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

Pinterest Swap Meet

Last month, I was asked to come up with a Halloween themed craft for my daughter’s class.  I needed to have one completed to show and then have the materials and instructions for the kids.  I immediately went home and opened up a new bottle of wine.  I mean, you don’t tell the teacher no – you figure it out.

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So, I was thinking.  If only there was a Secret Swap Meet for Pinterest related crafts.  I would be happy to exchange cash or wine for a beautifully created finished product and enough materials for an entire class.  I could totally BS my way through the craft with a great set of instructions.

We, as the consumers, could rate the sellers using a wine bottle system instead of stars.  Like… “I rated Cathy Crafter 1 bottle of wine because that is all I needed after spending 45 minutes with my daughter’s class teaching them her amazing Spooky Spider craft.”  OR  ”I rated Barely Bonnie 3 bottles of wine because her instructions were total crap and I looked like an idiot in front of the teacher.  I drank 3 bottles to forget about it!”. This way, we would all know who to use!

Just think about the potential if you are a Super Crafter and can whip out projects with your eyes closed.  You could build a nice sized clientele who depend on your craftiness in exchange for things like Target gift cards, bags of coffee or cold hard cash.  We, the craftily inept, look like a Rock Star to the teacher and all of the kids will clap and chant our name as we walk down the hall.  It could happen…

As luck would have it, life got in the way and my father was scheduled for an emergency quadruple bypass.  I spent a week in the hospital with my mom and was able to sponge off the Halloween craft to another mom in the class.  I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise.  My dad is doing great but I am now dreading the inevitable Holiday Party I will have to be in charge of for 34 4th graders.  Stocking up on my Pinot!

So, are you a Pinterest Rock Star or dreading classroom crafts like me?  Let’s open up a bottle together!

Solidarity in numbers people!

This Mom

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Ready to Resign the Carpool Line!

School has been back in session for 6 weeks and I have been able to make some observations of the Car Pool Line (CPL). My daughter’s school is roughly 2 miles from our house so she (and me) get to sleep in later and take our time in the morning if she is a car rider. She (me) loves this luxury so much that I also pick her up in the afternoon.

There are several types of people that sit in the CPL during the afternoon. I put in some heavy duty volunteer hours at the school so I have been able to witness the myriad of parents that make up our CPL. Here are a few of them…

There is the mom that gets there one hour before school gets out every day so that she is the first in line. One hour! What is up with that? She must be such a Super Mom that she has finished all of her housework, errands and myriad of other things that need to be done and has the luxury of waiting for an hour. If you want an hour of peace and quiet then do it at home on your couch! Why would you want to sit in your car outside of the school?

Carpooling

There is the Crazy Mom that parks her car directly outside the front doors of the school. She gets there early enough so that she can secure her spot and she will not, under any circumstance, move up so that more cars can fit in behind her. There is a history with this mom, she is certifiable. (mental note for future blog material) She gets out of the car when the kids start filing out even though there are signs clearly asking you to “Please Remain in Your Car”. Remain in your car woman! She has a routine. She has to clap her hands (like a seal) while her kids are walking towards her, she spends a minute with them on the sidewalk and then she puts them in the car. Maybe the hand clapping is some weird behavior recognition system she has put into place. “Run towards Mommy children, pay attention to the clapping.” Just certifiable.

There is the “I don’t care that I am parked sideways on this curb” mom. She can not pull alongside the curb to save her life. It is almost as if she pulls directly towards the curb and then cuts the wheel sharply to the left. I have seen her do this several times. Her car is always sticking out far enough that cars are not able to easily pass her if there is a car coming in the opposite direction. I don’t get it. I curse at her under my breath. She completely ignores the cars trying to snake their way around her and always has her nose in a book. Hence, proof that just because you read a lot does not make you smarter.

There are a few moms who buck the CPL all together and park their car someplace else. They walk over to the school, pick their little ones out of line and walk back to their car. I have decided they are not willing to wait for the buses to pull out and prefer the “Get In and Get Out” method of pickup.

The smart parents pull into the school after the buses have left and the CPL is flowing smoothly out of the lot. They pull in, pick up their kids and leave. Very efficient.

My favorite are the dads who come screeching into the school towards the end of car pool, windows down and waving their child’s pick-up paper out the window. “I’m here! I need to pick up Johnny! I made it!” Poor Johnny is one of the last kids sitting on the bench waiting to be picked up. The teachers that help with CPL are giving this dad looks of, “seriously dude?” but he does not care, he made it!

I have also witnessed some odd behavior from some of the parents. Sometimes, one mom gets her little dog out of the car and lets it go to the bathroom in the grass. She does not pick up after her dog…an entirely new blog on another day. Another dad pours his soda out onto the pavement while he is waiting in line. That shiz is sticky dude! There is a mom who rolls her windows down and talks loudly on her phone. Does she not realize we can all hear her? I almost feel like Harriet the Spy, slyly observing everyone and taking mental notes to rehash later with my friend. If I’m lucky, we pull into the CPL around the same time and get 5 minutes of a Rehash Session before the kids come out.

But don’t worry, I’m the mom blaring 80’s music with my windows up waiting for my girl to come out so we can get the bleep out of there and head home. I’m slowly convincing her to ride the bus…

What do you do to pass the time if you are sitting in the CPL?

This Mom

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