- S is LOUD. He just talks at full volume and then he screams the rest of the time. So, you can imagine how many sentences I DON'T finish in a day.
- S is a boy and he likes to wrestle and push his brothers out of any chair they are (finally) sitting in.
- S is a complete mess-maker. He can open the fridge and turn the Brita spigot on, splash in the puddle of water, climb up on the counter to get a paper towel to clean up his own mess (he's a smart mess-maker), find his brothers' unfinished cups of milk, walk them into the living room and pour them on the couch, leaving the paper towels unrolled and the refrigerator door open all in about twelve seconds.
- S likes to do what the other boys are doing even though it goes against my better judgment to give him the markers...
- S is incredibly cute and when he cracks his highly-distractable brothers up I have to tell myself that it's o.k. to stop and laugh with them.
- Highly distractable boys CAN still listen above the fray of a disappointed toddler --it's okay to just press on.
- A boy can move to the next chair if the toddler wants the one he's sitting in.
- While mopping up water, blotting milk off the couch, and re-rolling the paper towels I can still give basic math instruction, listen to a prayer recited in Latin, and tell someone how to spell a word.
- Toddlers are completely washable.
- Laughing is okay and will not detract from the education of the day.
There is absolutely no reason to be impatient with the boys because the toddler is being unreasonable.
A first grader is probably better served playing with the toddler than spending three hours completing school work that will not reciprocate the relationship.