Megan’s Ryan’s Voice – Murphy’s Law of Homeschooling States: Once you get into the swing of things something will happen to ruin it. Last week the big boys caught the colds from the wee ones. Since I am not a MERCILESS slave driver I gave them a bucket next to their desks in case they had to stop working long enough to toss their cookies. No, we took a couple of days off but now they will have to do some catching up since some of their classes are online and therefore less forgiving.
Kindergartener promptly contracted the same cold back from them and got sick again. Fortunately that doesn’t phase his school work since he still has just as much energy as always. It’s turned out pretty nicely having him on a schedule of work rather than the very loose lessons that comprised his preschool education. He is old enough now for me to tell him to complete X Y and Z before leaving his place at the table. That leaves me a few free moments to attend to Toddler 1.1 or do REALLY important things like…take a bath.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Homeschooling is the kewlest thing one can ever do for their children, bar none – period. Those individuals who argue about, “Well, how about their social skills?” and this and that don’t know squat. Peons of a communistic educational system – indoctrinated zombies thinking in the same manner. Unfortunately, these are the individuals whom we need to be careful of. The may stop at nothing to destroy our right to educate our children just because they think they can do better.
Neither here nor there, it is exquisite to watch our children growing right in front of us. It is a treat to be able to teach them everything we know too. Oops, we get in trouble for that.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I have been experimenting with Kindergartener 5.0 for about six months now. All his life he had these strange bouts of what I called the Screaming Meemies approximately once a month, sometimes more. He would wake up in the middle of the night crying uncontrollably. He would sob and sob but any attempts to hold and cuddle him and he would start flailing his arms in a ‘don’t touch me!’ way and not allow much physical contact. He would be hysterical and unable to tell us what was wrong, and inconsolable for upwards of twenty minutes. Eventually Marcus figured out that if he told him a story, usually made up right there on the spot, he would gradually calm down enough to listen…if the story was interesting enough! Afterwards, or the next morning, he would tell us he didn’t know why he was crying, and that we was ‘just crying’ because he had to.
One day it clicked for me. Maybe he was suffering from the same manic type of restless leg syndrome I sometimes get late at night. I only suffer from it when I’m not getting enough magnesium in my diet. So to test my theory I instituted Magnesium Monday in our house, this helps me to remember. Every Monday I make sure the children and I get magnesium. My preferred method is eating swiss chard or other magnesium rich foods, but second best is a bath with epsom salts. I’m happy to report he has not had an attack of the Screaming Meemies since his first Magnesium Monday. Thank You Lord for the insight into his/our problem, and the natural means of curing it!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Magnesium is the key? Well, I’m dumbfounded, but hey, if it works it works. However, don’t stop telling him those awesomely made up stories. Remember, as soon as he wakes up, he will remember the story line and then start telling you, “Remember when the bad man was put in jail by the good guy? Good guys always win.” In our stories, yes, good guys always win.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s only week four of this year’s homeschooling, and already I can’t wait until it’s over…sometimes. Most people automatically assume the material/teaching is the hard part about homeschooling aka am I smart enough to teach? That’s not it. The REAL hard part is discipline, especially schooling teenagers. Being the teacher AND the principal and meting out the punishments, then stickin’ to yer guns. Teenagers are professional soldiers when it comes to emotional battles, and it’s all too easy to get stuck in trench warfare with them. Our teens are no different. They aren’t sassy, gum poppin’, eye rolling brats like a lot of public schoolers, but they are stubborn all the same. (Aren’t ALL teens??) They are having the usual difficulty (denial) in getting back into the new/old routine of school, and they are making everyone pay by shirking work and walking around with silent but dark thunderclouds over their heads. I’m SURE I was the same at that age – I freakin’ hated school.
As you know, I already warned them not to try last year’s shenanigans, but they’re doing it anyway. Neglecting subjects A, B, and C because they are at their mother’s house those days, and she doesn’t sit on their shoulders (like us) and ensure they complete all their work by the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crack a whip behind them all day shouting, “Heeyah mule!”. I write out the days work in a notebook and leave them to do it during the day. When it is finished, THEN privileges begin like having friends over and TV watching. If it isn’t done by 6 PM they have to stop for the day, do some push-ups (disciplinary action), and roll the work over into the next day and even into Saturday if need be.
It’s times like these Marcus and I fantasize about throwing in the towel. And I DO mean fantasize. “Hey honey the kids are in school! What do you wanna do today?! Drink ice cold beer at the beach?? Done! WHEEEeeeeeee!” Then we wake up and stick to our guns for one more day, then another, and another after that.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Duh gone it! I don’t know how we’ve been able to manage without the public school system for, what, seven years. Well, well, well, a lot of patience and stamina; brain stamina. Ha ha ha. Hey, don’t sweat it, let’s have some fun. You know it’s been fun.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Wow it has been a busy two weeks! Not only was it our first and second week of homeschool being back in session, but then we upgraded Preschooler 4.12 to Kindergartener 5.0 on Saturday with a little party. He had a blast with his friends being silly, munching snacks, and blowing out candles. The candles on my first homemade, 100% organic birthday cake. It’s a feat I’m proud of and never thought I would (or could) accomplish if you asked me two years ago. I digress. It was so cool to watch him have so much fun. Thank you, Jesus for all of our children. Thank You for parties, and little friends, and big fun.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Kindergartener 5.0 was in love. It is a remedy to being alone with a pair of old peeps like us, right Megan? The little rascal was distributing, “I love you” to everyone he met this weekend. Hey, at least it wasn’t, “Mami, Papi is that lady naked?” – this one is for another post. For now, let’s reminisce on the fact that this little rascal is incredibly outgoing, something I lack from time to time. Hey, I was, but I ain’t no more ‘cause peeps kept drilling my social-ness into the ground.
Last Monday was a great example of this little rascal’s outgoingness. We went to a nearby theme park and it so happened that the park was nearly ours to enjoy, but wait, no not really. We experienced a British invasion of sorts. We didn’t mind. It was like being over there, in England, without having to pay for an airfare to visit them. Well, the little guy went on the River Rapids Ride for the first time and it blasted him, but he enjoyed it so much he proclaimed it to every single Brit that came onboard the (five trips) rafts we occupied. He had a blast, and the people around him had a blast and appeared to enjoy the little guys’ comments, “We are going to get wet… again!” Sure enough. People got wet, and he told them, “See, I told you!” and they laughed.
Yes, a few times he said, “Papi, it was all right, but there were some ladies naked.” i.e. wearing skimpy clothing. Nevertheless, I think he will rise to the occasion again and again.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Woohoo! I’m so excited! I feel like a little kid again. Why? One word….tadpoles. Yep, those little squiggly things that turn into frogs. We found approximately one billion tadpoles in our rain barrel today, and I started jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning. They are tinier than the ones I grew up catching on the farm (think big fat North American bullfrogs) so I’m guessing they are the offspring of the tree frogs who recently made a home of our back porch. (Sigh!) I have great memories of growing up on the farm and catching about a million tadpoles and other watery creatures with nets and bare hands. Preschooler 4.11 was napping so I grabbed an old giant pickle jar, scooped some inside, and brought them inside for him to find when he woke up. He was delighted too. We talked about how they would transform into frogs, and how we would then put them back outside to catch all the bad bugs like mosquitoes. Honestly, what could make a better homeschool science project for a little one?? Stick ‘em in a jar and watch them grow. No feeding, cleaning or death involved! Only we had to cover the top with a rubber band and a coffee filter so the cats wouldn’t drink the water. :-S
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Ah, well, yes you do have to feed them ‘yo. I dropped a few bread crumbs after you went to bed, sorry. The little creatures started acting like piranhas over the crumbs. It is always delightful to see creatures enjoy themselves from something one gives them. I know the little guys will have a ton of fun watching them, and feeding them.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We spent last week getting ready to start school today. I planned out the subjects the Teenagers would be learning on a marker board while they assembled the needed folders, notebooks, and textbooks. Then we mapped out each subject and wrote out a course outline to help us determine how to pace the school year. I decided to imitate the same style we had last year where they do subjects A, B, and C at our house and subjects D, E, and F during the days at their mother’s house. Since she is too busy to help them with their work they can bring the finished assignments back here with them for me to grade. I can already smell trouble brewing though. Last year they started to slack off at mom’s house and come back here with little to no work done on those subjects. I fear they’re going to give that another try this year. I’ll just have to be very frank with them and warn them ahead of time not to try it. It didn’t fly then, and it won’t fly now.
This will be Preschooler 4.11’s first official year of school On his 5th birthday coming up I’ll have to upgrade him to Kindergartener 5.0! Even though we’ve been doing preschool and kindergarten workbooks since he turned four, he is still excited about having ‘school’ like his big brothers. The only thing I’ll change is to switch out his Pre-K workbooks for K and start teaching him to play the piano and read music. He has Marcus’ gift for music so we want to give him the tools to unlock his potential as soon as possible. As always, the biggest challenge will be to keep order and a loose daily schedule running smoothly. And most importantly, keep the TV turned off! It’s nice to have that ‘electronic babysitter’ for Toddler 1.0 at times, but the trick is to keep it to a maximum of thirty minutes per day – if I have to turn it on at all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice –It’s special. Once in a lifetime event. Okay, hey, maybe he can do some ka-ra-TE too. Just read an invite to “Meet ups” karate event. It seem inexpensive too. $40 per month for 4 lessons. One can even pay as one goes – kewl, heh?
I’d rather he start playing hockey, but hey, we will have to resort to roller hockey for a while instead. Musical talent?? Ah, shucks! I don’t have talent at all. It’s been hard work my lady, hard work, and even then, the work one has to continue to put in is even harder.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - You turned one year old today, our beautiful daughter. It happened while I wasn’t looking. You’re still a tiny baby in my eyes even though you are walking and talking already. Every day I look at you and vow all over again not to make the same mistakes my parents did, even though I find myself making those mistakes…every day. You are smart. You are kind. You are important. You are you. You are not the sum of my own achievements – you are a unique child of the almighty God. Given to me by Him on loan. The job He has given me is to avoid screwing you up, and to teach you about Him. He will do all the rest, if I don’t get in His way. I love you, precious girl. May God bless you all the days of your life.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yes, she is beautiful. A gift, and yes, time doesn’t wait for anyone.
She will continue to grow and soon one day become a wonderful grown woman, hopefully in love with Christ. I pray she’ll be prepared to avoid what you mother didn’t help you avoid. It will surely be a blessing for her for I know you love her, and you will be nothing like what your mother was with you.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I recently rediscovered a TV series of interest to me from the mid-‘90s. “The Pretender”. Simply, it was a man who could pretend to be anyone he wanted to be, i.e., a medical doctor, an FBI agent, whatever. There were other elements to the show I didn’t care for back then so my interest solely lied on the action, the pretending, and the climax of the show – how Jarod, the main character, got away with acting up a part, and putting the evil guy behind bars. What I didn’t realize then was the enigma of living in the middle of a narcissistic circle.
Since I resided for a time inside a narcissistic circle propagated by Megan’s family, it has brought the side that I didn’t care for about the show in a new, more attractive perspective. The “Parker” family circle in the show is supposed to be Jarod’s enemies. The people behind Jarod’s sudden disappearance of this dad, and mom when he was just an adolescent. A few decades passed and Jarod was finally able to escape the brutal and sadistic measures of enslavement dropped upon the now grown up Jarod. The Parker family business, “The Center’s” new business is seeking and re-apprehending the boy-genius, now man-genius that Jarod became.
The writers of the show are geniuses in their own right. The way they capture the elements of a narcissistic family is incomparable to any other show attempting the same thing. I can honestly say, and Ryan agrees, is that the only thing that has kept me alive has been the fact that her family doesn’t have enough money to buy me off. Seriously, I still live in fear of her family because they could easily have me killed if they wanted to. It is not a tremendous fear. However, it is a fear I can live without – more like a possible change in my life that I know can happen at any moment in my life. A splinter in my mind.
This sort of elemental circumstances can be found in “The Pretender” show.
The show’s last season was in 2001, followed by two movies made for TV, and that was it. It was a terrific show, though it would have been better without the curse words. If you want to know what a narcissistic family is like, in all of their elements, including their complacency to murder, watch this show from beginning to end. It is an educational, yet frightening realization of the true nature of a narcissistic family circle.
However, I’m not saying that this could happen in every narcissistic family circle, simply that some of the elements are basic, that is, excluding murder. Murder may be an extreme, but know that it is always a possibility, especially against those that get in the way of the narcissistic family’s flow of life.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – After reading Marcus’ voice above, some of you may say he’s being overly dramatic. Well, he isn’t. Those of you who come from families with one or more narcissists can relate to us. In the show you see this witch of a woman called Miss Parker. She starts out as one of the bad guys, but eventually the writers develop her character more and we see she is the daughter of a narcissistic father. Daddy is also the head of an evil company with lots of money. Her one goal in life is to earn the approval of her father, but when she eventually falls in love with an ‘outsider’ she feels the need to leave Daddy’s company and make her own life. When Boyfriend can’t be bought off by Daddy, the boyfriend winds up dead. What really happened, is the outsider boyfriend helped her to wake up to the sick web she was caught in with Daddy and Brother.
It all sounds like typical American soap opera crap, but to the children of narcissists it is all too close to reality. A narcissist will do terrible, hateful things to keep his or her “loved ones” enmeshed in the sick circle of give and take. Meaning the narc takes everything and gives nothing while the victim gives all and gets nothing but more demands.
So if you’d like a peek into the not-so-far-from-the-truth world of narcs and their children, take a look at the old TV show “The Pretender”. Just keep your trigger finger on the mute button for the occasional curse word. Why do they have to put that junk in there, anyway??
Liam Marcus’ Voice - The little guy is almost five years old, and while he has enjoyed his older brothers and his older brothers’ friends it has been a struggle to find compatible playmates for him. Thanks be to God for technology, in part, because we have stumbled upon an immense cascade of activities geared towards the little guy. What have we been using to find such a resourceful shower of activities? We have found Meetup.com, and in it we have found a number of groups geared towards physical activities in his age range.
We have been in two groups, and so far it has paid off with dividends abound. The little guy has met new friends his age, visited a nearby petting zoo with the same friends, and more adult women to say things like, “Hi! I’m this old… (hold up four fingers) but I’ll be five soon.”
Mami, a.k.a, Megan Ryan, has found a way to meet like-minded women, too. Seeing that these groups are geared towards mothers of toddlers and homeschooling families, she’s finding it exciting to be able to surround herself with women who have similar dilemmas. Some homeschool and some don’t, but they are all seeking friends for their sons and daughters.
The Meetups.com groups have become a serious problem, though. Megan Ryan has been so busy studying the schedules and planning out trips and get togethers with these other families that she’s forgotten to make dinner on occasion and a few other household tasks, like getting her ginger brew going (she calls it her pain medicine). Isn’t that marvelous, well, not for her if she’s forgetting to brew it.
The whole experience has put a smile on everyone’s face in this family. Thanks be to God.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - Yeah, we’ve been going to playdates, etc. at least four days per week, all in an effort to see which group(s) we’ll stick with and which we won’t. It’s been tiring but loads of fun, all of it free too. There were some playdates scheduled in places that charged admission, but we avoided those. It was going very well until public school started. Then all of the children his age disappeared off to preschool and kindergarten. Only one other homeschooling family in the lot, so it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll drop out of those groups and find some for homeschoolers. As most of you know, we already belong to a homeschool group, but it is quite small and only meets twice a month this year. That’s not nearly enough meets on the playground for Preschooler 4.11, a.k.a. the Energizer Bunny. Plus all of his friends in that group live a bit too far away to meet and play a few times per week. Overall it’s been a great experience, lots of fun and has opened my eyes to all kinds of places around home that have free activities for children.