We all hated it. We all had to do it.
But apparently my children . . . some of them . . . don’t think it’s necessary. Or they forget. Or what have you.
Bear in mind, I come home, ask what needs to be accomplished, even ask what is left or what is due. But in the last several nights I’ve come to the point where, after dinner, I ask if they’re finished and see that panicked look of cognition in their eyes. Noah, one of my twin boys, looked up Monday night and realized he’d forgotten to complete an art project. He begged me to finish it. I looked up at the clock and informed him that it wasn’t even 7:30pm yet . . . he had time.
Now, bear in mind that Noah wanted to do a picture of his favorite author, William Joyce, and put characters from Joyce’s books on the picture. So I took a photo with my phone considering I’d send it to Joyce’s company for him . . . something he’d asked about. Tonight when I got home he was in a tizzy because he’d stayed up late and finished this picture. Then he forgot the picture at home.
“Can you email a copy to my teacher?!”
“Sure. I took one already.”
“Oh…cool. Thanks Dad!”
Now, if this was all I had to consider, life, as they say, would be grand.
But Sam forgot his entire project at school. That’s right . . . four day weekend and he did none of it. I took away the game boy, Wii, television, all of it. He sat at the dining room table and read “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” because I “let him have any fun,” to use his words. Yes. That’s me, by the way, Dad . . . the fun police. Never mind the fact that homework was due and – like his sister Hannah – he had forgotten to turn in assignments as well.
Speaking of Hannah . . . lest we forget her . . . she managed to fall back into her old ways. First came word of a social studies log that wasn’t turned in. That was followed by hormonal complaining that I didn’t understand. Today came the email from her PE teacher – PE, by the way . . . I didn’t think any class could be easier than Social Studies, since all the answers are there, but it was PE! It’s not the Pythagorean Theorem! – that she had missing back-work for her as well.
The explanation may as well have been no explanation at all. It started with “you don’t understand!” That was followed by “I don’t know why she sent that!” That was followed by “it was back-work from when I was sick” to which I replied: “so did you do the work?!”
“You have to fill out a form!”
“Okay, Hannah, where is the form?!”
“Well it’s online, and . . . ”
That last one . . . actually elicited a comment from her older sister, Abbi:
“If it’s online why didn’t you fill it out already?!”
“No . . . you don’t understand!”
I was getting angry now. “What?! WHAT don’t I understand, Hannah? That you didn’t do the work or you were too lazy to fill out the forms?!”
She looked and didn’t answer.
“I took you to the Who concert, Hannah, and you then just reverted back to your old ways. Fix It! or I’m taking away the guitar again and you won’t get to re-join the school band.”
I couldn’t resist, either.
“And next time you try to pubescently argue your way out of this by giving me attitude, I’m going to slap those hormones right out of you.”
“I didn’t give you attitude!”
This elicited another sibling comment: “yes you did,” came three voices over my shoulder.
I emailed the artwork to the Art teacher for Noah – the easiest part of the day. Then came Hannah, form in hand, asking for a signature and emailing that to her teacher.
It was then I looked at the kitchen and realized . . . there’s another discussion to be had. But that will come tomorrow.