Sunday, July 21, 2013


So a while ago, there was this absolutely hysterical blog post going around called "Worst End of School Year Mom Ever." I kinda want to be Jen, the author, when I grow up. Except maybe for the running a church part. Although, never say never.

Anyway, I am experiencing a similar phenomenon. I had plans to be an awesome Summer Mom. Our summer was going to be filled with Structure, Reading and Being Nice. There were charts, people. Charts. Every day, Ariella and Yaakov were going to read in Hebrew and English. Yaakov was going to practice his math as well. (This is important because post-first grade, the reading and math facts are barely holding on for dear life inside the child's brain. Slipping, really, scrambling for purchase. They don't have a solid foothold yet, and they lose more and more traction as Power Rangers, Curious George and all the Harry Potter movies muscle their way in.) Also, the children were going to write down--on the chart, natch--the nice things they did for other people. (I know, I'm totally cracking up also at 3-weeks-ago-me. She was so ambitious! And naive! And, well, kinda dumb.)

(Oh, and in case you are wondering where Nadav fits into this, he has one simple directive, which he is failing miserably at: Do not spray toxic stuff in your eyes.)

This is what our chart looks like now:

[emptiness and nothingness]

That's right, there is no chart. It's gone, along with my hopes and idealism. The only marks made on it were done by Nadav, who strangely took a break from drawing in holy prayer books to try some old-fashioned paper art.

So, this is where we're are at, a mere 3 weeks later.

The davening is, at least, is happening every day. (That's right, You're welcome, God.)

And Ariella has been rereading Harry Potter in Hebrew so I am patting myself on the back for that, even though she's only doing it because she wants to and she hasn't picked up anything in English in about 6 weeks. ("I. Don't. Like. English," she informs me; she thinks that the reason I keep forcing her to read is because this fact was never explained to me.) There's an English reading assignment she needs to do, which I'm assuming will be completed under duress, with much eye-rolling and feet stomping and it's-not-fair-why-doesn't-Yaakov-have-to-do-one. At some point during the dramatics she may offer me money if I don't make her do it and will most likely tell me I'm mean, unfair and I love Yaakov better. Some of those accusations are actually true, so, you know... Also, I'm kind of thinking of taking the money.

Meanwhile, Yaakov is happily zipping through his math and reading workbooks and constantly wanting to read his English books with me. Except replace "happily zipping through" with "grudgingly scribbling in" and "constantly" with "never."

I just can't. I say to Yaakov, all chirpy and cheerful, "Come on, let's read your new Arthur book!" And when I get moaning and kvetching in response, my will to be a good parent just dies (even more, if such a thing is possible) and I literally give up and let his brain continue to marinate in Mega Zords and plots of revenge on his sister, while dipthongs and digraphs and magic e words slip silently, sadly away. "Goodbye Yaakov," they whisper, "Ye hardly knew us."


As for the being nice and polite part? For one thing, I LIKE having to repeat myself over and over, and having the same arguments every single day. Which means that part is going awesomely.

Also, in some ancient cultures, physical violence between siblings was a way of expressing love and respect. (I may have made that up.) So they are totally bringing that back.

Anyway, that's how it's going over here. (And this, by the way, is with the kids in camp most of the day.) Maybe it's because they had their own summer charts that I never knew about? 1. Go to camp. 2. Come home. 3. Fight with sibling 4. Kvetch about [TBA; also subject to change] 5. Watch TV 6. Watch a movie

That must be it. Well, they are almost home, which means it's time for me to do the next thing on my chart: Drink more coffee.


RaggedyMom said...

This is spot-on. Glad we aren't alone!

Eliana said...

I am reassuring myself with the fact that they still recognize me when they glance up from the screen.

JerusalemStoned said...

Oh,the charts. Ooooh,the charts. Oh how I hate the charts. I make 'em, we hang 'em, and there they sit, hissing at me. Bad Ima, they say. Bad Ima.

So I cover them with undeserved stickers and take everyone out for ice-cream. Which makes it aaaaall better.