myself, because the urge to berate is strong, even when I’m fighting it), but it only takes 20 minutes or so to set the house back in order. This task is admittedly harder when Porter is an active participant in messing up the house by carrying whatever he finds to places it certainly doesn’t belong!
  • Bahamas. I’m taking the two older boys in February. Yay! I can’t wait to visit with my friend, enjoy the warm weather, and have some time in the sun. I can decide to take Porter or not at a later date. We did get our passports. I might take him just so we can board in family boarding! Kind of kidding, kind of not.

Maybe by the end of next week, I’ll finally feel caught up.

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