So I have twin 6 y/o girls. I decided that it would be a good idea to separate them for K and 1st grades. While this was great in teaching them a little independence, it also means that they have 2 sets of friends, 2 teachers and 2 different homework assignments... Well, not really 2 different assignments, just assignments on different days. I don't mind homework. I don't mind studying for spelling tests. I don't mind websites that help them practice things that they are supposed to be learning. But I hate at home assignments. Wait, that's not strong enough.
I HATE AT HOME ASSIGNMENTS!
These aren't projects for the kids. These are projects for mom. If either of my 6 y/o's did this projects themselves, not only would they cry at home, they would cry at school because everyone else's projects look so much better than theirs. NO. I'm not exaggerating. My oldest child did her own hat for the 100 day of school hat parade in kindergarten. I emphatically told her that this was her homework, not mine and that I would buy her whatever she needed to do it, but I would not do it for her. She worked on it, and she loved it... UNTIL she saw the 17 other hats done by the mom's and realized that not only did hers not measure up, it didn't even come close. I stood my ground and tried to explain to her that she should be proud of her work, but her 5 y/o mind just saw that theirs were fancier and much prettier. She cried for the rest of the afternoon.
This time around, I didn't have the energy for the meltdowns (I'm now a single mom and don't have time for the little battles). I still told them that they would choose what they wanted, they would pick out their supplies and they would make it themselves. Again, it's not my homework. Oh how the strong crumble. One little meltdown somehow has me cutting, pasting, drawing and taping whatever they need because it's just easier. Well, until it's not.
Project of the month: disguise the turkey. They get a piece of white construction paper with a naked turkey form and they have to decide what the turkey should dress up as to disguise it so that it won't get eaten. Anyone else see this as a jumping off point for a child to become vegan???? Fortunately my kids all know where there food comes from and it hasn't stopped anyone from eating it yet. A. decides that she is going to dress her turkey up as me. Ummm, WHAT??? Ok, I guess that should be flattering. I'm hoping that she doesn't think that naked turkey form looks like me though. M. decides that hers should be a skeleton. Good luck coming up with that story kid. But I'm not going to challenge her. This is her assignment.
Off to my favorite place in the whole wide world: the craft store. What, you can't hear the sarcasm? Oh, well. Maybe I'll find the sarcasm button before my next post. Fortunately, we find the supplies we need and are out in under 20 minutes. And my head didn't explode. No really, those stores scare me and my head exploding is a legitimate fear. Home we go. They clear the table with only 1 minor meltdown and it's time to start.
A: "Mommmmmmmy, I can't cut it out. You need to cut it out for me"
Me: "Wow, is that how you ask me to do anything???"
M: "Mommy, will you please cut mine out for me?"
A: "But I asked first."
M: "But I used manners."
Seriously, can I just go to bed? I have to work tonight and I don't have the energy for this argument...
Me: "Why do we need to cut them out? Can't we just decorate them on the paper?"
Stupid question. Of course they have to be cut out and of course it wasn't on either of the papers explaining the assignment. We went through this last month with the storybook pumpkins. That were a week apart. That required 2 different characters and 2 different books, blah blah blah...
I cut them out. M starts crying because she doesn't know how to make a skeleton. A starts complaining because she doesn't know how to make jeans. As you can imagine, I get to cut out jeans and a shirt now. I tell M to color the turkey black. "But mommy..." No, seriously kid, color it black or else.... "Mommy, I can't color the shirt" "Mommy, S has the sharpie" and on and on. I cut the jeans and shirt, I glue the jeans and shirt, I color the shirt, I start to add hair, and then I remember that IT'S NOT MY HOMEWORK! I show A how to finish the hair. M has finished coloring and I show her how to make bones out of pipe cleaners (always making great use of my medical background). And then the crying starts. "It isn't perfect." "I can't do it." At this point I really want to just do it myself. I don't know if my little help made it worse, or just left me more impatient, but I can't take it. I start the 'nobody is perfect except God' speech and then I decide we all need a break.
Go change clothes girls, let's go for a run....