As the boys get older, winter days get more pleasant. I notice a change every year. Sure, there are still times when our house feels very small, and I'm putting people in time out for sword fighting in the living room. But we're also having days when all of them can handle a calm activity all together for an hour!
This afternoon we sat at the kitchen table and colored (Seth drew) for an hour after rest time. (Ben kept begging me to let him have coloring sheets from the nice books I got as birthday presents, and I kept insisting he finish out the page he had instead of leaving three measly marks on there and declaring himself done, but that was the most drama that happened. Very minor.) We get a lot of books on CD from the local library, and we're going through one of my childhood favorites, "Caddie Woodlawn."
I painstakingly brushed with markers while Caddie's father told of his childhood in England to his family gathered around his hearth. We heard how Caddie's teacher put Obadiah in his place, how she fixed the circuit rider's clock and became her father's partner in clock repair, and how the family ended up eating turkey all winter because her mother wouldn't part with her birds for the Civil War prices...
The boys occasionally made comments. "Why would she do that?" "Uh oh." I wondered about the things they didn't say. Were they internalizing the ideas about English inheritance law and how American pioneers differed in their thinking? Good books teach. I believe that.
Now I'm making chicken soup and corn muffins. (David loves Jiffy, so I've stopped trying to make cornbread from scratch most of the time. ;) They'll head off in the rain for Cub Scouts after dinner, and maybe I'll read with the little guys under each arm, letting them head to the book case to pick whatever they want. Maybe I'll get Evan and Ben to play UNO with me, Evan with his cards laid out on the table so I can help him with them, Ben on my lap "playing" my hand for me.