Vote Yes! for Back-to-School!


Best decision I made all summer. It’s Back-to-School.

Summer is over.

(Even better than the pool idea, that’s already been drained because something went wrong when we were gone for 10 days and it was all nasty when we got back..)

Not a peep out of them since 9am. Seriously. No arguing, nothing being destroyed, no back talk, no pouting or protesting.  All chores have been done, quickly and correctly. My not-so-free range kids apparently just need school.

Forever. And all the live long day.

I told them yesterday that we were starting ‘school’ tomorrow, and I think it may have actually been a relief for them.  They didn’t wake up anxious in anticipation of what the day would bring. They knew what to expect, and even though I was worried about the hecka sleep they got (18 hours!), maybe the reality is they could finally settle in and relax.  Chaos of summer and trips was ending.  I had slightly noticed before our trip to Ireland, that days I had them do just a little school work, were days that went smoother than others. For the most part. The days without homework were filled with trouble.  So much so that they all were grounded for almost all of eternity.

My watchman plan for my oldest is still working well, even though we’ve tweaked it a bit.  He’s great to warn, not great on execution (aka, being nice about it) but we’re working on it.  I think this idea stuck in my head that my kids should be out playing and getting dirty is what is hurting me the most.  Everyone’s always saying this is what kids need.  The world is saying it.  Why then does it make our life here at ballyduffy so terrible? If they need it so much, why isn’t it working out?

I love that I can read through my last few posts and see the conflict. I try and fail at things over and over, but heaven bless it, I just.keep.trying.  This parenting thing is no joke.  Yesterday Marty questioned if we are done having kids or not and there was this instant: Do I laugh or cry????  I wasn’t sure how to answer it really.  I would love to have more.  A boatload for sure! But I can barely handle the three I have already 🙁

The good news is, I’m not alone. Ever.  I praise #GodJesusHolySpirit every day, for the love, grace, mercy, and guidance provided, because boy oh boy, that stranded-on-an-isolated-island feeling can be quite lonely.

Days filled with timeouts, consequences, sensory precautions, baby gates, rules, benchmarks, nervous ticks, anxiety peeing, over-stimulation, mistrust, calculating vengeance, manipulation, lying, cheating, stealing, ahhhhhh! Is it really worth the fight for an ‘ideal summer’?

No. just, ugh.

Safety, routine, wading in the calm, security, peace.  That’s what we Duffy’s really need.  I can see that most of the school work they are doing is all wrong. But its so peaceful in my house today, and everyone has smiles, is rested, and calm. Its ok then, right?  Isn’t it better to get all the math problems wrong, but still feel calm and peaceful in your attempt at what is right, rather than fighting tooth and nail, outside in the backyard with your siblings, because you want to be right about something so bad, that u don’t care who u hurt?


I just might reward them this afternoon with an oh-so exciting documentary about how something boring, was boringly made.


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