Friday, January 21, 2011

Magnet Mother

The other morning I encouraged Jaden to get up with the fact that it is Friday.

"Hoo-RAY!" I shouted like a cheerleader. (Except my enthusiasm was fake and forced.)

He laid there, like most of us do, snoozing. -Getting more out of that three minutes between the alarm,than in the whole night. (Don't you love that droopey feeling? It is more blissful than Florence's Chocolates and what heaven must feel like: a state of relief that you don't 'have to get up' and leave your warm blankets, step into the cold of your room to dress even colder jeans and walk out into the Artic of Idaho weather.

Like someone speaking from the dead, because he was laying there in the same state of serenity and only his lips moved, he startled me with this:

"I am NOT doing homework today."

The week was a short one, due to the holiday, and he didn't come home with OFFICIAL homework, i.e. something to be turned in by the end of the week. He thought he was off the hook.

It was an excruciating week keeping him on board with the fact that he did in fact have Home Work. Implemented by his mother, at home.

I had to pull tricks out of the hat to keep his attention on tasks such as; improving his penmanship, going over past tests to make sure he understood why he got a question wrong and doing his daily reading.

Tuesday, I tried the dry erase board he loved so much when he was littler. That worked for 4 minutes before he figured out I wasn't just drawing, but pounding in tally marks and punctuation. When I wrote a sentence to him, because we weren't speaking, and then asked where a comma goes, he stopped "playin" the dry erase game.(he'd pounce on me for the hypocrisy if he read my blog.)

Using a library book I've had to re-check out three times, I did all these activities to teach him about magnets, the earth's magnetic field and atoms.

In between moments of attention span, he'd play indoor hoop. I sat down and did a water color picture to get him to get over the fact we weren't going to Wal-Mart to price Air Soft Guns nor were we heading to the hardware store to get a horse shoe magnet.

He fell for it and drew an aircraft carrier with water colored pencils.

I trapped him, while he was in the tub, and read Lemony Snickett's The Bad Beginning. (I've done this many times with other books.)

When I had to do dishes or make dinner I feigned I needed something to inspire me, and that it helped to laugh while working. When I asked if he could read Lemony to me he rightly acknowledged that it was hard for him to read that book because it made him laugh so hard. And then cry. Which is true. I could barely use the 20 minute time frame of reading because most of it was spent laughing.

By Thursday, he learned every trick I'd used.

So his stance Friday morning was completely fair.

"You can't make me do ANY homework today." He said opening his eyes.

"You don't even want to paint?"

He thought a second then eying me like an art curator, said: "We do that at school too."

He was on to my scheme. Drawing, painting, artsy stuff, or even asking him a thought provoking question, was an attempt to "teach" him. And he was against any form of me stretching his brain.

"Okay, you got it. NO homework. What are ya gonna do with all that time?"

"Play my DS." He said excitedly, as he jumped out of bed and got ready for school lickety split.

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