Thursday, February 15, 2007

More of the Same

Anybody know who buys kids for the circus? Anybody? Sheesh. It's been one of those... months. Today both our school kids came home with notes from their teachers. "Pirate Boy has failed to bring his reading book three times in the past week." To which I want to reply, "What? He actually brought it at all? 'Cause I haven't seen it more than once in two weeks!" It's been maddening. Also, "#1 Son again failed to turn in a major writing assignment. He was eating cookies in Latin class and he was drawing when he was supposed to be doing an essay." That's just today. This being the fifth offense this year, he's supposed to be suspended for two days. But he says it's not going to happen. He says the Vice Principal told him he'll get a different punishment. But we really can't trust him these days. (Case in point, he pretended he was going to take a bath tonight and just skipped out on it. Again.) I'm so fed up. He just finished his week of detention today. Now this happens...

And I'm wondering if having his schedule messed up is what's making Pirate Boy so flighty lately. After all, when his big brother has to stay after school for a couple of hours, he can't go home either, which isn't fair. He was supposed to get to spend fun "together time" with his dad as compensation, but they mostly ended up running around the college trying to get homework done, so Pirate Boy has come home exhausted and fed up every day. Today he had about half an hour of "free" time (or so I thought), so I let him play a computer game after his bath. At bedtime, I remembered that he hadn't finished (or even started) this project he's supposed to turn in tomorrow. That's going to produce another note. He's supposed to bring money for his field trip tomorrow, but I suspect that's going to fall through the cracks, too. If I don't do the remembering, it doesn't get remembered at our house. (Anybody else out there have this problem?) And lately, I don't remember much.

Oy, so I'm a bad mother again. Well, let's stop assigning blame and work out what to do. Frankly, I don't know. There's a school that specializes in the arts not too far from their current school. In the past, we've used it as a threat to keep #1 Son in line. He says he wants to focus on science and math, but what he does is music and art. And he's good at art, he really is. He learns better in a visual medium, and I hear this school is really good for that. In fact, I think it would be a great place for him. But he doesn't want to go there. He's being threatened with failing sixth grade, and all he cares about today is that if he left this school, he'd lose the karate instruction. I strongly recommended that he start doing something about his other classes, then, and he ran off crying. Oy. Again, a bad mother.

Speaking of which, I made him call his mother and tell her about this one. (I have to do this because The Man (TM) is at the Homeowners' Association board meeting tonight. He's been elected, heaven help us, and he's trying to participate. But I digress.) Let me just say that she was not happy at all with her pride and joy tonight. Guess those affirmations aren't working, eh? Taking suggestions, though, on what might work instead.


Renee said...

I don't know what to tell ya...but I do know about being the ONLY person in the house who remembers anything!

Yesterday...I tell DD that we need to go to a class. We leave at 12. She should get changed because it's cold out and she really should not wear her gymnastics outfit to this class.

So I get busy with other things and apparently she did too because at 12:04 I holler that it's time to go...and guess who hasn't changed. Then she gets mad at me about it??? I totally feel that if I have to be the brain, only one reminder from me is required. I should have drug her out in the gymnastics outfit...that would server her!

I want to put a note board on the door that says everything we have to remember...but that's more work for me to write the reminders.

DH is guilty too. We get a block from his mother's house and asks if I remembered to bring the thing he was supposed to bring for her. where's the eyeroll smiley?

Dorothy said...

Umm. Homeschool anyone? It sounds as if #1 could use an "unschooling" environment. It would still have the curriculum and credentials without the "lecture" style learning which maybe why he's rebelling since that's what he gets from Mommy when he makes a mistake.

If the suspension happens, take the two days and give it a go. If you can get him to write an essay without his eyes rolling, you may have something there.

I started posting a note at the back door. "Do you have your books? Trumpet/French Horn? Any notes I need to see? Need money for anything?" It's either that or a nightly shake down or emails to the teachers for updates.

Of course, we still have the boy who doesn't let us know he needs valentines, but it works enough to keep the occurences at a minimum. I miss homeschool though.

Scone said...

I can write reminders on the calendars, I can pin notes to the door, I can plant a big pink slip in the middle of the breakfast table, and nobody but me will notice in the slightest. And even when we do say to the kids, "Did you get your homework done? Did you bring this or that for school today?" they just say yes even if it's not true. Shakedowns work on occasion, but not always. Sigh.

I've considered home schooling, but 1) I don't have the patience (or, honestly, the energy), 2) the kids would still just refuse to do what I say, 3) downward spiral happens from there.

I appreciate the ideas, though.