Monday, October 24, 2011

Sticky Grimy Hands

ArgleBargle, as my sister Heather would say.

I have been 'helping' the boys do their homework, which really involves more acting as a rather grim policeman and threatening judge rather than a kindly helpful mom who supplies tasty snacks to the hard working little dears who work so diligently at their given tasks. It (inevitably) dissolved into my yelling at them here and there, since one had lost his math packet somewhere and therefore could not actually do that portion of his homework. This after several incidents in the past few weeks of doing stupid things like misplacing homework to turn in, or not turning it in on time, or having The Messiest Desk In The Entire Class And That Is a Shameful Thing Says His Teacher. Shameful. This Is Shameful And Cannot Continue. (Heh, just come look at this house and tell me it cannot continue. Some of them never change. Apple. Tree. Short distances.)
Well. I suppose there are plenty of more shameful things than having the messiest desk, but then again his teacher is trying valiantly to knock some sense into that one's shaggy mop of forgetfulness. The Mop is also incapable of shutting up in class and talks incessantly and ended up having a GIRL put onto the task of keeping a running tally of how many times he actually talks without raising his hand and thinking first. Yeah, you can guess which twin that would be. He was very proud of the fact that he only had 4 tallies against him that day.

The other one went into the bedroom to change for gymnastics and didn't come out. After about half an hour when I realized he had simply disappeared I called him and it turned out he was messing around doing STUFF and had conveniently forgotten that he was supposed to do his homework. "Whut?"

Homework did eventually get done, what could be done. I have come to hate this time of day since they have been cooped up all day at school and they simply want to goof off. Getting them to do the bloody homework is like pulling teeth. Herding cats. Pulling out a splinter. Cleaning the garage. I keep stifling this loud voice filled with intense resentment; it says that I did my time, I paid my dues, I was a good girl and I did all my stupid meaningless homework already in this life and why oh why do I have to do it all over again times two with these squirmy little rascals with their sticky grimy hands and dirty faces?
Urk, did I say that out loud? But I chose to be a parent, didn't I? Would I have chosen the same again had I known I'd be in such a ridiculous hell of my own making?

Adjust my attitude, I tell myself. Breathe. Breathe in, down deep, feel it circulate, let it out. Again.
I love my boys, I do. They're intelligent, funny, mostly kind and really very interesting people.
They are ten now. The picture above is from almost a year ago now, though it's hard to believe.

We survived through the preschool days when they were so rowdy that the preschool wanted to toss them out for being too energetic. They tried to tame them, get them to behave like good quiet little children should. Epic Fail. Energetic, noisy, smart and mischievously inventive. Really challenging for anybody trying to take care of them, really.
We went through Kindergarten when the mean evil substitute teacher tried to break Riley like a wild colt. He survived, spirit and rowdiness intact, though she never returned. I actually felt some sympathy for her, having to deal with this kid in her class. He would not give in. He is proving to be one of the most stubborn and self-assured people I have ever known, and he's been that way right from the beginning.
They both thrived in 1st grade with the excellent teachers they had, though I know that Casey's teacher despaired that Casey would ever be able to sit still and had him regularly doing push-ups in the back of the room during story time so that he could work off some excess energy.
In 1st grade they learned to really read (thank god, since they would get enthralled enough with books to sit still and read for some periods of time). Of course books opened up whole new ideas for imaginative play involving rather dangerous scenarios, but we have all survived. So far, at least.
In 1st grade they also got into gymnastics, which suited them very well and worked off some of that energy and helped them settle down a bit in school. Only a bit, though.
The rowdiness continues, though they may be learning a bit better when it's okay and when it's not. It feels like trying to tame wild beasts in many ways. They are not domesticated animals.
They may never really be tame but maybe we can train them to pass in regular society at least. Luckily they're smart and do well academically.  
Sports are helping them channel some of the energy, and training them in ways that we just can't.

 We're up to fifth grade now, and the girls are developing and are acting like little adults and they simply can't believe how immature and gross the boys are.

And the boys are making stupid fart and poop jokes. Oh wait, they never really grow out of those. Overheard last week driving home: "Well, you know he really only brought that sports magazine to school so that he could draw mustaches and beards and uni-brows on all the people in it." "Yeah, Billy is so immature in some ways." "Yeah, he farts a lot too!" Loud and inventive farting sounds follow. Both dissolve into helpless gales of laughter.


  1. You are, without a doubt, the person that makes me wish for a transporter more than *anything*. Our boys are so alike. I know every post you make about them has me tagging along going, "heh! me too!" at the end of it, and I'm sorry about that.

    If we had a transporter, I'd have your boys in a second - it's very ironic that just as you develop the skills to handle the behaviour and retain a modicum of sanity, they grow out of the behaviour (and develop whole new sets, but that's a different story). And I'd send you Jared, and you'd fail to believe that he was ever like your boys. But then you'd phone the Suttons and they'd say, "Hoooooo BOY, was he ever!", and you'd feel all cheered again.

    I'm still wrestling with the homework thing here, I don't think it ever stops: the sighs, the lies (I don't HAVE any homework!), the tantrums, the unexplained disappearance of every writing implement on the face of the planet...

    ...and that's just Tim doing his tax returns ;-)

    Wishing you strength and a whiffle bat to metaphorically beat the boys with!

  2. I smiled throughout your blog here, Beckett, and broke into hilarious laughter at the end!! :) I have to agree, being a mom of 10-year-old boys has its well I remember John, Jr. at that age. Raising him was like trying to tame 2 wild animals! But the rewards are coming...just have faith and patience! Payback comes quite a bit later on, but it does come.<3 Liz