Ever had one of those weeks where despite your best thought out intentions that nothing will go right and everyone around you seems hell bent on keeping that way?
Before I left on vacation, I had it all planned out in my head- I’d return well rested, recharged and ready to be super parent. I’d start back up my exercise regimen that had lagged since throwing all my energy into WC and his emotional issues. I’d also start back working on my query letter for my novel and maybe even begin writing my next project. I was going to come back and find the balance in my life that had been lacking. HA…HA…HA…HA. What was I thinking? I didn’t hit the lottery…I still had to come back to my day job.
What I came home to was: a dead cat, one child who refused to do anything, another child who tried to super glue himself to me, emotional breakdowns from both kids over said dead cat, an overdraft notice, a disaster of a house, and a stray cat living in my garage (who WC has since named JoJo). My sister had left a bottle of Cuervo Black in the cabinet and I discovered it was really good with Coke Zero-too good. I’ve since sworn it off.
Spring break ruined WC. We were doing rather nicely before then. Although we had hit a small bump in the karate road right before break- and I thought a break would fix it. HA…HA…HA…HA. Not a chance. When I say he refused to do anything. Only the involuntary bodily functions that go on to sustain life where the only things he did without constant reminders. The worst day by far was Wednesday. When I picked him from karate I discovered that not only did he not do any of his homework during homework time but that he’d taken so long to get dressed that he only made the last 15 min of the 45 minute karate class. Now, why they left a 7 year old unattended in the dressing room for that long without checking on him wasn’t answered. But I do know the normal Sensei was not there and I’m not sure what happened. But things didn’t get any better at home. He asked if he could eat before homework. Which I agreed and he wanted letter spaghetti. Then he proceeded to eat his letter spaghetti- one letter at a time. I wish I were kidding.
The first part of his homework, which was supposed to be completed during homework time at the dojo, was for him to pick out three of his vocab words and write a question using the word- basically come up with three questions. I’ve had him complete this task in 15-20 minutes. I left him at the table to work on it. Every now and then I’d ask him how he was doing. He said fine. About 25 minutes in I asked him how many he had left. He said one. At the 30 minute mark, I went in to check on him and discovered a page full of doodles and no actual work. Not a single letter on that page. Now I’m angry. Its 6:30 and this is just one thing of several other things that have to be completed before he can go to bed. And he needs to be in bed by 8 since we get up so early.
I press ten minutes on the kitchen timer and tell them that he had ten minutes to do it. Whatever isn’t completed by then he’ll just have to tell his teacher that he didn’t do his homework. And, of course, when the timer goes off he has one question left to write.
I tell him to put away his work, his time is up. He begins to sob and Jay comes in and says that he was writing as fast as he could when the timer went off. And he should be able to finish it. I counter with that he’s had forty five minutes (not even mentioned the time at karate he should have done it) to complete it.
Jay insists that he should be allowed to finish his last sentence (totally undermining me). And I tell him that he has to deal with it then and leave the room. He isn’t home during homework time and doesn’t actually understand what I go through trying to get this child through the homework on a daily basis. So Jay doesn’t actually deal with it at all and leaves WC alone and it takes him another twenty to write one last question and leaves me with having to push him through the remainder of the homework before bed.
I don’t understand homework at this age and I don’t see that it does really any good towards learning. With the exception of reading- I’m finding that the more I make WC to sit down with a book and read to me the better he is getting. But afternoons are a time crunch for most families who have parents working outside the home- there isn’t time for resting and spending time together. I hate coming home and feeling like a drill sergeant- to get everything accomplished before they have to be in bed. It’s proven that people in misery don’t learn. If you’re not enjoying something and are not interested and engaged in the activity- it isn’t going to sink in. And that is what most sit down homework is at his grade. I’m not an educator, so I have to believe that they do have reasons and there is a method to the insanity. I hope so; I don’t see it getting better, only worse as he progresses through the levels.
I will now step down off my soapbox regarding the homework issue.
As we’ve gotten further back into our routines, he has gotten better- sort of. He’s such a dawdler, there has to be a way to light a fire under his tush. His regular Sensei returned and he finally dressed out and went to class and guess what? He got that tip he’d been wanting. I did point that out to him when he told me.
Even though, my week didn’t go as planned with my exercising or my writing- I did manage to do one good thing for myself. I took myself to a yoga class Saturday morning. I’d learned about a yoga studio twenty minutes from my house and they had a class at 9 am on Saturday. Throughout March I’d meant to go but with getting ready for the trip, I never managed to make it. So Friday night, I’d told Jay that I was going. It was an hour and half long with a meditation at the beginning and the end. I’d left so relaxed and recharged. Just what I needed to get myself through another week.