The 2nd Oldest Profession

Some days Motherhood just doesn’t give you the same satisfaction that others do. You don’t look at your kids and think that they are little angels. You don’t dream of how a meatloaf will change the world, if only they would try it. And most of all, you don’t want anyone to know that you secretly think they are little turds. At least some of the time.

But, most of the time that isn’t the case. Thank God. I would likely have landed in jail for dropping the little urchins off on the church steps long before now. Or beating them senseless, which is what I usually threaten. But this week has been trying. My oldest, in a fit of 13-year old wisdom, took a pack of stink bombs to school and shared them about. Then, when one was set off – “NOT BY ME!” – he can’t fathom why he was suspended for the remainder of the school year – 8 whole days. So in light of him giving up his day job, I have started my own child labor camp.

I honestly wasn’t that mad about the whole thing. Was it stupid? Yes. Was it ridiculous? Yes. Would I have dropped it and gotten on with life? Yes. But the thing is this: My son NEVER admits to any wrongdoing, no matter how strongly the evidence against him. So when I said we would make the most of it and that he would be given chores to do each day while I worked (you know, my day job), I don’t know why I didn’t expect that he would literally beat me down each day with a barrage of why it was all so stupid and that he had nothing to do with it. I can’t figure out why he still thinks that. At this point I just wish he would shut up about it!

So my dream of having the housework done while I made some money has gone out the window. Instead, I am just trying to keep him busy enough to stop complaining so I can concentrate. I am truly envious of my husband who gets to go to work each day! Not to mention that I spend a lot of time thinking about chocolate desserts. Not a good thing.

In addition to us now having only 3 days left of what I like to think of as bureaucratic hell, I got a note from my youngest’s first grade teacher asking for us to help pack up the room and then, get this, help put together summer homework packets. I was like “WTF? Are you insane?! I am not having them do homework this summer! I barely got them to do it all year as it was! And how on earth am I to keep track of that until Fall? And what do they get for bringing this back in 3 months time? What is the motivation?!” So, like any good parent, I threw it in the trash. I told my kids that we were going to do things this summer, but not those things. I basically gave up on homework after they completed their standard testing 6 weeks ago. That is when anything real stopped happening anyway. Call me a bad parent, call me lazy, call me whatever. I am done! And so are they. And so are the teachers, or they wouldn’t have been watching movies all this week anyway. Why are we even pretending? More importantly, we are we mandated to be there each day when it is all such a farce? My kids can watch DVD’s at home, thank you very much.

And the saddest thought of all occurred to me when I was trying to go to sleep last night: In 3 short months, we will have to start all over. Start all over with new teachers, new friends, new enemies, new complaints about why we hate school. I would gladly (in theory at least) home school them if I thought that we could do it and survive the experience. I guess the reality is that I would be trading one battle for another. In the end, nobody loves being forced to do something. It is always better when it seems like you had a say in the matter. And for me, as the mom, I really just want them to be happy. I want their day-to-day lives to be rewarding. I want to protect them from the world of bullies and bad teachers. And… I kinda want to keep them to myself. Even if just for a little while longer.

In this same vein, my friend posted a link to this blog a couple weeks back. After I read it, I was like AMEN to that sister! If you are nearing the end of school, I hope you can relate to Worst End of School Year Mom Ever by Jen Hatmaker.

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