Friday, August 30, 2013

Singing The Homework Blues

“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.


  1. Something tells me Tommy was much easier at that age...


  2. I think it always takes a bit of time to get into the swing of things once school starts! It'll get better! My mom never let me go around and sell stuff either - she just bought it. Your way of throwing away the evidence is better!

  3. Homework is lame! (Don't tell her I said that )

  4. Oh my! I hope she settles down and works on the homework easier as the year goes on.

  5. Oh gosh this brought back memories! I wouldn't want to go back to those days! Good luck!

  6. I have a donkey. His name is Doolin. Please tell Natalie he poops little poops sort of oval shaped and brown and not mushy or smelly at all. He poops by lifting his tail up out of the way of his butt. We like the donkey poop to use on our garden to make the plants grow or sometimes we spread it on our fields so the hay will grow for our cows that give us milk (There that should get you through the next five minutes on Natalie questions. May the force be with you!)

  7. Our school just started back this week and already the kids are selling coupon books. Ugh. I'm sure the cookie dough is next!

  8. OOh. You may want to tell her that she cannot play with her toys until she finishes her homework? NO toys allowed near the dining table while she does homework? Would that work? I honestly don't know because I don't have kids... but I know my sister tells hers that they cannot have phone calls or TV or video games until they finish homework first. And it seems to work for them. Who knows.

  9. (Pointing upwards to Donna OShaughnessy and laughing hysterically)

  10. she seriously sounds just like my Zachary. He threw a fit about doing his homework this week too - the writing part of it anyway - and yesterday he left his homework at school. Sigh.

  11. One of the mom's in my neighborhood hired a high school girl as a mother's helper for an hour each afternoon for the express purpose of supervising homework with her 6 and 8 year old kids. I think she's brilliant!

  12. you are a great storyteller :) You crack me up as much as your kids do!

  13. Homework is just the WORST...for parents! The good news is, when they get about half way through middle school, you are not involved at all!! (except to make sure it's done as in, "Did you do all of your homework?") But MAN, it's a long 8 years until that time comes!! --Lisa

  14. Shelby is like that at bed time making excuse after excuse where when she went to bed at 9, it is now 11 and she's "checking" on Lucas. Checking is in parenthesis because it's just one more excuse not to sleep. Good luck in the school year with homework.

  15. ha! I could never homeschool. I wouldn't survive it. Speaking of Pinkie Pie, we watched Equestria Dreams today. I did..have to go "upload photos" which is code for "escape this insanity."

  16. We have one that sounds very much like your child while the other one just gets on homework gets it done.

  17. I wish I could say it gets better, but I just had a similar day with my 15-year old daughter. Focus! Seriously, for just a few minutes, and then we can both be done. Ugh!

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you get a break for the weekend.


Thanks for the comment!

Share This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...