For the last few days, I’ve been trying not to write a blog about my kids. You see, I know I should be uber thankful for them. Each one is a unique blessing and I knew the post would be all about angst. I mean I have friends who would give limbs for what I have…. But when I found D2 in her room this morning instead of walking to school (five minutes before the tardy bell) and she turned to me and said that it wasn’t fair she had to walk because she’d be all hot and sweaty for her first period class and her makeup would be ruined, I dropped over the resistance barrier.
No one, at least no sane person, decides to be a single mother to five kids but here I am. Well not quite single. I do have SO; but as he lives in Barcelona 9 months out the year, he’s more long range support.
D2 is failing three classes. Yes, three. She is a freshman this year. The other day, and I swear this came out of her mouth, she said, “If you make me go to school, I’ll never catch up. Just listen, (I’d opened my mouth) let me stay home today and I’ll do all my work so my grades will go up and then you can make me go to school next Monday.” This after a three day weekend and thirty minutes of reminders while I got the other two ready for school. By the way, she was sitting in the middle of her room with papers spread out around her like she was the center of a flower. How do you fight that logic? I’ll tell you, no video games, no internet and no phone… and still no results…. I’m going to pull my hair out… I’m wondering if she needs a good old fashion spanking of course she’s bigger than me and outweighs me by 20lbs… I’ve been thinking of showing up at her school in a mumu with my hair in rollers and popping gum, loud. You know waiting outside her 6th period class (which she’s failing) and in a loud voice saying. (read with an intense southern accent) “Yuc, I know ya don’ lik to walk much, so I done come ta git ya t’day” and everyday you don’t’ make it to first period!
But what would I do with the other three? She needs to be at school by 7:50, the others need to be at school by 8:15. She gets off at different times but usually at 2:15. The others get out at 2:30. Because of traffic, it actually takes almost as long to get to her school as it does to walk. (20 minute drive there and back. 20 minute walk there… okay maybe for her 25 minutes.) Do I give in and drive her? making things harder on the other three? And lets face it, on me? Or do I continue to hear excuses about why she just can’t get to school on time (she once hid in the closet. Now I check)
Day before yesterday, I get a call from D3’s teachers. Seems D3 has lost her language workbook. Not only is this a workbook vital, the school doesn’t have any others or know if they can even get any more. Now, I’m sorry, but if it’s so vital, why aren’t there a few spares? But that’s not the point. We searched the house. No workbook. No idea where it is and the teacher made a point to let me know, even though without this workbook D3 is falling behind quickly, she wasn’t confident that if she did procure another workbook, it wouldn’t get lost too. I really wanted to call her a bitch politely argue. I didn’t. Fact is D3 is unorganized. She puts things down and really can’t remember where she put them. We’re working on that. I took her DS as hostage.
Now OB, and I wrote that saying Oh boy! He hates to read. Yes, I said it. Put a book in front of him and he stares at it like it was cobra ready to strike. Strike that, he’d be more interested in the cobra. He is something called a shut down learner. Which in a nutshell means if you pressure him, he forgets everything he’s learned since he stopped drooling. Example: We’re working on area and perimeter of a polygon (nothing easy like square or rectangle). Those missing measurements so frustrated him that when I asked him what 6 + 5 was, he blanked. Didn’t know. Not just for a minute but until tears welled in his eyes. So yeah, getting him to do his homework is like pulling teeth, my own. And makes me sad and turns me into a momma bear who wants to ask someone at the school exactly why 3rd and 5th graders are doing the same geometry that I learned in 10th grade. It’s higher function math, people. You need abstract thought processes to comprehend it… thought processes which don’t mature until much later! Read your own child development books! Grrr… His saving grace this year? He has a damn good math teacher. She emailed me last night to let me know he was behind six assigments. People, a teacher who cares that much is rare, at least in my experience. Kudos Mrs. P! and thank you!
D4 is currently going through a phase (please let it be a phase) where she is afraid. Sometimes she’s afraid to go down the hallway if the doors are open. Yesterday she wouldn’t go play with me outside in case Romeo came (The man who cuts my lawn for me. I hired him because his name is Romeo Santiago… say it, it’s like butter even on an American tongue… and because he cuts a damn fine lawn… cheap….and sometimes takes my garbage to the curb for me. Yeah, priceless.)
Back to D4; she hides now. Even when Grandma comes. And leaving mom alone for 20 minutes to work… Ai, you think?
Which is why, after homework, I usually try to get a few more pages done, of course this leaves the other kids unsupervised and… oh did I mention I’ve quasi adopted another son? He’s a good kid, really. His parents both work. He’s home alone until late. After talking with his mom, I felt sorry for him. I feel sorry for OB surrounded by girls…You do the math. He comes home with OB after school and stays until 8 or so. Usually, he helps OB get his homework done, but the chaos from 3 – 8 is considerable. Not because he’s unruly, it has something to do with boy energy….squared.
I won’t say too much about D1 (and not just because, on occasion, she reads this blog) You think, when they move out, that you’re done? Wrong. She calls daily, several times a day, and although I can tell she’s trying, she gets hurt if I can’t drop everything and talk to her. She hasn’t cut the apron strings yet and I can feel them reaching out like tendrils of need. I really don’t mind. She’s a good kid. Only a neurosis or two, which considering our family isn’t half bad. She’s almost done with her BA and my hope that all of this (read above) will be worth it someday.
But the result of all of this is that I feel woefully inadequate and overwhelmed. I mean… there is only one me and five of them… and I’m the adult. So it falls to me.
Today I’m not writing, I’m going through the house and cleaning (really cleaning not the surface clean one does to make things look presentable) and if that language book is in the house, I’ll find it. And it’s not just another excuse to not write my synopsis, I really need to put the mom hat back on full time for awhile.
Well if you made it this far,
I’m sorry. congratulations. Seriously, thanks for listening. Now I have a house to clean.
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