A very funny entry on teatime with six daughters. Excerpt:
3:30- The 15 y.o. supervises the 2 y.o. as the tot pours ingredients for homemade hot cocoa mix into a large tupperware bowl. The 2 y.o is so proud to be doing the pouring without any help. Finished, 15 y.o. goes to stereo to put in some classical music. 2 y.o. begins spooning hot chocolate mix onto her mouth. Yes, onto her mouth. There’s so much around the outside of her mouth that I can’t imagine any of it made it to the inside.
3:35- The water comes to a boil. Tea or Hot Cocoa is ready. We gather in the living room. Oldest child pours out, her perogative (she’s a Jane Austen fan). Hot water dribbles down the side of the new tea pot into a puddle on my Grandmother’s table. No problem. I faintly request Tension Tamer Tea instead of Lemon Zinger..
3:36- 11 y.o. makes a grab for some Chex Mix. 11 y.o. is allergic to wheat and cannot have the Chex Mix. 13 y.o. tries to make her return it. Glaring fiercely, 11 y.o. crumbles the handful of Chex Mix into dust rather than give it up. The dog cleans up the mess.
3:37-Baby switches sides for nursing.
3:38- 2 y.o. dips her apple slices into cocoa mix.
3:39- 11 y.o. tips cup over. Everybody but mom, baby, and 11 y.o. race for towel to clean up the mess.
3:45- We smoothe our skirts and settle down like ladies. Except the 2 y.o., who lifts her skirt up to her armpits and settles down like the precious little hoyden she is.
3:46- Mom reads a chapter from Mathematicians Are People, Too, and then a page from Gary Maldaner’s Polite Moments (and not a moment too soon, it seems).
4:00- We refill our cups and clean up more spills and take more stolen food from the allergic 11 y.o. and sharply remind the two year old that we do not put our bottoms on the table, nor do we sit on Sister’s head if she asks us not to.
Mom posts under the title “Headmistress, Zookeeper”. Several of the children post too. Very amusing.
I really like the idea of tea time, chaos and all. Several college girlfriends and I had tea a few times—are you ever too old to enjoy dressing up and having tea?—and I miss having them around to eat cucumber sandwiches, petit fours and scones with clotted cream while sipping tea and being girly.
I know a local tea shop hosts tea parties for little girls. We’ve run into them a few times. But I like this at-home version much better, I think.
She tells another fun story here about the power of a well-chosen word. With an apt lesson as well that getting off to a slow start does not necessarily mean a life-long disadvantage. (It made me think of my brother-in-law who didn’t speak at all until he was about four and then his first words were “Please pass the potatos.” one night at dinner.
A good entry on the differences between the tools and methods of institutional schools and homeschooling. Very insightful.