Tortures of the Damned (5767-5795)

Summer is over and … wait for it … I am going to start complaining about school.

It’s not school exactly, but the homework bit is already killing me. And my kids are in first and third grade. I’m not exactly struggling with the material, but I have two stubborn and ungrateful boys who need help with their homework.


I suppose I could just be like, “Do it or don’t do it. It’s up to you.” but I can’t really do that. That’s not the attitude that I am trying to instill in my kids.

School isn’t optional. Attendance isn’t optional. Being on time isn’t optional. Doing your homework isn’t optional.

I don’t consider myself a Tiger Mother by any stretch of the imagination; these are simple rules of having a job, and being in school is their job as long as they live under my roof.

Imagine my surprise when at the start of year orientation, the teachers beseeched parents to send their kids to school, get there on time, and encourage them to do their homework. Really? I already have those rules in my house, under consequence of death.


So here I am, putting my money where my mouth is. Both my boys need help with their homework. Both get pissy with me when I am “doing it wrong” and then try to argue with me over the fairness of it. It is a daily test of my strength, one that I fail regularly.

Not one day passes when I don’t say, “Fine. If you don’t want my help then why are you asking me?” or “I don’t assign the homework.” or “You better not get snotty with me, I’m the only one here who’s willing to help.” Which doesn’t make things any better. They are frustrated and adding my own frustration to the mix doesn’t improve the situation at all.

But still, when you have a conversation about word problems like this:


Scrotus: If I have forty eggs to divide equally between five families, what’s the answer?

Me: Try turning it around. Five times what equals forty?

Scrotus (counting on fingers): Six!

Me: Nope. Try again.

Scrotus: Nine?

Me: Five times what equals forty?

Scrotus: I TOLD YOU! SIX!

Me: (sigh) Let’s do it together.

Holding up my hands we count up to forty by fives until we get to the eigth finger.

Well whaddaya know?

Well whaddaya know?

Scrotus: Okay. Fine. Have it your way. It’s eight.

Me: What do you mean, have it my way? It’s MATH! It’s not my opinion. It’s a fucking absolute! (I didn’t say fuck).

I am in awe of teachers and tutors. How they find patience to repeat and rephrase and encourage without getting frustrated is completely beyond me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Time to cut the crap.


19 thoughts on “Tortures of the Damned (5767-5795)

  1. And after reading your blog, I truly realize what a low maintenance daughter you were. Zero in fact. In fact, that started from Day 1. Having you born in Thailand was worked out perfectly. With 4 servants, including one full time nanny (which cost me only $1 per day at the time), life was relatively serene. I wish I could transfer a bit of that bliss to you. But instead, MaryAnn and I will be visiting you tomorrow and adding more to your already full plate. Maybe the boys will encounter a two day strain of sleeping sickness to compensate. Love, Dad

    • I think the expectations are very different for parenting now. In some ways, there is a lot of over parenting going on. Expectations are shifting from the child to the parent in many cases.

      But yes, you are right, I was very low maintenance. I look back on how much time I spent alone, getting myself from point A to point B without assistance, and am I little amazed. I’m grateful for that past.

      You and my mom expected a lot from me. You didn’t have to lay on me to be on time, get things done, take care of my own obligations, etc. because I was raised to assume those responsibilities were mine and mine alone. I’m a better adult for it.

      Unfortunately these days that would appear to be neglect in some people’s eyes. We give our boys a lot of responsibilities and they rise to the occasion, but we run the risk of the disapproval of our peers.

  2. Omg that shield! I had that same one when I was a kid, but I don’t even remember how I came to own it. And it’s true, lots of costumes in the making there; I’d ask for the shield and sword for a future pole perf, but I’m pretty careful about not acquiring junk. lol. And I’m not sure how the children toys with pole dancing would come across… 😉

    • I know! They are too short in the sleeves, if you can believe that. All those monkey bars and Parkour are stretching their arms out. Fear not, I’ll get more plaid shirts.

  3. I can understand your frustration with helping with math homework. Went through that with my daughter. The kids are taught totally different now then they were when I was a kid and I’d try to help her do homework and she’d be all, no momma you’re doing it different, the teacher says we do it this way and I’m just scratching my head going HUH?

        • You know what’s interesting, she’s always struggled with basic math, even to this day. But she had no problems with Algebra. She’s going into 11th grade this year, will be doing Geometry, will be interesting to see how she copes with that.

        • I hear that. I did really well in Algebra, and the first semester of Geometry I did ok cause I had a teacher who cared. But the 2nd semester I failed cause I had a different teacher who did not care at all. And all of that was late 80’s and I don’t remember any of it now. I was glad she did ok in Algebra cause I hadn’t a clue how to do any of it. lol

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