We started homeschooling in these parts this week.
I called my mother and apologized for all the moaning, groaning and wailing that I did during my own homeschooled years.
It has been going pretty well. We start school at 0830 and are able to finish everything by 1130 with a couple 15 minute breaks. It may get longer as time goes on, but for now everything that needs to get done is getting done, so that is ok with me. We have been spending our afternoons playing games, doing puzzles, playing with legos and going to the Y or the park for recess/PE.
Next week we start some "classes" at a homeschool organization, swimming, football, awana, Gym and swim, private speech therapy and phonological preschool one day a week for Lincoln.
But this post isn't about homeschooling.
It is about manipulative little girls.
Yesterday we went to the "far away" park. Basically it is the park that is a mile away versus 3 blocks. There were a lot of other kids there- mostly girls. My boys started playing with the girls and after some initial instruction by one of the "girl mothers", "No, you have to let the boys play." and some whispered instructions from the "boy mother", "Don't you dare pull down your pants and pee in the woods". They were off and running.
They were penguins, they were pandas, they were children and some of them were hamsters. They were camping, they were hunting- and all in one small grove of trees with paths.
I noticed all the of the girls running out of the woods and playing elsewhere at one point. The woods were suddenly silent. I ventured over to find my boys. They were sitting on logs in the middle of the trees. Silent and appearing bored.
"what's up?" I asked.
"That older girl told us that we had to stay in this room until morning." Deacon reported.
A million thoughts ran through my head. I grew up with sisters. No elementary/preschool age girl would get away with telling another one to "stay in this room until morning". Either the girl would have super powers to get out of the fake room or would go running to their mom.
But my straight forward boys who actually pretend to die when they are "killed", had apparently accepted this "older girl" as the alpha dog and were willing to play her way.
"You don't have to do what she says, you know". My leftover 2nd grade girl came to the forefront and I couldn't keep my mouth shut. "Besides, this isn't even a room. Nothing is keeping you in".
The game went on and my boys were sad to leave. Sad and clamoring to come back today.
So we went back. And the girls came back.
Then came the moment I knew would come. The innocent looking, big blue eyed girls came out of the woods with sticks. I knew my boys would be close behind. And they were.
Some of the girls were poised to fight. Some of the other girls were crying.
I approached the boys. I reminded them that they were playing with girls.
"The girls wanted to play war," Deacon said. "They are the ones who picked up the sticks first."
But the girls have stick wars with their Daddies. And their Daddies love them and look out for them.
My boys are masters with stick swords and if someone challenges them with a stick, they are ready. They were born ready. And if someone opens a game of war, well that is an open invitation (in their minds) for, well, WAR.
One of the other mothers and I stepped in and tried to make it work. When it became clear that it wasn't going to work, we ended the war.
The play went on. I saw 2 little girls plotting to get this large log. A few minutes later they came running by holding it. Next thing I knew Deacon was running out of the woods with a new stick. I approached him because obviously I didn't want him threatening girls with sticks. Tears were streaming down his face. "They tricked me, Mom. Those girls came and said they wouldn't take anything from my campsite, and then they did."
And the 2nd grade girl still in my got a little riled up over my innocent son being lied to.
I told him that it is never any fun to be lied to, but that he needed to let it go.
And he did. Some of the older girls came over and negotiated a new deal with him and mediated the log conflict between him and the log stealers.
It was at that point that I chose to leave. I always try to leave when things are happy and positive versus when there are tears.
I love my boys.