Another Version of That Mom

Among many of the things I am generally opposed to as a parent is doing my children’s homework for them. Yes, I am present. I encourage, I instruct, I check Flora’s work. But she does it.

Except for last night when I did Flora’s homework for her.

Before we left for North Carolina, Flora came home with a paper about making a rosary. (Ah, Catholic school.) It was due the Friday that we were going to be out of town.

I forgot about it.

Yesterday, a little politely worded post-it note came home on Flora’s school folder.

“10-24-2011 Flora needs a rosary. This is the third reminder.”

Oh.

Flora: “I was so embarrassed that I had to borrow a rosary from Miss B!”

Oh, dear.

I had no idea they were using the rosary. For the record, this was the first reminder I remember getting, although when I mentioned it to Dan, he said, “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you about that.”

Plenty of guilt to go around.

Last night was the usual craziness. Trying to sit down one-on-one with Flora to string beads was a futile mess. She did her math homework. She wrote her vocabulary words on index cards. By the time I got Michael in bed, and we found beads, string, and I figured out how to get the beads on the string (the yarn was too wide for the holes in the beads; stringing the bead involved tying thread to the end of the yarn, and pulling the yarn through the beads that way), it was 8:20. Plus, Kate was hanging over me like a shawl.

I sent the girls to bed. Flora cried. “I’m supposed to help you with the rosary!”

“I know,” I told her. “I know. You did help. We counted out all the beads and you drew the cross. I think it’s more important that you have a rosary to take to school tomorrow than I let you stay up extra late to help.”

Reasoning with a soon-to-be 7-year-old is not very effective. In case you didn’t already know that.

Between making the rosary and various and sundry other PITA activities (trying to cancel a lost debit card, finding a puddle of water under my clothes washer, cleaning the kitchen — which never did get done), it was 11:15 before I went to bed. I’m not proud about having done the rosary for Flora, but other options seemed more unpalatabale to me.

What would you’ve done? More importantly, how do I keep from having to do this type of thing again?

Random Thoughts: Are the Kids All Right?

Homework is an issue. It’s an issue for a number of reasons:

1. Flora doesn’t have the longest attention span.
2. Flora’s attention span is further hampered by the fact that so many other things are going on while I am trying to get her to do her homework.
3. My kitchen table has too much crap on it that’s not related to homework.
4. She doesn’t really have enough time to do her homework. Or we’re not using our time effectively. Or something

The combination of all of the above is making homework difficult. I’m still figuring this out.

If I just got home an hour earlier I think the issues would go away. But I don’t know. Evenings are 3-on-1. Trying to get 1-on-1 with Flora to help her with homework (she’s not yet a self-starter, as you can imagine. She’s 6!) means turning on the TV for Kate, holding Michael or letting Michael explore the front room while I keep one eye on him (so that’s not really 1-on-1 right there is it?), or giving Kate “homework” and still holding Michael/keeping an eye on him.

Anyway. I just feel it’s not going well. Her homework should take about 15 minutes, 30 max, and instead it’s like pulling teeth until night time treat/bath/bedtime. Hers AND mine.

Thank goodness she’s smart.

++

Michael is making more noise. Along with the “dadada” that’s been in his verbal repertoire for a while now, he is also (finally!) saying “mamama” and “bababa”. He also says, “hhaaii” whenever I say Hi to him after not seeing him for awhile (i.e. when I pick him up from daycare). It’s super cute.

He’s also discovered yelling. He will sit in his high chair at dinner time and shout! The girls only encourage it. Dinner time is pretty noisy.

He likes drinking water from a sippy cup, but he refuses to hold it himself — same with his bottle. Loves his bottle and snuggling with mommy, and there’s no way he’s giving that up to hold the bottle himself. No thank you very much.

He will stand on his own, but he hasn’t taken an unsupported step just yet. I’m equal parts excited for him to start walking and dreading it. Any parent of more than one child understands this feeling. Heck, parents of one child probably understand it too, but maybe with a little less dread. I don’t know. I remember being SUPER EXCITED when Flora started walking, and super stressed when Kate did.

And he climbs on or up everything: stairs, the couch, any box or toy he can get under his feet; he stands in his high chair looking for the next step up.

++

Speaking of Kate, she has become my shadow. She follows me from room to room, and she always wants *me* to take her to school or daycare. She is definitely having middle-child syndrome and also still adjusting to life with Michael. I really need to get some one-on-one time with her soon.

She is still not sleeping in her own bed, either sleeping with Flora or me and Dan. I’ve given up on this for now. Sleep is too vital for me to be fighting with her in the middle of the night.

The other morning she said to me, “What do you do when you have a nightmare?” I said, “I cuddle with Daddy.” She nodded her little head. “If I was you and I had a nightmare, I’d snuggle with Daddy, too.”

++

In my ideal world I would:
1. Get home with the kids at least an hour earlier.
2. Sign Flora up for bowling on Sunday, and Dan would take her, and Kate and I would spend those two hours on Sunday baking (Michael would be napping, of course).
3. And while I’m at it, I’d have a fabulous part-time job that I loved and/or be a millionaire. Or both.

What is your fondest wish to make your life — as it is now — easier?