"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Because It's Been Awhile Since I've Griped About Homework

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The cruise. There is no fallout that would make it not worthwhile. None.

That said, the past four weeks have been....er....challenging? Difficult? Loud? A living nightmare that I can't seem to wake up from?

Yeah. That one.

There was spring break. And we likey institutional structure. Well. One of us does. And that Friday it was time to pick the homework back up. Mind you, there had been four weeks, FOUR WEEKS, where Princess completed her homework on time compliantly with a decent attitude. It didn't exactly lull me into complacency- it's not like the stomach aches or the twitch went away, but, you know. You start to like it.

And then it aaaaaaaaaaall hits the fan, it's all too much, and you get this:

and in response to the child reporting to the teacher that you "won't help her," and the child reporting back to you that the teacher said, "tell your mom that she has to help you because moms are supposed to help their children," and the resulting e-mail from the teacher saying that what she actually said was, "I know your mom helps you; moms are supposed to help," you make her this:

...which you find the next morning looking like this:

The next day a note came home requiring my signature to inform me that Princess had not turned in her required on book a week.

No kidding?

I slid aforesaid book across the counter to her, and she read it perfectly. With expression. I said, "I do NOT think your homework is too hard for you at all," and I slid the note in front of her. "I think you should read and sign this, too." The Oscar the Princess look shoved itself onto her face.

I KNOW what it says.
Then tell me.
Dear Parent, as you know
No, you said you know what it says. So tell me.
I forgot.
Then read it and tell me what it's telling you.

So she did. With the grouch face.

I don't know what compelled me. Maybe righteous anger that she can do her work, she just, you know, won't. Maybe getting-ahead-of-myself fear for her future. But I said, "do you remember that letter J wrote to you in the cover of her baby book?" (nods) "Do you remember what it says?" (shakes head). I went downstairs to get it. When I got there I stood in front of the door remembering that Josh locked it to keep the kids from using the toilet in there and not flushing and letting it sit and sit and sit until it becomes and actual part of the toilet, forgetting that it's a keyed lock and we don't have the key so now we have to wait for a slow weekend to break off the knob and replace it.

I kicked the door a few times chanting "frick" softly to my self.

I went back up.

"Ok. So I can't show it to you. But I remember it. She told you that she wants you to do all your work in school so you can finish and have choices for a job. J didn't do all her school, and that's part of why she is having so much trouble now. J couldn't take care of you, but she loves you and cares about you. She wants better for you that she had for herself. She wants you to do all the school you can."

Josh overheard and came in. He reminded Princess that just at dinner she was talking about what she wanted to do for a job as a grownup. What was it again?


I said, "Princess, do you know that regular kids answer questions? It's called talking. You can do it, too. You can be brave and answer Daddy's question."


And the three of us went on to have an actual conversation. Once in which Princess actually spoke. Not that she was happy about it. I was not being sarcastic when I encouraged her to be brave: talking to us feels like a risk to her.

At the end, Princess still had her arms folded across her chest and a semi-crabby look on her face. Josh said, "so what do you think a regular kid would do now?"

Smile. And hug you.

"Why don't you try it out, honey? Practice being a regular kid. You can be brave. You can do it. Try it out. See how it feels."

And holy shnikers, she did.


  1. Aww! I love this! SO much hope!

  2. I'm so glad you tell us these things. I don't feel so alone, and I also see that Princess is making strides...at times. So glad to hear it!

    {By the way, you may want to swap out the fourth picture; it has a real-life name on it a few times.}

  3. @Debora- Whoops! Haven't done THAT in a while! All better now.

  4. Good job Kerrie. You and Josh are both amazing. And so is Princess.

  5. Aha, that's awesome! I love it!

    This weekend Genea was stumbling and loping along reading a book to my Mom and finally my mom was like, how can you read the word broccoli and not the word spit? And I said, because she is faking it, she knows how to read all of it. Suddenly, sure enough, all those reading skills came back in a rush.

  6. Hope and healing! Great job to Mom, Dad & Princess. We do the homework struggles with our Princess every week, too. She has A's on her report card in math and spelling, but doesn't know how to do a single problme of her homework at home.

    By the way, I have awarded you The Versatile Blogger award! See my blog for instructions if you accept! www.lastmom.blogspot.com

  7. Thanks for sharing your walk down the winding road that is adoption from foster care. My family is embarking on it as well and it is so reassuring to see the trail blazed by those that come before us. (((hugs)))