Homework.That annoying thing that gets in the way of childhood.
The thing that keeps popping up day after day, taunting, nagging, challenging, growing, expanding.
If my kids could describe it, that's how they would put it (maybe with occasional 'fun' homework thrown in there, too).
It is a struggle. It never used to be, though. We'd punch it out together and be done within 1/2 hour. Now, it takes 2 hours (or more) and includes that day's lesson as well as all of the corrections of problems that were incorrect from past assignments. This can be (and usually is) several sheets. Many times tears happen. Tears of anger. Tears of frustration. Tears of disappointment that I won't cave and just let them do whatever they want.
After the crying is done, the homework gets punched out in about 20 minutes. I'll never completely understand the 'why,' but I suspect it has something to do with the fact they have now expunged ALL of their spare energy they were saving up just to argue with me. When intense arguing/resistance fails, crying ensues, then homework gets done. Seems a little unnecessary to go through all that, but... if I must....
This brings me to... today. *dramatic music*
I was "forcing" one child to get their stuff done from the night before. All of the corrections. All of the current homework. All of the project stuff. At first, the child was on board, mostly. Then, after a few correction problems, they decided they were hungry. I said they could eat when the homework was done; and, if they got after it, they would be done with enough time to eat.
This did not go over well.
I'll spare ALL of the details, but for the next 1/2 hour, I was berated and told what a mean mommy I am and how it was child abuse to not feed my kids. I kindly explained that, if they would have gotten the work done the night before, we would not be trying to do it before school. I also lovingly pointed out that the body can go weeks without food and that they weren't starving at all.
That also did not go over well.
There was lots of crying.
Oh my gosh, seriously, someone take me away.
For about 15 minutes.
Really. They can't see this was their own doing.
At one point, I noticed them reading a book. I told the child to put the book down and that, if they just would get their work done, they'd have time to read after getting ready for school. The argument that ensued almost caused me to excuse myself from the room.
Because I was laughing.
It wasn't right.
*crying child* "MOOOOOM!!! YOU'RE SO MEAN!! I NEED TO EAT! AND READING IS SO IMPORTANT. DID YOU EVEN READ WHAT THE BOOK FAIR FLYER SAID??"
2nd child chimes in "Yeah. Mom, it's really important to ...."
Mom gives "mom look": "Uh. we are not talking about the book fair right now, and the book is interfering with your progress. Put it down."
*crying child* "OH MY GOSH. YOU ARE SO MEEEEEEEEHEEEHEEEEAN. YOU ARE THE MEANEST MOMMY EVER!!! WE NEED TO READ BECAUSE IT HELPS US IN SCHOOL!!!!! AND WE NEED TO EAT!!! I'M NOT DOING THIS WORK. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"
I started laughing. I just couldn't help myself.
*crying child in angry yelling squeal-type voice* "IT'S. NOT. FUNNYYYYYYYY!!!!"
And to prove their point: This is presented to me by both older children...
I like that shark. It looks as though its smart-ass smile is saying "read this" to help prove the kids' point of them turning into dummies just because they aren't allowed to read while they're on the toilet, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, putting on coats and while eating breakfast, lunch and/or dinner!
It was really unbelievable how escalated everything became this morning.
No, the child did not get breakfast (unless they sneaked something I was unaware of).
No, the homework did not get completed.
No, the wooden spoon did not have to get involved; though, I thought I saw it waving its arms indicating it was ready for action.
I'm left wondering, though, does laughing when they say stuff like that make me a bad person?? ;) hahahah Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. What the hell. None of our other extremely awesome parenting skills are helping them channel their behavior toward the goal we are tirelessly steering them toward...
Laughter IS the best medicine, right? ;)