We planned afternoon tea at a local café, at a big table where we could linger and talk. Alas both our favourite cafés were closed, one taking longer than we expected for renovations, the other just inexplicably closed. So we bought milk and cookies at the grocery store and headed home to our very own kitchen table. The little Danish cookies were a bit of a novelty and did lovely crumbly-crunchy things when dipped in hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. It was a good place to start a meeting.
It took us ages to discuss all the stuff that had been piling up. The agenda included the standard five items or so, but each had to be explored in depth. Our agenda normally includes:
- music practicing
- balance of out-of-home vs. stay-at-home time and activities
- achieving a healthy balance on the physical front: sleep, nutrition and exercise
- general learning needs / desires / expectations
- sharing of household work
So anyway, we sat there with whipped-cream-and-cookie-crumb moustaches and talked our way through a ton of stuff. And everyone seemed to feel about a million times better afterwards. And here's what is changing as we climb out of the pit of our winter doldrums:
- Sophie is keeping the kitchen absolutely totally spotless. Amazing!
- Fiona and I are progressively blitzing our way through various clutter spots in the house, excavating our way through months of accumulated junk and producing tidy shiny surfaces.
- Noah is keeping the living room tidy and clean. This is our relax-together-place, so it's extra appreciated that it now has a comfortable calm aesthetic appeal to it. (Except for the carpet. Don't look down.)
- The practicing is getting spaced out throughout the day a bit more so that I don't have to spend my entire evening under 10 pm engaged with one kid or another on one instrument or another.
- Noah is proceeding optimistically and efficiently through the standardized testing he's kinda supposed to do because he's a DL-enrolled Grade 7 kid.
- The dog is getting a 45 minute walk a day -- and it's not always me doing it!
- Dog-training is back to being a collaborative venture.
- Clear academic priorities have been expressed and plans will be implemented in the upcoming weeks.
- Resolutions concerning regular physical activity have been made.
- Noah has decided to push himself a bit into a new thing and do a series of choral-singing workshops with a new local choral guy.
- Even the hens have caught our momentum -- they've begun laying again.