"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."

Monday, April 30, 2012

And Yes I'm Whining About Homework Again

because I realize this blog might as well have the catchy name: "A Whole Bunch of Homework Interactions." But you know what? I embrace that. I accept that I bore random people to death with How Homework Went Tonight, by Kerrie. It's ok with me.

The real reason is that I don't think anything that happens with Princess harrows my soul more than working on homework. Not the pee. Not the rages. Not the police being called to our RV while on vacation.* It's the homework. I used to start shaking at 3:00 every day. I thought it had gotten better over the past three months, but it turned out that was just that Princess wasn't actually bringing home any of her homework. I hope I never, ever have to be exposed to her locker. Anyway. The homework. After two years of enduring horror that no psychopathic thriller movie has ever explored, I trigger as soon as her voice starts getting the "things aren't going well" tone.

Can I hear an "amen" from those of you whom have endured third-grade multiplication? It is not what it used to be. Now there's a grid, and all this weird multiplication facts and adding stuff you're supposed to do in certain places designated by a variety of textures of line. Buddy made up some worksheets for me so I could learn how to do it. Once you figure it out, it totally makes sense and is tons easier than the "that's just the way it is so memorize it and deal with it" school of thought that taught us. But I groaned when I pulled it out of Princess's folder. There are a LOT of steps. And steps are not Princess's cup of tea. I worked her through the first three problems, and it wasn't that bad. But the fourth problem did not have the numbers written on top of and on the side of the grid. You had to write them there YOURSELF. And this made it just go all to crap.

As soon as the whine started, my stomach churned and my hair stood on end (does anyone else's do that? Seriously. I like being reassured that I am not an entirely different species), and I suddenly had to fight myself to not raise my voice. Mostly, I did ok. I said a lot of things like, "really?" and, "well that stinks," and, "boy I'd be super mad too if one minute 7x9 was 48 and the next it was 72." And then I cracked.

By this point her paper was ripped to shreds. Mostly because whenever she asks me to explain something, she thinks she knows the answer after I've said three words and starts writing. Then, of course, since I WASN'T DONE, what she wrote is wrong and has to be erased. Do that eight times in the same spot and, well, paper just wasn't made to put up with that. She kept harping at the paper about how stupid it was, which, bullet point #1, SHE WAS NOT BLAMING ME!!!!! HAPPY DANCE!!!! But since I wasn't mentally equipt at that moment to recognize this monumental achievement, I instead slammed my can of coconut milk on the counter and said in a low growl, "it is NOT the paper." Then I caught myself and softened my voice, "it is not the paper. It is that you are frustrated. It's ok to feel frustrated. I feel frustrated too. She put her hands over her eyes, and, bullet point #2, CRIED. Then she bullet point #3 TOOK DEEP BREATHS.

That would be without prompting. Oh yes it would.

And if that were not shocking enough, she then finished the problem. With help from me. On another piece of paper.

Last semester, never. Never never never ever never. No way that wouldn't have ended with her screaming in her room and me crying over my stir-fry. Uh uh.

So yes, I am a hot mess. Yes, my healthy children are fried out. Yes, the third-grade teacher has been driven to drink. But good things are on the move.

*Josh keeps bugging me. When are you going to write about our vacation? You should write about our vacation. Haven't you written about our vacation yet? Why don't you write about our vacation. I probably will. But I only accept suggestions from Josh if they backed by at least three other people (sometimes just one, if said person has a PhD). So for now I think I'll just mention random bizarre parts here and there, and then eventually compile them. When I feel good and ready.


  1. AMEN!!!

    You are not an alien. I wish I had more words of comfort, but all I can say is I know, I know. Math has always been my own weakness, and combine that with a frustrated third grader who needs a 3D drawing of a math story to comprehend it...sheesh....I still need a 3D drawing.

    The road to Heaven is probably paved with increasing degrees of math, algebra and geometry problems...and Hell is having to solve them all along the way. I'll never make it.

    You are an amazing mother. I am cheering for you!

  2. Angels are singing "Hallelujah!" Big grins all around!!

  3. This is SO HUGE! I'm so proud of her, and I don't even know her!!! :)

  4. Huge! Singing in the chorus of Hallelujah!

    I don't hold a PhD but does that count?

    The Math Shark was our only saving grace with multiplication. I kiss it regularly. :)