I am getting a new number because my kids have my old one and they keep dialing it up.
This is a homework thing. (You know, I didn’t mind school so much the first time I went through it but these second and thrid visits I’m making with sons V and VI are about to send me straight to the loony bin.)
My children know me well enough to work me. I have these three personality traits which they understand and use to their advantage: 1) I am big on school and life learning. 2) I am impatient – in the extreme. . . . 3) and I can’t stand a lot of silly stuff.
Youngest son does the following: He hides the educational ball. To hear him tell it, he NEVER has any homework. Or whatever homework he did have he finished in school. And last but not least, any and all work, no matter its amount or nature, is due NEXT TUESDAY.
His excuses, notwithstanding, the boy isn’t failing because he has no 4th amendment rights. He is subject to search and seizure the minute he walks in the door. I do everything short of make him drop the book bag, put his hands on the wall and spread ’em. I search his stuff. I search him. I am on line with his teachers. I know what his assignments are before he does.
The problem is once I get the info I want to kick educational behind. He just wants to shut me up. So here’s the brilliant move on his part. He gets started and then comes to me with: “I don’t understand” “What does that mean?” ” I didn’t see that” or “Well what are you supposed to do?”
I get him started. He then says things like; “Now what?” “I thought I was done?” or “Well what else is there?”
Next thing you know I’m saying “Can’t you see that . . . ” Then I do a problem and say “Do the next one like that.” He stares blankly into space. He writes down something dumb. I say “Didn’t I just show you. . . ?” “Look this is what you need to do . . ”
Next thing you know, I’m angry and he’s walking away with his homework all done. He has neither lifted a finger nor activated a single brain cell.
My older son has my number as well but he uses a different phone line. He comes to me with his work. Tells me how overwhelmed he is and how important it is for him to do well. He says things like “I don’t know where to get started with this” I give him an idea. He says “That’s good.” Then writes it down. Afterwards he says: “What do you think we should do next?” (you do see the importance of the pronoun he used don’t you?) I say “OOOOHHHH you know what would be cool. . . ” Do I need to tell you how this story ends?
Here’s the lesson. I KNOW better than to do this but my children read my emotional state and use it against me. Emotions, I am telling you, they are the key.
But that’s okay. I’m done now. I’m getting them a tutor (I tried having my husband take over but I began to feared for the boys’ safety.) I am going to pay somebody to do what I can’t. I am cheap but I know what money is for. I don’t get my nails done. I perm my own hair. I buy most of my clothes at Target. (and I’m not pleading poor. How dumb would that be? You know what I do for a living.)
I may not be a good teacher but I know where my money is supposed to go.
So like I said, they got my number but I’m shutting that switchboard down.
If this is a war of attrition. I plan to be the last man standing.