On Mothering this week

I sat at the kitchen counter with my 9 year old realizing, “I am trying to  teach my kid math but I have to use a calculator to check her homework.”

My seven year old screamed how she hated homework because she hated coloring. Her first grade teacher gives her about four word problems a night and then makes them color everything on the paper, every picture, every line drawing. It IS kind of annoying. So, as much as I don’t blame Blue, I make her color. She rolls her eyes and then colors them half heartedly and then asks to do math flashcards. (what a kid, huh?)

This week has been hell in our house for some reason, my older one is good as gold one day, the next, she sticks her foot out to trip her little sister, who was already on the verge of complete meltdown…who screamed, not only at her sister, but at me, at the wall, she threw her boots down the stairs and yelled “I DON’T CARE” thirty two times before 8am.

Well, she did care, when she lost her play date with her little friend from school, when the Nintendo DS went in my purse for a few days, and when she didn’t get to go to Chuckee Cheese with her sister (and me) as the reward for the previous week’s good behavior incentive chart we have been doing the last few months. She still gets the reward, but “sorry kid, we’re postponing it.”

Chuckee Cheese, which I admitted to Red, was not as bad as I remembered (I had banned it for the last 5 years since the last time I was in one) because this one is smaller and being 5:00 pm on a Wednesday, we had the place to ourselves.

Now that’s how to do Chuckee Cheese, I’m tellin’ ya.

At any rate, she stayed home, in her room, by herself, while J practiced and about two hours later he went to get her, amazed that she’s been so quiet and had stayed put voluntarily. Apparently he stepped into her room and goes, “So, Blue….what do you think?” And he squatted down so she could climb on his back and he took her downstairs to make her an omelette and toast for dinner. They did her homework together.

And when I walked in the door with Red, fresh from Chuckee Cheese, Blue ran up to me and handed me a letter she had written, with the help of J.

And she gave me a hug.

Despite the ending to the day, it was one of those things that stayed with me, longer than it should have. It made me feel guilty, like I dropped the ball on her behavior turning out  to be so, so long and stretched out that day. That maybe I did something wrong and didn’t teach her properly how to get a hold of herself. Maybe I couldn’t get a hold of MYself to handle the situation properly.

I’ll say though, if all I had were champagne in the house, I would totally crack it open and drink it. (and I hate champagne) I would toast to the fact that we all made it through the day alive.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Oy, days like this, when the girls push each others’ buttons and EVERYBODY pushes mine.

    Those letters, when they write them, and the hugs that come with – they melt my cold cold heart.


  2. We ALL have mothering days like that. The point of good parenting isn’t to be “perfect”…it’s to learn from our mistakes and those bad days.

    You’re doing a great job. Don’t let the guilt monster win!!



  3. You think it is bad now, wait till the 6th grade. My son has to make flash cards of every picture in his sciene book and color them. Math is really hard too.


  4. We are having homework pains at my house too. My boy does it, but it’s like pulling teeth – and then half the time he “forgets” to turn it in. That particular phenomenon is apparently quite common, much to my surprise. If you’re gonna do the work, why not get credit for it????

    Relax. You’re doing fine – and so is J. He’s a natural daddy, that man.


  5. Oh man. Do I remember those days with my girls. I would get so frustrated and then the next week they would be as good as gold. I still have no idea why.


  6. You’re doing GREAT! That is the best consequence she could have had. I have been saying that the problem with our society is that we are so afraid to make people have consequences and to hurt feelings. I guarantee she will remember that punishment, it WILL NOT scar, and she’s gonna think twice before pulling that again. You took back control, Mom! I say, Good Job! Now you can show her you love her without the tantrums.

    (PS..this ended up under the “Enough” post…delete it there if you can)


  7. Posted by jackie on January 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    This post made me laugh, and then cry and then salivate. Laugh because for many years I kept in my wallet a note from my oldest daughter (but has long since fallen apart and is now lost) stating ‘I’m sorry for calling your spetti burf’ – obviously her spelling. Cry because those little problems are now bigger problems as they are adults (according to the law anyway). Salivate?? because as you know I live in Saudi (a dry country) and LOVE champange and make a point of having some every time I leave this God forsaken place.


  8. The letter is priceless!

    Have her color the pictures crazy. Like one color but in shades. or patterns, like stripes, dots.
    Knowing she will make the teacher crazy.

    Chuckie Cheese. Brave.

    You didn’t do anything wrong. Actually you saved her from Chuckie Cheese.


  9. It was actually helpful to read this because I swear I have some of these same battles with MG and she’s 7. One day, she’s awesome. And then there are the few and far between days when the 13-year-old in my daughter’s body has been sent from Hades. Where did THAT girl come from?!

    But I’m told that MG’s behavior is normal for her age. I just don’t expect it. It catches me off guard. And then I have to figure out how to deal with it properly. That is the challenge, isn’t it?


  10. I’ve got to say this letter your daughter wrote got me crying. I think it’s so telling that she can articulate her emotions like this. There are adults who are nowhere near this comfortable expressing themselves. Great for her. I hope she won’t miss out on the Chuckee Cheese trips in the future though.


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