The kids have been in school a whopping 41 days and clearly the novelty has worn off. In the last couple of weeks, my 4-year old has gone from simply whining about school to outright sobbing when I drop her off. It was funny the first time she asserted that she “had enough knowledge” and, therefore, no longer needed to attend school, but this argument is getting old, however. I have been trying to get to the bottom of the trouble, but so far the only thing she says is that she hates it because she is always tired. So last night we went to bed 30 minutes earlier than we have been, but it didn’t change the outcome this morning. I guess we will keep pushing up her bedtime until we reach the optimum time that lets her get up refreshed. And hopefully happy to be going to school.
The boys are having different issues. My youngest is “officially” learning to read and write now that he is in the first grade. He thought he was the bomb when school first started, but has already discovered that having homework EVERY DAY bites. He does a great job of getting down to business the minute he gets home though. Sadly, I don’t read 6-year old very well and often I need his older brother (or my sister who teaches elementary ESL) to translate for me what he intends to say. This weekend, he had a birthday party to attend for a boy who is now attending another school. We wrapped the gift and his brother helped him address the tag. Then later he came out with a drawing and asked if he could tape it to the gift. I said sure, even though I couldn’t tell what it said. Sadly, his brother came into me shortly thereafter and asked me if I had any idea what it said. I admitted that I didn’t. He translated for me and apparently it was full of curse words. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t pretend I have no idea where they hear these things (even though that is one of my favorite scenes in A Christmas Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNX9WOIDJV8). I often have the salty talk of a sailor, but I also spend a great deal of time talking about when it is appropriate to say certain things and how old you need to be to even consider it. (Total side note: There was a comedian on the last season of Last Comic Standing who did this whole bit on catching his 4-year old saying the F word. The funniest part was that he told him “you aren’t even using it correctly.” I love that part!) Sadly, I was super disappointed by this though, as he has always been my little angel. I guess I knew all along that this day was coming, in one form or another. I have since reinstated the Cursing Jar: Anyone, myself included, has to put a quarter in the jar anytime they are heard by another using an expletive. I just hope we don’t make a bundle on this deal!
Lastly, my oldest has a teacher who believes that kids should spend all of the time they are not in school doing school work. Not kidding. She actually sent home a letter at the start of school stating that “children should be doing chores and contributing significantly to the household and doing homework, therefore not leaving a single minute to watch TV or do anything else.” I paraphrase, of course, but that was the basic gist. Anyway, this has left my son stressed out about homework all the time. And this translates into a snotty attitude, which he so graciously shares with us. Me mostly. He recently dropped out of crossing guard because his teacher was giving him such a hard time for missing 10 minutes at the end of the day for a week straight when it was his turn for duty. I was so angry. He loved crossing guard. He was so proud to have been made captain and everything. I just love how people who don’t have kids have such a clear idea of how smoothly this should all work for those of us that do, if we would just follow a couple of simple rules they have come up with. For us, all his homework is so consuming that we are constantly spread thin and our other 2 children aren’t getting the same focus. Maybe that is why my younger son has taken to cussing us all out – LOL!
I must admit, I hate school too!