"If I'd known we were moving to Germany, I would have stopped with 2 kids." This was something I caught myself saying the other day. I love all 4 of my children and wouldn't change that but life in Germany can be very challenging. I know that in the US many parents are struggling with balancing all the extra curricular activities their children have (this is the reason we always kept our kids to one activity), but here just everyday molehills become mountains and school stuff is all-consuming. Let me give a few examples of the last few weeks.
Jonah and Ashlyn's school technically begins at 7:30. Ashlyn goes to school at that time everyday. Jason leaves to take her at about 7:05. She could technically walk but with the weather so rainy and no money for public transportation and a heavy backpack, we usually drive the kids the mile to school. Jonah, on the other hand, begins at 7:30 on Mon., Tues., Thurs., and every other Friday. He goes in an hour late every Wed. and 2 hours late every other Friday. They both get out of school at 1:10 on Tuesday, but Ashlyn gets out at 2 on Monday, at 2:15 every other Wed. and Jonah is 2:15 three days a week and 1:10 on Mon. and Tues. Now, we don't always pick them up from school, usually just bad weather days (which is every other day, ha ha). So, you can see it is crazy here. This doesn't include Caedon's crazy schedule which looks like Jonah's.
Aside from the schedule, every kid comes home with papers to be signed (about 1 everyday from the 4 kids combined). Remembering to get them signed is the first hurdle, then remembering to take them back to school, well..... Then there are the crazy projects, like leaf collecting and identifying, plant collecting for a project next year (yes, they plan way in advance), not to mention entire school week long trips to the farm and Parent night at least twice a year for up to 2 or more hours.
Caedon and Jonah seem to be my little Jason's (i.e. scatterbrained, head in the clouds.) (No offense to Jason) Jonah will come home for the weekend and on Monday morning ask for 10-15 euros he needs for that day. We never have that much cash on us. Then Caedon came home and didn't say anything about needing something for the next day, but when I looked in his Homework planner Wednesday morning he had drawn a picture of something he needed to take that day. (He didn't write what he needed to take, he drew a picture of it!) I asked what it was. He didn't really know. UGH. Well, we went down into the office and searched through all the extra school supplies we had and didn't find anything. Ten minutes later, I finally pulled something out of the cabinet and said this will have to work till I can buy you one. He smiled and exclaimed "that's it!" UGH. It was a simple glorified brad used to keep papers together. Caedon said that the teacher says everyone probably has them at home. I guess I am becoming a good German then!
6 days ago