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Running + Screaming

Hey, y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. The days are long, but the years weeks are short, ya know? The boys started back to school in mid-August and we’ve been busy acclimating to the newness of kindergarten and fourth grade. Connor has situated nicely to kindergarten and, to be honest, I was totally surprised. Pre-k was kind of overwhelming for him on a social scale and I kind of figured he’d have similar issues this year. Much to my relief, he loves school and learning which makes life that much easier.

Gabe has entered into fourth grade. Our school and the teachers there are awesome, so lemme just preface with that. The homework given is in-line with their lessons and we parents are provided with resources so that we can adequately assist our kids. I’m a firm believer in homework for kiddos like Gabe, anyway, who are super bright but need consistency and repetition in order to make the grade. But y’all — this. kid. is. KILLING. me. We’re exactly three weeks in and I’d be lyin’ if I said I didn’t have an early nightcap last night (and I still had to treadmill once the kids were asleep).

This is not a new issue for us. Connor is a bit of a class clown but academically on-point, whereas Gabe is exactly the opposite. He’s well-behaved and well-mannered.  But when it comes to schoolwork?  LAWD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS.  Can he do the work? Abso-freaking-lutely. The problem is that he doesn’t want to do the work. It’s boring for him and, if I’m being honest, a bit tedious. His double whammy of sensory processing disorder and ADHD has his focus all over God’s green earth. I totally get how that can be problematic for him (he’s a mini me if ever there was one) but I also get, from experience, that if he would just push through he could be UNSTOPPABLE. Y’all, this kid is no Billy Madison, but getting him from points “A” to “B” is a flipping chore.

I know you guys have seen this meme floating around the interwebs:

jurassic

And, yeah. This is pretty much totally accurate. But the hidden backstory here (I’m speculating, anyway) is that this was said by a mom who was on her fourth glass of red wine who just went straight T-Rex on her math-hating prey, er, kid. Again, speaking from experience here. We literally wrapped up his three items of homework, like, thirty minutes before bedtime. To sum that up, he gets out of school at 3:30. We got home at 3:40 and started homework at 4:00. He finished homework at 8:00 o’flipping clock. Gabe still had to eat dinner, brush his teeth, and shower. Yeah… he showered this morning because at 9:23 last night he was an hour past bedtime.

jurassic nope

Now, bear in mind — those four, LOONNGG hours were not spent strictly completing homework.  Lemme break it down for ya like a fraction:

4:15-5:45 — Gabe takes multiple bathroom breaks during which time he forms a one-man search party whose job is to locate — wait for it — his old toothbrush which was stamped with Elmo.  (Side note: he has not had that toothbrush since he was three years old.)

5:46-6:46(ish) — Me alternating face-palms of increased intensity and bellowed, “OH, COME ON” mental breakdowns, featuring the upbeat sounds of pencils being sharpened twenty-eleven times.

6:47-8:00 — This is the time slot in which the homework was actually done, but only by threat of Lego-tossing.  I managed to sneak into the pantry to stress eat an Atkins peanut butter cup and check out Google Maps to see how far away Timbuktu is from our dining room.  Checking for a friend.

8:15-8:45 — Our Tyson chicken patty sandwich dinner of champions was served.  The boys proceeded to argue over condiments.  I finally snapped and ordered absolute silence lest they sleep on the deck in sleeping bags.  All the wine is gone.

jurassican

Three weeks ago Gabe was excited to be back at school.  I, stupidly, thought things would go off without a hitch.  “He’s growing up!”, I said.

Two weeks ago Gabe mildly complained about having to write a paragraph.  He did it, but it took a little longer than necessary.  I was okay with it — fourth grade is a whole new ballgame.  No worries — he’ll get there.  His paragraph was well written, which sparked hope.

Last week he “didn’t need to study the science words” because he, “knows that a delta is rock broken down by erosion”.  I’M SORRY, SAY WHAT??

This week I’m bracing myself.  This week I’m gonna pray my way through the car rider lane and all the way home.  This week I’m going to look into those crystals that you chant to in order to prevent pre-mediated thought processes.

This week.  This week I’mma be a homework survivor in the land of Terdassic Park.

Fire up the grill!

20 thoughts on “Running + Screaming”

  1. Your post made me smile! My son is an adult now, but It felt like you are talking about what I went through and felt when he was a little kid. Thanks for reminding me of those priceless moments. God bless your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Gabe! I’m sure it’s hard on you, too. I’m a huge believer in teaching a child the way they learn best and sometimes homework gets in the way of that. The problem is that is has to be done, whether it’s hard on them or not. I’m sure you’ve tried this already but have you given him things to fidget with while working? Or frequent movement breaks, etc?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel for him, I really do. But he’s capable of learning the material — we just have to help him figure out the best method for his learning pattern.

      We have tried the fidgets; they work for awhile but eventually become very distracting for him and his classmates. The movement breaks work wonderfully here at home, but again it can be problematic in a school setting. 😕

      Like

  3. Aw man, sorry you’re having a hard time! My kids are not in school yet, but I was a teacher and I honestly hate homework so much (especially when it’s stressful for parents). I think time after school should be spent with family, doing extracurricular activities, or just reading. Have you talked to his teacher about alternate homework activities? I’d hate for Gabe to develop negative feelings toward school because it’s a struggle to get homework done.

    But… If you just want him to finish the work, try different positions or seats. Laying down, yoga balls, wobble stools. Mix it up

    Hang in there, Mama! You have a lot of school left. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are great suggestions! And you’re right — I don’t want him to start hating school. Thankfully, he still enjoys going and for that I am glad. I haven’t reached out to them about alternative homework, and in some ways I kind of hate to.

      While I don’t want him to hate school or the idea of it, I also know that adulthood, even as progressive as things are these days, won’t offer him those options. The real world won’t cut him slack and, as terrible and even callous as I’m sure this makes me sound, he needs to be able to complete difficult tasks if not quickly than at least correctly.

      I hope that doesn’t make me sound harsh. I adore that little guy and just want him to grow up confidently knowing he *can* do hard things. Your suggestions are great though (love the wobble stool idea!) and I’m willing to give anything a shot in the name of helping one of my kiddos!

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      1. You’re absolutely right, the real world is not always accommodating. I love your persistence and the way that you find humor in these tough circumstances. Both of your kids are so fortunate to have such a thoughtful, hilarious mommy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciate that! Sometimes I feel like I am too hard, but I just want them to live their best lives. Your girls are precious and I really love how you can put things in perspective. I wish I had that quality!

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    1. Thanks, girl! It’s not always awful and every little one is different. My younger boys lack the issues that Gabe struggles with, so this is probably going to be central to him. And it isn’t hard EVERY day, either.

      New things are always a challenge and I’m confident that one day something will click for Gabe and this will all be a thing of the past. But even if not, he’ll get there little by little.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Homework time is hectic in my household too! With 3 boys it easy for my kids together distracted.. I’ve started printing worksheets for my 2yo to do when his older brother does homework, and that helps a little. But there are many nights where we exceed bedtime.. Is it just me or do our kids get a TON of homework nowadays?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so blessed that my nine month old is so laid back, but my now five year old was super distracting before he started school. I had to print off worksheets or buy the LeapFrog books, too, to keep him occupied. Now that he has his own work he is a bit easier but still wants a lot of attention (middle child syndrome — lol). My oldest doesn’t have an outrageous amount of work, but he is so easy to distract and drags it out rather than just getting it done. Very frustrating! Exceeding bedtime is pretty much our norm and come 930 this momma is over it! Lol.

      This must be a boy thing, because almost everyone I’ve talked to with girls has said how much easier it is with them where schoolwork is concerned.

      Liked by 1 person

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