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Birds on the nest and end-of-summer fun (7 Quick Takes)

~1. An egg-laying update ~

During the past eight days, Hermione has laid five eggs. At one point, we even had two eggs in the nest at the same time. One by one, though, each egg has fallen out of the nest and broken on the floor of the cage.

At first, I thought our finches were pushing the eggs out of the nest, but now I think the eggs might be falling out. The birds are taking such meticulous care of the eggs, taking turns sitting on the nest and all, and then the next thing we know the egg is broken on the cage floor. It just doesn’t make sense to me that they would take care of them and then push them out. But I am not a bird psychologist, though I might be an expert Googler about finches.

I don’t really want dozens and dozens of baby finches, but seeing the eggs break one after another is sad.

~2. See? We do have household rules.~

Just when I was thinking we had lost all rules in this house, I found myself pause during a phone call to say to a child, “Excuse me, is that a water gun in your hand that’s dripping all over the floor? We don’t use water guns inside the house. Go leave that on the kitchen counter.”

~3. Hearing voices~

I was typing away on my laptop this afternoon when I heard a voice behind me. I often work with noises around me and ignore them, but this voice was coming out of the china cabinet behind me.

So bizarre.

I started opening doors and drawers and discovered that an anonymous 10-year-old had planted a walkie talkie inside an empty sunglasses box inside one of the drawers. He was hiding in the other room and talking into the other walkie talkie and wondering how long it would take me to figure it out.

These boys know how to keep me on my toes.

~4. Remember bedtime? Yeah, me neither.~

Online schooling will start for our boys in a little more than two weeks. This week we received their teacher assignments and their schedules. Seeing the schedules is making me realize we need to start reintroducing the concept of bedtime and have a plan for success.

Or maybe we just keep going with summer and milk every bit of this vacation time. The boys can keep eating raw pasta and Nutella and Slim Jims while they watch TV. We can always start worrying about bedtime on Labor Day weekend, right?

~5. Following in others’ footsteps~

When I was growing up, I was always frustrated when my teachers compared me to my older sisters. If you had had older sisters like mine, you might understand. They have always been absolutely phenomenal. They were A+++ students who did everything perfectly in school. The teachers loved them. Everyone knew them.

Then I came along. I refused to speak for the first two years of school. I liked good grades, but I liked other things, too. And, much as I loved my sisters, I really didn’t like being compared to them. It’s funny the things that bother you when you’re 9 or 10.

As a mom, I’ve sort of enjoyed that our sons have never had the same teacher—except occasionally for specials—especially since they are so different. This year our fifth grader has a homeroom teacher who was his big brother’s math teacher.

I’m realizing that instead of being worried about comparisons being made, I’m mostly grateful that I know and like her. Starting school online is going to be tricky enough.

~6. Family game night.~

The other night we tried to have a family game night, and the boys picked some Harry Potter-themed board game that was so confusing that John and I could not figure it out. We tried. We failed. It turns out our children’s minds are much more supple than ours, especially after a long workday.

Fast forward a couple days to our next family game night, and the boys chose Scrabble. Scrabble! Now, that is a game! We had a fantastic time, and I won. I’m not sure whether there’s some rule that parents are supposed to let their children win, but let’s just say that competitive board game playing is part of our summer home schooling curriculum.

~7. Happy Gotcha Day~

Nine years ago, John and I were in China adopting our baby boy. He was a sweet little 20-month-old toddler who nestled into our arms from the first minutes with us. Now he’s a lanky 10-year-old who’s about to start fifth grade, and we simply cannot imagine life without him.

He lives life fully and throws himself into everything—fishing and baseball and bird rearing and creative games with his brother. One of the saddest things to me about this pandemic is that he’s not able to hang out with his friends the way he would be during a normal summer. The other day a friend drove by on his bicycle, and he hung out the door to yell out greetings—a portrait of a friendship during a pandemic.

We will celebrate our not-so-little boy and his role in our family this weekend. We are so very blessed.

Read more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend.

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