You see, today was our first fuller "Traveling Tuesday" - in addition to piano lessons in the morning, we started ice skating in the afternoon - and I wasn't sure if such a busy day was really manageable. I wondered if the three big girls would complain about doing history and a few other short learning tasks in between piano and lunch. I pondered whether we'd have enough time for lunch before heading out for skating. I tried to envision what I'd do if five-year old Anna felt too scared to try her first-ever skating lesson and, instead, had a meltdown. And, most of all, I was concerned that the changes to our usual daily routine would prove too much for seven-month old Leah. She's an incredibly good-natured baby, but the day's schedule meant that both her usual naptimes would be disrupted.
I know that some Tuesdays this year will inevitably be rough - as will some Wednesday mornings once we add Rachel and Abigail's Tuesday night tap/jazz class into the mix at the end of the month. Being real means acknowledging that reality...and going with the flow as much as possible despite the challenges. But I'm thrilled to report that - thank you, Jesus! - today couldn't have gone much better than it did because:
- We're enjoying a beautiful week of Indian Summer weather (Yes, I'm going to be non-PC and call it Indian Summer...because 1. "Native American Summer" sounds patently ridiculous; and 2. this weather is gorgeous so the traditional term really has only positive connotations as far as I can see). So Anna enjoyed a full hour outside during piano lessons - mostly spent bouncing on the teacher's super-cool trampoline - and the other girls joined her before or after each one's lesson time.
- Leah didn't nap during the lesson time; instead, she played happily and ate a mid-morning snack, which meant she was ready for a nap when we got home. And that meant she was able to rest for two solid hours in between our two outings. Perfect!
- All three big girls enthusiastically (really!) engaged in our history lesson and then willingly dove into their independent workbox tasks right afterward - three short activities for each, including Anna - with nary a complaint.
- We wrapped up just before noon, leaving a whole hour before heading out to skate - no rushing required! Granted, I didn't cook. Instead, the girls enjoyed their usual once-a-week indulgence in Lunchables (Remember yesterday's post where I confessed to not being "Susie Homemaker?" Yeah, that means we sometimes eat processed food!). And I even let them have a "play-eat lunch," which means I allowed them to eat upstairs instead of at the table.
- I had to wake Leah before skating, but she'd slept for two hours, so she did fine. And she didn't need to eat until we reached the rink and I'd gotten all the big girls laced up and out onto the ice.
- Anna was beside herself with excitement over finally being able to start skating! Sure, she fell (a lot!), but she managed like a trooper. In fact, I couldn't have wiped the grin off her face if I'd tried.
- As an added bonus, Rachel and Abigail both decided to "play big sister" in a special way, helping Anna during the freeskate time so she could stay on the ice longer. The way they nurtured Anna made my heart want to burst.
- I was able to enjoy a nice chat with another mom while feeding and playing with Leah. Getting such weekly "talk dates" has always been a highlight of skating time for me personally.
- When we got home, the big girls enjoyed another hour outside.
- Leah was so happy to be able to combat-crawl around my living room (after being somewhat confined at the rink) that she played with total contentment for about 45 minutes before I noticed her rubbing her eyes. So I laid her down for a mini-nap before her dad came to get her...which probably helped to keep any "grumpies" at bay once she got home.