Homework Hell

So, my 11yo daughter started middle school this year. I now find myself dreaming of the days she was in elementary school and the homework was fun and included colored pencils and a glue stick. Now, I would gag myself with a colored pencil if I could. No joke, she sits for 2-3 hours every night completing science, math, reading and language arts. Surprisingly, there is not much in Social Studies which is my jam! I mean, I loved that subject in school and I don’t even get to enjoy it again. Math however, we have a longstanding relationship and it’s not good.

homework hell

Math hates me and I hate math. It’s the way it has always been. But now there is new math! Where we take 12 extra steps to solve a simple multiplication problem and we draw boxes and number lines to get the answer. Can I jump on the “Save the Trees” bandwagon and protest all of this work because of all of the college ruled paper we are using? That’s another thing – college ruled paper. My kid has gone from her nice wide ruled world to a world where her letters don’t fit in the lines and I’m constantly telling her to erase and write it neater. My handwriting sucks so she is doomed!

Besides the written work, there is also math to be done on the computer. I sometimes sit with her while she does this because it is confusing. It’s a crazy guy with a weird robot who is always trying to solve a cooking problem using fractions. Quit trying so hard already and just go buy the damn pie at the store! I mean, when I have a recipe that I am doubling and it asks for 2/3 cup of something, I just fill up my cute little 2/3 measuring cup twice. I don’t try to figure out what 2/3 x 2 is. There are easier ways to do this!

Didn’t we, as parents already spend at least 12 years doing homework? Must we now be forced to do it again, but also relearn a new way to do it? Wine has become my best friend and the chick at the local beverage store automatically knows to just grab a case of my favorite when I stroll in at 9:00am. One of the greatest moments of my day is when the girl is finally in bed, the husband is content and settled and I can sit on my end of couch with a glass of red and stare at the T.V. not even caring what is on. As long as it’s not Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.

Please tell me I’m not the only parent out here suffering through homework. Please tell me it gets better! How long does your kid spend staring at the ceiling doing homework every night?

Solidarity in numbers people…

This Mom

My Life Is In Piles…

Today I realized something. My life consists of piles. Everywhere I look, there are piles of something that need to be dealt with. I am scared of some of the piles so they keep growing and will eventually consume all traces of air around me and will slowly close me in.

There are the typical piles that are probably seen in every home. The piles of laundry that need to be cleaned. The piles of clean laundry that need to be put away. I have piles of magazines that I swear I will read. (I’m an idiot, who am I kidding?) I will eventually have so many new magazines that have arrived in the mail that I will nonchalantly throw some of the cartoon-about-houseworkolder ones in the recycle bin and feel a little bit better about that pile. There are piles of books that my 9 year old swears she is reading and they are all her favorite. I don’t have the heart to get rid of books so those piles never go away.

There are piles of bills that need to be sorted, paid and filed away. There are piles of schoolwork that has already returned with their grades in blazing red pen and a few projects that I just can’t throw in the garbage. In my mind, I see myself going over this schoolwork with my daughter because I’m the super best mom ever! There’s just too much of it already and I figure she has enough homework so why punish her?

There are already piles of forms from the school selling this or that, PTA forms and papers from the teacher that need to be filled out, checks written and sent back in. This is pretty much the only thing I write checks for. It’s unbelievable, every dang entry is to the school or the PTA. I should just give them direct access to my account.

There are piles of toys that get dragged out of their hiding places and never quite put away. They are just shoved to the side, quietly discarded until I put my foot down and make her put them away or do it myself. (Side note: Doing it yourself is a great time to throw some of that crap away! Victory!)

The most dreaded piles are when we get a wild hair and decide to clean out a closet and things we aren’t quite sure what to do with get piled up in a spare bedroom. Closing the door to this room may make you forget about those piles for a while but I assure you they are always there waiting for you.

Then there are the piles that no one but you can see. These are the mental piles. The running list in your head of errands that need to be ran or items that need to be picked up. Your friends are even stacked up in piles. They get shifted in their pile according to who needs you right then and who you may have neglected for a while. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s easy to weed through that pile and discard the contaminators. Unless they are your neighbors and the only option you have left is: open garage door, pull in, shut garage door and never go outside again.

My feelings are even in piles. I have piles of guilt for not being able to keep the perfect house or make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I’m running under the “A house is supposed to look lived in!” theory and depending on the neighborhood bakery to make me look like a rock star.

I have piles of sadness that has come from losing my sister to cancer and not wanting to deal with it. That pile will never go away. There are piles of frustration because I just can’t understand why some people are morons and why can’t they just be witty and laugh at themselves. Stop taking everything so seriously people!

The biggest pile I have (here’s where it gets sappy) is the pile of love I have for my daughter and husband. It is the biggest pile and the biggest reason why many of those other piles really are not a big deal. They will get dealt with, but I hope this pile of love and memories gets bigger and bigger and consumes all traces of air around me and slowly closes me in.

What is the biggest pile you have in your life today?

This Mom

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The Time I Was Incarcerated…

If you do the crime, you must do the time. I sarcastically rattle this off to my child when she is placed on the Naughty Step (thanks Supernanny) for her various indiscretions. Perhaps she has had a smart mouth or did not do as she was told after being asked more than once. In our house, the amount of time you sit in time out is based on how many years you are. Nine years old = 9 minutes. It’s not Rocket Science. The Naughty Step is the bottom step of the staircase that leads to the second floor and you can not see the TV from it. Perfect spot, right?

One thing I have been drilling into my girl lately is not saying phrases that sound like something else. Such as “what the heck” or “no freaking way”. I tell her that saying those things are just like saying the bad version of them and we need to steer clear. Now don’t get me wrong. When she is not around, I am TOTALLY guilty of saying the bad versions of these phrases, but I am very good at not slipping up around her. Until this week…

While we were going over her math homework the other day, I was learning a lesson in patience. Let me preface this by saying that I HATE doing homework with her but it must be done so I suck it up. I want her to succeed and feel good about her accomplishments, I just don’t want to take the hour it does to get this done. I was pretty much a straight A student and never had to take my math finals because I had aced every test leading up to them. (Here is where I blame my husband for my wonderful average student.) I am perfectly happy with her grades and would never push her to be perfect. But I digress…

Ever been here?

Homework Hell

I had gone over the same problem with her at least 50 4 times and it was wrong, yet again. So, in my moment of frustration I said, “There is no freaking way you got this wrong again.” Yep, there it is. The exact phrase she is not allowed to say.

“Mom! You are in time out on the Naughty Step!” Ummm…what do I do here? Tell her that Mom sometimes makes mistakes and move along? Apologize and tell her that this looming math problem is a bigger issue we need to tackle? That is the complete opposite of what I am trying to teach her. The bigger issue here is being a good example.

I told her she was right, but told her that grownups don’t fit on the step so I would do my time on the couch. Do you get what I am saying here people??? I got to sit. On the couch. All alone. For 38 minutes!!!

I will NOT be using this to get out of Mommy Jail!

Get out of jail card

I happily did my time. You know what they say about repeat offenders? I think I may turn into one of those. She was also very proud of the fact that she “caught” me and could not wait to tell Daddy. I got the “raised eyebrows” from him that say “seriously?” Yep, you know what I always say? If you do the crime, you must do the time.

Alright, time to fess up. Come clean and share about a time you had to take a punishment from your kids. You will feel better for getting it off your conscience.

This Mom

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