Every kid will test his teacher at some point. I was hoping that this test would be avoided all together, or at least postponed, but nope! Let the battle begin.
I’m a personal trainer, so most of my clients meet with me before 7 a.m. or after 4 p.m. On this particular day I had a 5 a.m. client, (meaning I was up since 4 a.m.) and by the time I got home I was starving.
The kids were already up and playing video games, so I told them to start their math upstairs while I made myself breakfast, with the deepest desire for a hot cup of coffee and an easy morning. Ha! What was I thinking?
So, of course, they were talking (then arguing) about erasers or some such nonsense instead of calculating sums, so I shouted up to them, “Both of you need to come downstairs with your math workbooks since apparently you can’t work on your own without being watched.”
One child came downstairs with math book in hand and pout on face. The other child said, “No! I’m not coming down. This isn’t real school.”
“You have three seconds to get downstairs or no computer.”
“Fine. You made your choice.”
“Wait! I’m coming! I’m sorry!”
“Too late.” I had computer unplugged and tucked away in less than a minute while my eggs began to scramble and burn on the stovetop.
You would have thought I beat the child with the amount of screaming and crying emanating from this little creature. Sadly, I turned off the stove and gazed at my eggs, wondering if I would ever experience a hot breakfast before high school graduation.
I trekked upstairs. We had to have a face-to-face talk.
“There’s no need for all this drama. I asked you to do something, you disrespected me, I gave you a choice and a consequence, you deliberately disobeyed me, and now you have no computer. Make better choices going forward.”
Eventually I got an apology and gave a hug in return, but these battles have been popping up intermittently all week. I’m very point blank with my kids – I told them, “Your life becomes much easier if you just do what I ask of you the first time without complaint.”
My children look at me like I’m an alien, as if to say, “Silly mother. Thank you for your frankness, but our day isn’t complete without staging an epic rebellion. This is how we roll.”
I know homeschoolers with five (5) children and I honestly don’t know how they aren’t bonkers at the end of each day. And public school teachers with classes of 23? Holy hell, no wonder my middle school teacher put whiskey in her coffee.
The funny thing is once we get past all the drama we actually have a lot of fun. Yes, there are some worksheets to be done and spelling words to be memorized, but there’s also flashcard baseball and napkin ghost puppets we made to act out prepositions (i.e. – over, under, around) so they’re easier to learn and munching on popcorn while reading about American history.
Honestly though, I had the same battles when they went to public school (aka “real” school) for a full day and then had to do a packet of homework at night.
I guess the reality is that kids will be kids and battle with teachers even (especially?) when the teacher is their mother.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two, political activist, and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX
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