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.
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.
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.