Except no one wants the lazy, gentle rhythms of anything. We are bored, mom. We want entertainment, mom. The pool is boring, mom. We want you to do something about it, mom. We don't like anything you suggest, mom.
There are the Good Parents out there, the ones who live in neighborhoods with kids (a source of contention amongst my people--we are working on being CONTENT--see below post), the ones who casually mention trips to Hawaii and Barbados. (It's not about money and things, it's about experiences.) You are The Ones who know Bad Parents like me aren't requiring daily math sheets and homework pages and book reports. Or maybe you know I require it but don't necessarily check behind them all the time, bringing a certain irreverence to the whole learning situation. You know who you are, Good Parents, because you toss these things out like bones to a dog, knowing that when you do, the Bad Parents will feel inferior to you. As we should. Our kid's brains are turning to mush, while yours are studying college-level statistics.
I'm such a mean mom, we require Sammy to do 15 math pages and take an old SOL test before he can go outside and play. And that's just on Monday!!! You are enthusiastic about homework. So are your kids. Then you insert a tinkling laugh and an flick of your wrist, because you know. You know you are officially a Good Parent.
While walking the other day, Jon mentioned to me that he thought we should require our own kids to read books and then do a one-page book report. The details haven't been hashed out. Monthly? Weekly? DAILY? Because we aim high in this house, and a daily book report would kick everybody else's required summer book reports out of the @#%$ water. Because this is no longer about our kids. Nah. This is a full-on parenting competition.
I, of course, was immediately defensive of our time at home, with oh, but they have chores and I have to teach classes and we have so many other things going on flying out of my mouth. Not excuses. Reasons.
Now we are half-way through the summer and even though Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has been read, Where the Red Fern Grows is patiently waiting for a certain girl to crack open it's pages.
It's time to get serious.
The appliance repair man will not make an appointment with me to have my ice maker fixed. He will call the morning of the day I thought I might have free and tell me the hours he thinks he might be there so I can be sure to wait. He called yesterday at 9AM to let me know he would be there between 11AM and 1PM. Which, of course, didn't work for us. So when I asked if I could, like, somehow make an appointment, he declined my request, informing me that it would require them to "run all over the place" if they were to do that. And apparently in the appliance-repair line of work, running all over the place to fix ice makers is unacceptable. In my mind, an appointment works a lot better. In his mind, a span of time where he might show up works better. He won. So now he is coming over sometime on Thursday between the hours of 12PM and 4PM. "But I have to leave right at 4PM," I warned him. So you can't come at 4, right. You have to come before 4. "I think we might be able to work with that." He was cheerful. And non-committal. And I started wondering what people who are required to be present at their full-time jobs do when their ice makers break and the appliance-repair man won't make a date with you. Maybe he saw Monday's post and decided makeup-free wasn't the right look for his image.
My daughter asks me every single, ever-lovin' DAY for a phone of her own. (Because when you're on the verge of turning 30, a phone is an appropriate purchase.) Sometimes she asks multiple times a day. And every time we pass by the Verizon store, she asks if we can go to Verizon and buy her a phone. Because it would be that simple.
Yesterday, I had to shut. It. Down. I am of the personal opinion that many 12YO (going on 30 as it may be) people are not responsible enough for a phone. "And anyways," I told her. "You have an iPod, and the only thing a phone would do that it doesn't is call people." She gave me a withering you just don't get it look, turned her head away and became very offended over the fact that an iPod simply is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. "I am SO EMBARRASSED I CAN'T EVEN GIVE PEOPLE MY PHONE NUMBER," she informed me. Actually, she's told me this several times, but I have been able to successfully ignore the implications thus far. Because we have this ancient apparatus called a land-line phone, which I know are few and far between these days, making it a relic, BUT the good news is YOU DO HAVE A PHONE NUMBER. And you are allowed to use the phone. For free! But she is a stubborn girl, and so far has refused to call people in protest. Leaving her plenty of time for Where the Red Fern Grows and book reports, one might reason. Somehow these get overlooked for moodiness and stomping, the equivalent to modern-day picketing. Meanwhile, the old, dried-up sandwich crusts that I recently termed "roach food", because I was hoping the threat of possible bugs sneaking into the room and snacking on old sandwich crusts would cause swift action, but alas, they still reside on the bedside table where they were discarded. And I think roach food and phones go hand-in-hand, I do.
What's over, you ask.