Friday, May 23, 2008

Triage baby

I know that across Asia, people are engaged in a much more serious form of triage right now as they deal with the aftermath of the tragedies in Myanmar and China. But it is happening on a lesser scale in our home, as the absence of a second adult forces the remaining one (me) to consider carefully what requires immediate attention and what can be left to bleed out for awhile.
The first to go is tidiness. Some things I've left so long out of place that I have come to consider them permanent, like, "Yes, that's where we keep that shoe, right there in the doorway to the kitchen." Yesterday I made an attempt to tackle this when I had the kids pick up 5 things each. When they were done I said, "Ok, another five!" This actually became quite entertaining to them, as they announced that they were on, "3rd of my 3rd" and so on, until the house resembled more of a home and less of a toy store that exploded.

The second thing to go is housework, at least any housework that doesn't directly relate to keeping our place pest free. I was thinking that I really didn't have many clothes, until I saw that they were on the mountain of clothing awaiting ironing. My bathroom floors haven't seen the business end of a mop for so long I'm embarrassed to admit it. On the other hand, I did manage to organize my homeschool shelf, rearrange all the kid's books according to type (easy readers, read alouds, information books), and the DVDs according to genre. But that's because in a sick way misunderstood by the majority of the population, organizing is fun and satisfying to me. And it was long overdue.

The next thing is nutrition, sad to say. If I think about it for more than a second, I know that eating well should be top on our list because then we'll be healthier and in better moods, not on some raging sugar/caffeine/scurvy rampage. Not that we resort to eating junk food, just much less balance than normal. Left to my own devices, I'd probably survive on oats. Really, I like oats - oatmeal, granola, maybe some yogurt thrown in. My kids, left to their devices, would survive on chocolate milk, toast, and fruity mentos. Which is why I'm still in charge. Thankfully we've been rescued many times this week by friends inviting us to dinner.

All in the name of triage baby. Deal with the most important stuff, like homeschool and going to the water park and reading books together and having friends over. If Erik comes back, and my kids are still alive, not starving, their brains haven't completely liquefied from overloads of television, computer games, and over processed foods, then I think I've done my job. Moreover, if they still like each other and me, and we've had some fun along the way, then I think it's even been a good job. The rest is just temporal.

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