Sunday, March 9, 2008

You Never Let Me...or Other Motherly Themes

In stark contrast to yesterday's cold monsoon, today is gorgeous and sunny (if a little muddy). The boys started the day with hockey, then had only showers and a bit of schoolwork to do before having the rest of the day to play. They'd scheduled a 2pm Club Penguin date with a hockey teammate and Ross knew some other friends were scheduled to be on the street this afternoon as well. At noon, I served lunch and told Ross we could work on his schoolwork right after, so he'd be ready to play. Two pieces of pizza and a club soda later, he asked for "time to digest" before studying. I agreed, with a reminder that he would not be allowed to play before his work was done.

Half an hour later, he was "still digesting." I gave him a skeptical look with my eyebrows raised but he was unmotivated and looking quite comfortable with it. Two o'clock arrived and left and Ross didn't even notice. Around 2:30, he came into the den, "Mama, we have a problem!" He was clutching something in one hand and looked for all the world as if a bag of flour had been thrown at him. A thick trail of white dust led through the entire house, from the den to the boys' bedroom upstairs. It seems the squishy thing Ross bought in the school store last week burst while he was playing with it, sending what appeared to be cornstarch flying everywhere. I got Ross to throw the remains of the squishy thing out and blotted his clothes off with a damp cloth. Then, I got out the vacuum and began cleaning up the rest of the mess. When I'd gotten about half-way up the stairs, my eldest cherub shouted over the vacuum, "Mama! I'm ready to do my math now!" You probably heard me laughing.

Cornstarch cleaned up and boys in the basement dealing with their hockey gear, the doorbell rang about 3:45pm. Three of Ross' friends stood on the porch, eagerly hoping he could come out to play. I told them he could come out when his schoolwork was done and they all nodded with understanding. Did I think he would be out soon? I shook my head and explained that he hadn't really started yet. One giggled, one rolled his eyes, and the other gave a huge sigh as they ran off to do whatever it is boys do.

Ross came springing up the basement stairs calling that he'd be there in a minute - he just had to get his jacket! Then he noticed the front door closed and me not chatting with his friends. Then he realized I was STILL GOING TO MAKE HIM DO HIS MATH. I offered to sit down with him and do it right then, but he preferred to shout and rail about how I never let him do anything fun first. We sat to do a little work when he'd calmed down but his thoughts were scattered and he slid down into another grumpy pout before we finished. Just now, he cried out, "Why should I do my math anyway? They won't be outside anymore by the time I'm done!" I should say, especially if you pout until it's dark out...

Fellow Mamas, give me strength! I'm doing my best to ignore him when what I really want to do is stuff him in a sack until his sense of responsibility kicks in.


Anonymous said...

Karen, don't you realize he's a boy? His sense of responsibility may never kick in, if he's lucky.

Chaotic Joy said...

"Mmmm Hmmmm", says the parent of the teenage boy, as she wonders if she should clue Karen in on the fact that she may be waiting for that kick-in for a long time.

Good for you for sticking to your guns.