No Recess


It will surely be the death of both my daughter and I.

I have read many articles on how to have a positive homework time. I have even attempted to implement many of these tricks and tools of the trade.

It has become quite clear that none of these people have met my daughter.

I will sometimes be at the stove cooking while she is doing homework, because some suggest I engage in activity of my own while the student is close by doing his or her 'study time,' because calling it home work can supposedly set them off. This absolutely had me laughing aloud. I might as well rename every task I ask them to do that does not entail fun for all ages, perhaps a new thesaurus should be created for parenting?

The only progress I have during this alternate activity while she engages in 'study time,'is my own private thoughts of, 'I want to take this pot and bang it over the top of my head.' Because then I might pass out and this will be an excuse for not being able to complete the homework for that night. 'Dear Mr. Taco, K was unable to complete her homework last night due the family having to take a trip to the E.R. for an injury I acquired while cooking dinner.' I call her teacher Mr. Taco. I do this for one of two reasons, it will make her laugh, it will also annoy her when done too often, and that makes me laugh.

One article I read started off like this,  'Most children do not like homework.' Really? Wow. This article must be written by a rocket scientist, so I promptly skipped onto the next one.

Another article said that is the child's problem if they do not complete their homework, you cannot make them do it, make them take responsibility. This one is really hilarious. Has this person ever been to a parent/teacher conference? Last time I checked it was my responsibility to show these children how to be functioning human beings. Parent/Teacher conferences are really for you, the parent, to assess just how well you are succeeding at this job bestowed to you through your act of fornication. You sit there with progress and lack of progress charts in front of you so that you can see where you need to be more diligent with this child and ride them until they can count by two's until 100. You know you might say I take things a little to personally, that really it is the child who needs to take responsibility, it isn't a direct reflection of your parenting if they are not doing well in school. Listen, unless there is a direct diagnosis that explains and justifies their inability to be on average level, you know it as well as me, the target sits on our heads.

Middle Man couldn't get his home address right, and it was almost like I was failing him as a parent. The teachers looked at me with pained concern as they told me he couldn't say it completely correct. I almost said, listen, this kid isn't in Kindergarten for a reason, can we cut him a little slack with the lack of simply not knowing his zip code at age 5? But instead an entire weekend was spent on address drills; singing songs, repeating on drives to run errands, and just randomly shouting it out like I had tourettes throughout the day, and he would repeat. You best believe this child beat the crap out of this address and repeated it on Monday at school. I asked him when he got home to repeat it to me one more time, he looked at me like I had lost my mind. I said, 'What if you get lost and someone needs to get you home, how would you tell them where you live?!?!?' His response, 'Mommy, where would I get lost, I am always with you, and I don't talk to strangers.' Ok....' but what if a friend wants to send you mail or an invitation to a party, and they need your address?' He says, 'Mommy, we don't know how to write letters, their mom's can just ask you.' Touche. He then whispered the address under his breath just to make sure he knew it, I presume, just in case I was right, dude can't miss a party.

Mr. Taco wants us to read with our child, his student, every night of the week for 20 minutes, including weekends, and initial that we did this on the homework sheet. Mr. Taco, do you read to your child on Friday and Saturday nights? Come on. I will let you in on a secret. I totally lie about it sometimes and just initial that we did it. Because after an entire Saturday filled with activities and the child falling asleep on the ride home, you have got to be crazy if you think I am going to wake her up and read with her for 20 minutes. I would rather stick a pencil in my eye.

K's favorite thing to say about homework is this, 'I can't do it.' Of course in normal fashion this is very theatrical and over exaggerated. None the less, one article said that my response to this should be, 'act as if you can.' I tried that one night. She looks at me like I am crazy. I did even feel a little crazy for even saying it. 'What does that mean, act like I can?' I looked at her and said, 'yeah, I haven't the slightest clue either.' I mean really what does that even mean?

Of course there is the cardinal rules; don't bribe, don't threaten, don't give monetary or external rewards, don't engage in an argument. You know you guys totally do this at some point, I mean there is only so much patience one can have. And let's be honest, if homework is not done, it is the parents held accountable. We are called, emailed, asked to come in and speak with the teacher. We walk the walk of shame into the school because she didn't complete her 10 spelling sentences for quite some time. I will not do this, this child will do her homework. One time I totally acted like I was video taping her performance about the injustice of homework so that when Mr. Taco emailed me I could totally show this to him. My phone doesn't even video tape, but that girl sat right on down and finished a week's worth of homework in one sitting.

One night, before the homework packet was due for the week before I told her, 'K, you didn't finish it, I am not handing this in until you are done.' She seemed to be fine with this, like, oh well, there is always next week, and went on with her Justin Bieber performance with Just Dance, like consequences don't matter when it comes to school work. I was tired, and I didn't feel like getting into it with her that day, and promised the next day I would come up with our own plan, not an article's plan, to get homework done with minimal fights, oscar winning performances, threats and tears, aware that there would be some, but regardless homework needed to be done. That next day, after making charts, a special homework spot, a homework contract to go over together, the front door busts open at 4 pm announcing her arrival home from school. 'MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You didn't hand in my homework paper and I had to stay in at recess and do school work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' I almost busted out laughing. This reaction was worth the naptime spent on homework ideas. Here was my answer, Mr. Taco pulled through better then I ever could have. I looked right at her and said, 'K, I will help you with homework every single night, but if you give me trouble, I will stop without warning and will not put it in your folder the next day.' This child sits down everyday after school and does her homework. God forbid we look bad in front of our peers and miss recess!!!!

So at some point, she got the message. School is like the ultimate authority right now. For some reason the fear of God is instilled in most children about what is expected as far as behavior and work in school, she is one of those children. I now have the golden ticket, you don't do something at home for school, your consequence is with Mr. Taco at school, and this is like the end of the world to her. Phew. I can stop googling how to get her to do homework and just say...'no recess'...at least until we get to trigonometry. Then we are just plain screwed.


My Fashion Maven

Remember the hyper color shirts?
I did not have one.
I consistenly spent many days blowing hot air onto my friend Katie's shirt in elementary school.
I think I may have asked for one like 2 years straight.
I never did get one.

Do you remember Skidz?
I can vividly see the street sign patch that sat on the waist.
I never had a pair.
My best friend had like a handful of pairs and wore them with such pride.

Z. Cavaricci's?
Remember those?
I didn't have those either.
But the best thing about those...boys used to actually wear them too. They also use to spike their hair with so much gel they felt like porcupines. They also drowned themselves in Drakkar cologne because us girls thought they smelled so good. They also did alot of nothing, when us girls used to call them and hang up on them and hound them with notes written in 3rd period math class and folded them up into a tucked up square and pestered them to write us back.

I did once get a pair of K Swiss sneakers like Kelly Taylor's and I seriously thought my crap did not stink.

My son. He is going to be 6.

This child loves clothing.
And you know, most boys are like, 'sure, it's a t shirt, its my size, lets go.'

Uh. No. Not my son.

Thankfully for me, he can find and meet mostly all of his fashion needs at Target. I am forever grateful that he thinks this is the only place to purchase clothing and shoes. My wallet couldn't handle much more then that for this clothes horse.

We take bi-weekly BIG shopping trips to Target to get most of our household needs. Sure I am there like 45 other times in that 2 week period, but not for these particular items. Let me tell you, this kid is like up and ready to go on these fridays. And no, its not for the promise of walking the toy aisles if they behave. It's so he can go and look at clothes and hopefully get something new to wear.

So we grab a ball for the trouble maker out of the dollar bin and meander over to the clothing section.
I will totally tell you, Target can seriously have some sweet deals in the clearance racks. I mean you cannot beat a shirt for $1.80, and I will have a smile on my face like the cheshire cats, because I have made this sweet deal. Now that I have told you this, stay away from my target so that the deals stay mine.

(Dude....Sue and I totally got vacuums that were leftover from Black Friday door buster sales two weeks ago for ten bucks. I don't care if you have a vacuum, ten bucks for a vacuum is like crazy...so tell me...you're totally itching to go to target, right?)

Now it is a game, me and Target clearances. Something will be like $3.48. Here is my mind. Do I risk waiting one more week? There is ten of these shirts left in her size...if I wait it will be surely under two dollars soon. Sometimes, I look at something and it is $4.90. I am all like, 'no way, highway robbery!!' This is for a pair of jeans.

Simply my children grow like ,and immersing myself into financial ruin to purchase them name brand items is just stupid. These clothes will not fit or will have holes in the knees in 3 months flat.

So now I completely get why Z. Cavaricci's were like a big HELL NO for my mom. Cause I am like HELL NO to jeggings costing more then 8 dollars. 8 dollars!!!

Each time we are at Target he will ask me what size he is. Small, home slice, small. He then will browse racks. He will browse racks like he is my grandmother at Strawbridges shopping for a suit to wear the annual church tea. He pulls things slightly out that hang on hangers, look it up and down and make some decisions. He has often been caught pulling together some outfits from all different racks determining which shirt might go the best.

Listen, Santa put some belts in his stocking and the reaction would have been similar to mine if a million dollars was in my stocking.

And beyond seeing what they are selling he is unaware of what is trending. He simply chooses what he likes and goes with it.

New sneakers is like the second coming. He actually has fully admitted to me that he loves the smell of new shoes.

And so then we have all these options to choose from, and I will tell him, 'o.k. E, like, one outfit today.'  Without fail, he will say, 'ok, let's go and try them on.'

Really. It's really like that.

We can't just know that it is his size and he likes them, we have to see how they all look before a decision is made.

We are in Target on these fridays for no less then 3 hours. A meal is shared there.

And if we need new clothes for the season, well people, you better just clear the day.

As you can see from the photo above socks are pretty important. No matter the temperature, high black socks were a must have last summer season. We suffer for fashion too, he got that memo loud and clear.

He will compliment others on their clothing choices or say to me, 'did you see Breckin's sweater today? Can we find one with a v like that for me in the neck there?' How can you not get that kid a v neck sweater after that?

Today was an athletic kind of day. There was much on clearance in this category today. He told me he looks like David Beckham.

And let me tell you something, if David Beckham's style is something we are focusing on...then Mommy can do nothing but support that.

So here's to my future Ralph Lauren.
Please keep in mind...depending on the way the wind blows Mommy wears a wide variety of sizes...plan accordingly.,,,and when you get a chance a hyper color mu mu is on the top of my list.


She needs to come for a playdate.

My children are currently completely enamored with this little chick.
I watched her while first with Jake and he says, 'Mayee....look at dat boy break dancing with a hat.'
Of course here's me beaming in pride he knows what break dancing is. You know there are some that are pleased with a child reading by age 3, I am all over my kids knowing your basic old school priorities.

I told him, 'No Jakey, that's a girl.'
'A gurrrll Ma-yee?'
'I said of course, now look here and don't forget, it's best you know now; ladies, my love, can do all things...and sometimes even better, so please treat them as such.'
'Ma-yee, she has on a black hat.'
'Yes of course, girls can really rock a black hat too.'
'She hot?'
Apparently my feminist tirade would be much better suited with him when he is, I don't know 4. For right now he is just worried about the girl's temperature.

I showed it to the other two this video. They have been doing what they have called break dancing all afternoon. I don't know, it looks like seizures to me. Of course Kendall has to remind the boys that the girl gets to win, just like the video. However, I hate to break it to her, but in this house...I think E might have the edge....he's got the most animal hair on his back, so his spinning is clearly much more advanced.