I suck at homework.
Growing up, after school I wanted nothing more than to sit on the phone with my bestie Katrina S. We were 12 and had super major executive-level important shit to talk about even though she was in my class and I saw her all day…DUH! The pre-pubescent marathon phone call was then, the equivalent to twenty minutes spent on BuzzFeed or PerezHilton, today. Who wore what. Bitch stole my look. Hot guys. Hot girls. Losers. Nerds. Bad haircuts. Cute haircuts. We also had to spent at least five minutes of the 180 minute call, talking about Samantha Micelli’s cute outfit on last night’s episode of Who’s the Boss and how mad hot Frank Pitassio and Michael Meschino looked playing floor hockey in gym class that day. Of course, peppered in that call was the odd awkward phone pick up by my mom or dad or sister actually expecting to hear a dial tone and use the phone- instead of our bitchy pre-pubescent gossip. These phone calls happened every day. 5 days a week. I stopped for dinner. But then was back on the call. Fortunately I rarely had homework to do or if I did, clearly it wasn’t important.
Instead, we were given projects that were spread out over time- but never daily homework. Daily homework would have severely stunted my social development- and the time I had to dream about marrying Scott and having ten babies with him as soon as turned 20. No, I didn’t live in a trailer park but yes, I clearly wasn’t the studious type. I did well in school- I never failed a test. Ever. I was happy pulling high 70’s and low 80’s without nerding out. I was lucky and because balance was important to me. After all, life’s not just about homework and stupid marks, you know! Oh, I was so wise beyond my years…
Will I admit this to Julien? Hell Fuck no. Instead, I tell him everyday that it’s ALL about homework and marks! And I even make sure to constantly remind him of his possible future fate if he doesn’t do homework. I tell him, “See that guy there with no shoes, smelling of pee sleeping on the cardboard box? Yup, he went to school with Daddy. He didn’t listen to his parents, he didn’t eat vegetables and he never did his homework. Now look at him.” I’m like the MacGyver of Moms. Crafting real life lessons from real life situations. And shaming homeless people.
Since Julien started Kindergarten he has brought home homework. Yup, 4 year olds have to do homework here in Amurikuh. Actually- it’s more like PARENTS do homework. That oh-so-easy-to-understand-Go Math book coupled with eight to ten, doubled-sided, haphazardly stapled letter size sheets that says “Weekly Homework Package” on the front with boxes for a daily parent signature and some other shit that’s not important to me- is the daily homework I never had growing up. And it ain’t charming.
In the beginning, I was the one who did homework with little Juju. We would both sit at his little kid table, on cute tiny Alvar Aalto stools and then all of a sudden, I would transform into a hybrid Tiger Mom–Mommie Dearest. I would freak the fuck out when he didn’t start a sentence with a capital letter. I would lose it when he wouldn’t touch his lower case “M” to the mid-line. I would begin to scream at him when he wouldn’t sit still. Basically it was a total fuckshow that always ended up with both of us in wailing messy tears and me feeling like total worthless momshit oozing with shitloads of #momguilt.
After about two months of this hell- Daddy who
often just sat back and watched the drama unfold every day would be making dinner like every good husband should, came to the rescue. Mommy wasn’t allowed to do homework anymore. Halle-fucking-lujah!
I still did feel a little guilty for weeks after the ‘homework takeover’. I felt I was failing my kid by not doing homework with him and that I was a shitty mom. I admit I actually got down on myself- which rarely happens because I’m so
fucking perfect secure with myself, but once I saw Julien so much happier doing homework with Mike, who is my opposite (and savior); the house- quieter, and my blood- still (not boiling), did I understand that I was officially off the hook and that I didn’t need to feel guilty anymore because fact: I suck at homework. Mine or anyone else’s.
Now that he’s in 3rd grade, life has become pretty hectic. We now have two kids, two dogs, dayjobs, side jobs and responsibilities to manage all over the damn place- so we strive to make home life as enjoyable and easier at any costs. Now Mike too, is off the homework hook. Instead, I write checks to pay a tutor who actually has a PhD in Education, who knows how to do homework with Julien better than my BAA in Interior Design, could.
As the saying goes, do what you’re good at and stick to it. Outsource the rest. This applies to worklife, homelife and your kids homework.
Thank God I never did have those ten babies with Scott because then I’d really be fucked… 😉