January 28, 2013

There's a lot of homework!

I am quite familiar with many aspects of  homework.  Assignment of, lack of time for, complaints about, grading of ...It goes with the territory of formal schooling.  I expected Henry to have some homework this year.  He even had some last year in pre-kindergarten.  But no, I'm not talking about the papers and projects my children bring home in their backpacks.  I'm talking about all the home "work" I have to do to keep them happy and successful during their school days. 
I thought I had kicked my perfectionist, people-pleasing habit but now I'm not quite sure.  Lately there seems to be a lot to get "just right" before I send my children out the door.  I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about:
  • Lunches (Strike One:  I ordered a year's worth of white milk.  Everyone else's parents ordered chocolate.  Henry cried for a week.  Strike Two:  I sent the wrong lunch for his field trip.  "Sack" means brown bag with a sandwich, not a zippered lunch tote with a thermos of soup.)
  • Book Reports (Strike One:  Scooby Doo chapter book requires hand-drawn illustrations, not pages cut from a magazine.)
  • Dress Down Days (Strike One:  Picture day is not a uniform day.  Strike Two:  Random Friday in November also not a uniform day.)
  • Field Trips (Strike One:  The teacher said Henry won't let her out of his sight.  Strike Two:  I don't think this is a bad thing when a five year old is 40 miles from his home.)
  • Bathroom Breaks (Strike One:  Henry became seriously ill after a second grader told him he could not go #2 at school.  Strike Two:  Henry's bowel habits were discussed with teachers, lunch moms, after school supervisors and a certain 2nd grader.  Strike Three:  Was it wrong of me to ask the young man if he wanted to see third grade?)
And then there's Liam.  I feel a bit disconnected with his preschool this year.  My daycare provider usually takes him there and picks him up.  She waits in the car line with all the other moms and greets him and the teacher as they exit the school.  She gets to gauge his emotions firsthand when it comes to his school day.  I get to hear about it hours later and piece together important details as I go through his backpack.  I am the only* working mom in the entire preschool.  Not that it bothers me.  It's just that:
  • I'm always the last to know about special days/celebrations/sign-ups.  You know, like pajama day was yesterday because we decided to change it.  Didn't you hear? or Everyone decided to make a dish to pass for the Groundhog Day luncheon.  Didn't you hear?
  • Last week his teacher didn't recognize me.  She thought I was another babysitter.
  • Liam is excluded from extracurricular social events.  (Not on purpose but because I don't have a stay-at-home-mom schedule.)
  • I never know if the extra items that I send in are received or welcomed.  The donations of wrapping paper and food boxes for the monthly thematic centers?  The hundreds of Campbell's soup labels?  Liam could have sold them on Ebay for all I know.  I'm pretty sure that's where his spare shoes went because they're not in his cubby. 
When it comes to school, I'm not sure that I'm making the grade.  My children are quick learners but I may have to repeat a few years before I get this mom thing just right.
 *Okay, there's actually another working mom but her husband is a stay-at-home-dad.  I'm so happy for her.  Whatever.
Liam's latest assignment

Last minute project:  Dollar store+glitter glue+cotton balls

Henry growling under his dragon hat.  Or
maybe he just has to go to the bathroom.


  1. Ugh. Just ugh. I don't have time to comment right now for reals because I have GOT TO GO TO BED!! And yes it's only 928pm, but Tate was up singing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' this morning at 4:51am. I didn't get up to go get him, but I heard it til I just turned the monitor off and figured if he started screaming I'd probably hear him 2 floors up through 2 shut doors and if not, well he's 3, he'll survive.

    But ugh. What are these extracurricular activities? Why don't they send home notes with the kids...what happens when parents go on vacations without their kids so someone else takes them to school?

    And I would have asked the 2nd grader if he wanted to see recess that afternoon. You were too kind :)

    Is that the 'new' Kindergarten Cannon or whatever it's called? The 1001 books my pre-schooler needs to read to be 'on par' with the pre-schoolers going to preschool 9-2 that cost $21,000/year? Where do I get this book? How many Thomas books are on that list?

    Ok now it's 9:32. I gotta really go to bed.

    You're so awesome L!!!

  2. Ugh is right! You wrote this with such humor but I can just imagine how frustrating it is!!

  3. I chuckled so hard when I read "Bathroom Breaks." These are DEFINITELY not the types of things I am sure you were worried about when deciding to become a mom. Makes me realize I shouldn't worry about things in the future because clearly I have no idea what I will actually need to worry about. Hope your little guy feels better now :) Amy

  4. OMG! I am NOT sending Rhian to school. Ever.

  5. I enjoyed this post so much as one teacher to another. SR isn't in "school" yet, but your post really got me thinking about the next few years. You are so together. There were no "outs". So you dropped the ball a few times. All good players do too.

  6. I think you're doing a fabulous job! The fact that you could make the list of things that didn't quite go spot-on is impressive! I did chuckle a bit at the teacher thinking you were the babysitter. One of the people at Eliza's school asked me if I was her grandmother. Guess I need to schedule some time with Miss Clairol more often :)

    I often think school "things" are designed for stay at home mothers or fathers who only have one child, since I don't know anyone who can whip up 8 dozen snowflake shaped cookies on three days notice (one of last year's requests). Actually maybe the stay at home parent of one child would also need a personal chef?