My son has been home sick for a few days and he’s lived the life of a sick kid: laying on the couch, movies, games, lots of hugs and snuggles and sympathy. But today he’s got to do some homework because he IS going back to school tomorrow. Fever gone, wait 24 hours, and off you go buddy! Seeya!
His homework is to write about a life cycle, so he wanted to write about the life cycle of a seed. Cool. Ok, let’s start writing your ideas down first.
KID: That’s not how you do it.
ME: I’m helping you to work out your ideas so that you can have more than just 4 simple sentences. Your teacher wants you to be detailed.
KID: I don’t even know what that means.
ME: It means use lots of ideas.
KID: I can do this myself, I don’t want your help.
ME: Well you’re gonna get my help, whether you like it or not.
And off he stomped to his room. Why you snitty little snotty little … WTF? So I made it clear to him that he will do nothing else all day until that homework is done. NADA. No playing, no tv, no Wii, no board games, zippo.
So this went on for an hour:
KID: YOU’RE MEAN!
KID: I DON’T WANT YOUR HELP!
and this too…
KID: I CAN DO THIS MYSELF!
and more of…
KID: YOU’RE MEAN!
Fine, wallow in self pity. I’ll be here goofing off on FB and drinking coffee.
After a little more time he came into the kitchen and wanted to be mommy’s little boy again, crawling into my lap wanting sympathy. I told him about responsibility and doing things well. That if we don’t live up to our responsibilities, then our privileges get taken away. If I don’t pay the rent, then our apartment gets taken away. If I don’t do my job at work, then my job gets taken away. And if I don’t take care of him, then he gets taken away. That it’s my responsibility as a parent to make sure he’s healthy and clean and has a home and goes to school AND that he does his homework. But that he also has to take responsibility because his job is to be a student. So he has to do his homework before he can have any privileges, like watching a movie.
Knowing he was not getting out of it, he schlumped back to his room, sat at his desk, and wrote his ideas for his life cycle essay. I talked him through it, asking questions to help him generate ideas to be more detailed in his writing. After he wrote his ideas, he then wrote out his essay on the page given to him by his teacher, using neat handwriting, punctuation, and careful spelling. He then read it back to me with great pride in what he wrote. When I looked at it to check for spelling mistakes, there was only one word spelling wrong: beautiful. Well, he spelled it phonetically: butiful. Good try. Kind of a weirdly spelled word anyway, right?
After correcting his spelling, he put his essay away into his homework folder and put the folder in his backpack for tomorrow.
My surly little boy then walked over to me, rolled his eyes a bit with a half smile and said with a sigh, “you were right…” Then went to watch a movie.
YOU. WERE. RIGHT.
Like the sweetest music every played. Absolutely butiful.