I don’t know about y’all (yes this is a Texas blog), but somedays make me think I’m living in mediaeval times running the gauntlet. Despite my innocence, I’m condemned the minute they get in the car for afternoon carpool, forging my way down the track of swinging decapitators because I floated one simple question…
“Do you have any homework tonight?”
Duh, duh, duuhhnnn…. A cloud fills the car. Especially from one said seventh grader. Any smile that might have graced the face (of course in everyone’s presence but mine) has vanished. Apparently, it’s no business of mine to ask about any pending assignments and commitments. Who knows what question might set off the dreaded glare, eye-roll/sigh topped off with a punctuated under breath, sometimes head-shake, “mom!!!” It could almost be an Olympic event…. winter & summer.
“9.5, 9.3, 9.4, ohhh, and from the Russian judge a mere 8.6. They must have some moves we haven’t seen, Bob. Because I loved the wonderful blending of the eye roll and glare. Plus the seamless transition into the only slightly audible, yet 100% communicated, “mom” growl. Terrific.”
“Yes, Sophie. Clearly a well orchestrated and organized effort from our young American. We’ll see how the score stands with the other competitors. I’m thinking there is a medal opportunity for this one.”
It might be helpful for you to know that we are not honor students over here. I’m not sure if it is due to lack of natural ability, which is just fine, or if its a product of my laissez-faire attitude that I am now painfully realizing has penetrated our entire house, starting with the beds on down. But now that I’ve entered the Enabler-Recovery Program, I’ve seen their potential when the whip is cracked. … Okay, maybe not so much whip cracking as me getting out of the way. They ALL have been doing such an amazing job.
Even this morning, I fully expected, as I dutifully did my room check of beds and bathroom clutter, to find something out of order. (I haven’t reminded them in weeks) … But no. The only thing I saw was a pair of pajamas on the floor, by a beautifully made bed. I left the dollar in the jar and picked up the offender’s pj’s. It warmed my heart to see all those pillows neatly placed on his bed. I just couldn’t take the buck.
In fact, as I’m writing, my 9-year old is bustling around the kitchen, setting the table, washing the dishes, preparing a beautiful dinner for us … and here I sit on the couch. Yes. I need to let that sink in. Sitting on the couch. And to top it all off, she’s happily humming, like she’s on cloud nine.
The point is …. I’m fairly certain that not only have I set the bar low, but I have settled for so much less than they have to offer … especially with regard to school”work”. So… The line was drawn today. I’m now (even though it may not fit in my neat monthly calendar plan of adding new tasks only one month at a time) drawing a line in the sand on school work.
No more succumbing to their, “I’ve had such a long day. I need to watch t.v.”. No more yielding to, “I only have a little work, I can do it my bed.” (yeah, that doesn’t work well!) No more Mrs. Nice Guy. I’m not sure about specifics, but … stick a fork in me… I’m done!
Poor things. They’re getting hit from every side. But, truth be told, not only am I sick of it … I’m now very aware they can be doing SO MUCH MORE than I’m requiring. A school administrator recently told a friend of mine that all the “stuff” that kids these days have isn’t the spoiler … it’s the moms. Moms who hover. Moms who step in to fix their problems. Moms who coddle. Moms who do not allow their children to suffer the natural consequences of their actions. No wonder a 25-yr old can be found still living at his parents house.
Ok … so much for the soap box. (It was a bit of a long day) I’m off to enjoy tonight’s wonderful meal of talapia, corn, mash potatoes and a beautiful fruit platter. (a little starchy, but super yummy!) Week 1 of our Month of Meals didn’t deserve the dread I wasted on it. We started with chicken, corn, rice, & black beans on Monday. Tuesday brought tacos and a surprisingly nice table setting. Wednesday, Wendy’s (yes, one bought our dinner. I felt so bad for him when he opened his sandwich and they had put mayo all over it. … I drove him back to get another.) And tonight’s feast. Delicious. (even on paper plates)
The hard part for me is to park my feelings at the door. I tend to get frustrated when the gauntlet begins. If I can stick to the game plan and take the emotion out, then I won’t get into those heated exchanges where no one wins. All I can say is … thanks for walking the road with me and holding me accountable. It is such an encouragement to be walking together. I love knowing your tips, the different ways you are “inspiring” your kids to take responsibility, and the great (often hilarious) stories. Hopefully we can raise up a generation of kids who will hit their potential and change the world for good … because they can!