“How do donkeys poop?” Natalie asked.
I rubbed my temples. Why was she making this difficult? Why? I had already found her underneath the table, playing silently with her Barbies. Then she had stuck the pencil above her upper lip, pretending it was a mustache.
All she had to do was her homework. One page where all she had to do was write numbers. What would it be like when she had complicated homework?
I had set her up at the dining room table and instructed her to do it. As mentioned above, she decided to play with her toys the second I left the room. When I chastised her, she acted as though she was doing her work but when I came back in, she was pretending she had a pencil mustache.
And now she was asking me about donkeys. And pooping.
Clearly I was going to have to sit with her. I instructed her to write the numbers. She did two and then went,
“My hand hurts.” She set the pencil down and flexed it.
“The sooner you finish, the sooner you can be done,” I said.
Natalie picked up her pencil. She poised it over the paper. Then she went, “So how do donkeys poop?”
“Like we do! From their butt!” I snapped. Yes, it was crass, but I just wanted her to be finished so I could watch E! news.
“Ha! You said butt!” Natalie wrote another number slowly. Incredibly slowly. You’d think that because she was writing at a snail’s pace that she’d have neat handwriting. No. She wrote the number 13 but the 3 was hovering away from the 1.
This is why I could never, ever homeschool. She doesn’t take me seriously. She takes Tom seriously. But Tom isn’t here.
“My toe looks weird.” Natalie had once again set her pencil down and was gazing at her feet.
“Could you please finish?” I asked, tapping her paper. At this rate, we’d be sitting here for hours.
Natalie picked up her pencil and began to write—and then there was a knock on the door. For the love of chocolate! I told Natalie to keep writing as I left to open the door.
Standing there was a kid trying to sell crap from that awful fundraiser I wrote about yesterday.
“Want some cookies?” he asked. He looked to be about 8 or 9.
“No, thank you,” I said kindly.
“COOKIES!” Natalie rushed over, pigtails flapping behind her. So much for her continuing to do her work. “I’d like some COOKIES!”
“We have Oreos,” I hissed at her. I was not going to pay the kid $15 for cookie dough.
“Hey, that boy is selling stuff. Don’t I need to sell stuff?” Natalie asked, concerned.
Ugh. I tossed all her stuff out when she forgot.
“Nope, you’re good.” I faced the boy again, who looked baffled. This could be because my daughter was standing in her Pinkie Pie underwear. She basically strips as soon as she comes home. “Thank you, but no cookies for us.” I shut the door before the boy could argue.
“I wanted cookies! I wanted to sell stuff,” Natalie whined.
“We aren’t supposed to sell stuff on base. It’s in the rules. That kid is breaking the rules. If we wanted to sell stuff we’d have to go off base into seedy neighborhoods,” I explained.
Natalie wrinkled her nose. “What does seedy neighborhoods mean?”
“It means someone would probably answer the door with a gun or a knife.”
Natalie’s eyes went wide. “Wow. That’s pretty rude!”
“Just finish your homework. Okay?” I said. I needed more Diet Coke.
It took one hour for her to complete one worksheet.
This is going to be a long, long year.