Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homework Headaches

Remember a few weeks ago when I begged and pleaded for help with my son who, despite being generally amiable at home, was in constant trouble for behaving foolishly at school?  That was an unbelievably challenging time, but as I look back on it with 20/20 vision, I realize that I was the fool.  During that difficult time, why wasn't I knocking on wood and thanking my lucky stars that, at the very least, I didn't have to deal with it myself?

But I didn't knock.  I didn't, and I'm paying for it now.

On Friday, Cael proudly handed me his smiley face chart chronicling his massive achievement and ability to control himself when needed, making sure to add, "Take that, Mom." 

Why didn't I knock?

There's been a great deal of snottiness in the air at my house lately, which is one of my biggest pet peeves and something I will not tolerate, so its continued presence has been as irritating, if not more so, than the Boxelder bugs that weaseled their way into my house through the same cracks that Cael and Graham's respect for me used to make a hasty escape.

But I finally hit my boiling point last night.  I was already on edge from a trying weekend and a frantic morning searching outside for various pieces of winter gear.  I didn't even have a chance to post yesterday, because every free moment I had was filled with "but Moms" and "no fairs".  We didn't even get to Cael's one and only piece of homework the night before, a blank coloring page of "Tom the Turkey", which we were urged to creatively disguise in order to save him from an untimely death as someone's Thanksgiving turkey.

I was very grateful that said turkey wasn't due until Tuesday, allowing me an additional 24 hours to help Cael conjure up some clever disguises other than "poop" and "a turkey-shaped booger".  But yesterday afternoon, when we finally sat down to disguise Tom as Superman SuperTom, Cael saw me send a day care child home with a paper that he mistakenly thought belonged to him.

There were tears.  There was screaming.  I briefly thought of checking behind his ears for the telltale 666 until he hauled off and kicked me. 

Kicked me.  I stared at him, slack-jawed, until I snapped into action and barely controlled anger as I put him in a time-out and mentally planned my barely coherent lecture about turkey gizzards and smiley faces and never, ever hitting or kicking me.  Ever.

 Meanwhile, as Cael thought about his behavior, another child I watch commandeered the crayons and made the executive decision that SuperTom would look better in various shades of red and purple, scribbling at random over our only copy of the cartoon image.  When Cael emerged from time-out, reluctantly apologizing, he threw himself into another fit upon realizing that his paper had been destroyed.  I tried to salvage the teachable moment by pointing out that had he controlled himself rather than kicking me, his paper would have remained untouched and Tom could have realized his destiny as the hero of the turkey population.

Later, after we'd all calmed down, eaten supper and grabbed some supplies at the grocery store, we did our best to fix Tom's colorful visage and disguise him in some strategically placed brush.  The irony wasn't lost on me that our "creative" disguise for Tom was, in fact, what a real turkey would actually do to disguise itself, but I was still reeling from the irony that what began as a celebration for good behavior ended in evidence that we still have some work to do.

This time when I see progress, I'll knock on wood.  Or turkey.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.