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Monday, February 7, 2011

I won't be "THAT" Mom

I am a lot of things for my kids:
  • I'm an advocate for their future.
  • I'm a cheerleader for their successes.
  • I'm a nurse to their boo-boo's.
  • I'm an audience for ridiculous, made-up jokes.
  • I'm a homework helper.
  • I'm a cook.
  • I'm a psychologist.
  • I'm a friend.
  • I'm a hug.
  • I'm a safe place.
  • I'm a taxi driver.
  • I'm a therapist.
  • I'm a maid (reluctantly.)
  • I'm a confidante.

I am, however, NOT the parent that will stay up all night doing a project that is due the next day that their child has KNOWN about but chose to dink around and not finish so their child gets their much needed sleep kind of Mom. That is NOT me.

Josh has a book report assignment. It's an oral book report with visual aids, but it's a book report nonetheless. He also has a monthly reading log. He was using, "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" for both his book report and as his reading log book.

We had snow days. We had LOTS of days off school. He didn't pick up his book/homework/book report assignment nothing, not once. I inquired repeatedly as to the status of his book, the book report, etc. I always got the canned answer, "It's fine," or "okay."

Well, it was anything BUT!

He finds time to watch American Idol (it's tivo'd). He finds time to play Legos. He finds time to draw. He finds time to sleep until 11am every day. He doesn't do anything that he needs to get done, however.

I am a planner by nature. I find the deadlines and I set myself up a due date usually two days before because you just NEVER KNOW when something is going to happen. Be prepared. It's the Boy Scout motto for goodness sake! He knows to be prepared. I can't STAND the idea of being REactive rather than PROactive. It drives me to drink. Seriously.

So, it's Monday. It's the day before the first day back at school since the bad weather days and their scheduled holiday (Friday/Monday). The day before his oral book report is due and he sits down to go over it. I'm like, "Give me your speech." He's got nothing. He doesn't want to give it to me. I'm plain and simple, "If you can't give it to ME, how do you think you're going to give it to your teacher for a grade?" So, I pick up the book and start thumbing through it and ask him what key factors he wants to highlight... how does the book end? He says, "I don't know. I haven't finished it."

Man, I seriously lost it. You're going to give a book report on a book you haven't finished? that you've been reading since JANUARY?!" Are you freakin' kidding me? He's had an ENTIRE MONTH to read 180 pages that have GOBS of pictures on them so it's not EVEN that long AND you've said you've been reading 30-45 minutes a DAY on your reading log -- except for that whole snow-day-holiday-break. Are you KIDDING ME? Seriously, you have GOT to be kidding me. That was the start of the end of my rope for the day.

He works on it pretty much all day. We get to the night... Monday night. It's a Troop meeting for Josh if he chooses to go camping this weekend with the Troop (they're going mountain biking and rappelling and climbing).

I ask him, "Will you have enough time to finish your book report and still attend the Troop meeting? If not, you don't need to go to the Troop meeting." He assures me that he will.

I drop him off. Andy picks him up.

They get home around 8:40-8:45 and he walks into my bathroom while I'm about to get ready for bed and has the audacity to ask ME to help HIM on his speech for his book report. I looked that child dead in the eyes and said, "This is YOUR speech, not mine! I'm not writing it for you." I turned and walked away.

Yes. Yes, I did.

I will NOT be the parent that does everything for their kid. I won't do it. I will help him articulate things better. I can help him with making things sound better but I simply won't do things for him when he is completely capable of doing it himself.

How does that teach a child to do things on their own? Seriously? Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. TEACH a man to fish... feed him for a lifetime. I firmly believe that. At what point will he pick up the damn pole, though?

I tell him that this is his one and only "gimme" and that he can stay home from school TOMORROW and finish it. This will be the last time he is ever given this GIFT of time when he's had 31+ days to finish it.

Oh, and I tell him he's grounded. He's grounded from his phone. He's grounded from the television -- during the week. The only way he can watch it on the weekends is if he has NO homework OR projects that need work done on them. Andy said he couldn't go camping this weekend, either.

His eyes filled with tears but he understood. Thank God he wasn't playing the "whoa is me" pity card because I just might have to beat him to death and tell God he died!

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Hear Hear!!!
I totally agree, I'm the same with James and Jack. If they need you to get an 'A' then they don't deserve it. It kills me to see all these projects and reports that the parents DO for their kids! Who do they think they're helping? How do they think their kids will learn to be independent? Are they planning on going to college with them too?