Wisdom Comes Suddenly

A Shrine To Homework

September 23rd, 2013 · 4 Comments


Kelly built Sara this “Cheer Up, Homework Won’t Kill You And Your Leaf Project Is Awesome” Shrine.

We’ve reached “that place”.  You know it. I know it.  That awful moment when the novelty of the new school year has worn off and our kids have discovered they have to do…homework.  Maybe even more than a little. And it’s our fault.  The parents clearly create it, and then use it as a tool of torture. Their heroic, practically perfect in every way teachers didn’t send it home in their backpacks. It’s all Momma, being mean about tha’ learnin’. And it only gets worse: their reward for finishing homework?  Vegetables at dinner.  Sometimes I even ask them to…and you might want to hold your breath…put away laundry. How they survive from day to day, it’s hard to say.

If you’re grading on a bell curve, Kelly is pretty great about homework. She’d prefer to skip math, but only because it forces her to work. I’m not going to have to actually THINK my way through this story problem, am I?  UGH! Can’t I just slap down a random number and move on? Jane is standing next to Sam, or is Mark in the middle, and where the hell is Matthew if he is younger than Jane? Life skills, I tell you.  Learn about ageism now, my dear, because someday, you’ll be 41. It’s a jungle out here.

Sara, on the other hand, is a classic ADHD kid. Her transition into the school year comes with an emotional suitcase full of screaming. There is some grunting, some hissing, and a few “stick out her tongue” moments, but mostly?  It’s just pure ugliness.  By October 1st, she usually resigns to her reality, and calms down. As for now, we’re enduring the daily shock and awe she experiences when I inform her she’ll need to sort and write spelling words, read for 15 minutes (which in an Inattentive ADHD world at 4:30 pm?  That feels like 6 hours), and work on a Science Project on occasion.


Last week, Sara finished one helluva Leaf Project.  She insisted on including extra facts about the 12 leaves she collected and identified, proving she can do it, once she figures out how to own her feelings (that timeline is flexible: anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days…you never know). Because of her Dyspraxia, she always types her reports, and I must say, she assembles pretty spiffy projects. We broke my laminator, but it was worth it, because after days and days of collecting and identifying, and even more days of typing (my Lord, she typed for DAYS), and the gluing.  Let’s not even go there. In the end, she was so proud of her work, which was truly, entirely, her work.  It was worth the screaming, crying, and gnashing of teeth.  It was worth the times I lost my own temper when I found her sneaking games on the iPad when she was supposed to be identifying leaves. Sara wouldn’t even let me put the book in a bag.  She insisted on parading into the doors, gingerly holding her masterpiece in her arms….so cute, our little screamers.

But an equally special facet of this project were Kelly’s cheerleading efforts.  Every time Sara sat down to type, Kelly would stand near her and chant, “You can do it!  You can do it! LEEEAAAFFF PROJECT!!! GOOOO SARRRRAAA!!!” On a particularly long evening of work, Kelly took Sara’s favorite toys and built a “leaf project homework shrine” to her sister. So spot on.  When I’m sad, a Rainbow Bear wearing a Cheerleader dress and Disney princess crown on top of a flower girl wreath while sitting down at an American Girl Doll dinner, with a handy Hello Kitty mirror and a pen nearby, including ALL the play shoes hanging on posts behind her, always cheers me up.

No…wait.  I’ve overcomplicated this scenario.  That bear has a cocktail. Lower left hand corner…clearly, that’s a stiff drink. Felicity was a drinker? Huh.  Who knew.  Hey, she survived the Revolutionary War AND being discontinued, so let’s not judge.  Yes, on second thought, you can keep the Gay Rights Activist Bear (whom I FULLY support…I think all gay Build-A-Bears should be allowed to marry).  I’ll just need that cocktail.  Sooner rather than later, because Kelly’s in the middle of a Yellow Ladybug Diorama project.  Actually, a second cocktail will be just fine, if you’re already up and getting one for yourself.  You know, while we’re here, and on the subject…why don’t you just hand me the bottle…

Tags: The Girls

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 What Mom Wears // Sep 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Marvelous! We all need our own cheerleader. And cocktail.

  • 2 Sharon Weigand // Sep 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    The girls and I loved Sara’s leaf project! She did an awesome job!

  • 3 The Momma // Sep 24, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Thank you Sharon! Of course, I saw Kate collecting her leaves, so I knew her’s was going to be spectacular! Kate did a marvelous job.

  • 4 Auntie Amanda // Sep 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I think I need Kelly to come to Virginia and cheer me on in my ridiculous graduate program. Who ever said working two jobs and full time school was a good idea? I think I need a tower of toys…Owen and Teddy are invited!