Thursday, November 29, 2012

No, not embarrassing at all.

Yesterday, I received this email from my daughter's teacher:

Just wondering if A showed you her homework slip for reading last night? She said that she didn’t get it finished because she had chores to do all night and there wasn’t any time when the chores got finished. I had written on her slip that she needed to read chapter 3 and 4 (which she was supposed to do in class and write a summary). This was given to her group and they had 45 minutes to work on it. She chose to only read chapter 3 and then read other stuff. I told her that she needed to complete for group later on in the day. So when she came to group she didn’t have it finished and she was given as homework chapter 5.

I'll just come right out and say it: my daughter's time management skills leave much to be desired. Sometimes I wonder why we are bothering to save for her college education, when the odds of her making it to her classes seem so very small. I worry about her future career and can only pray that it is one that does not require her to show up for work at any specific time. You know I love my child with all my heart and soul, and I am surely her biggest fan, but she does have this one teensy little flaw. 

On weekdays, her alarm clock goes off at 6:00 a.m. After her dad and I nag her for the next 15 minutes, she throws us a bone and finally takes off her pajamas. 9 times out of 10, she is still naked at 6:30.  And her breakfast is cold. We've tried rewarding her, punishing her, taking her shit away - you name it! Before she was born, we showed up at places on time. Now, we go skidding into work, movies, birthday parties, church, etc. about a minute after we are supposed to be there. And it's all because we cannot take a naked child with us. We have to require clothing and in our home, at least for one member of our household, getting dressed is an ordeal of epic proportions.

So, I feel her teacher's pain as I'm sure that A's time management skills don't magically improve once she gets to school. When I read that email from her teacher, embarrassment was the first emotion to register in my brain. I assume you caught the line about CHORES ALL NIGHT?! Fortunately, I know teachers are wise people who do not believe every word a child says. It is true that my daughter has a short list of chores:
  1. Dust once a week
  2. Pick up dog poop twice a week (we have suspended this one for the winter)
  3. Take a bath every other day, as independently as possible. 
  4. Make bed daily.
It is also true that Tuesday was the night she was expected to dust. If she focused on that task, I believe it would take her a maximum of 10 minutes. However, she starts a task but then finds ways to prolong it. She dances and sings. She rifles through the candy jar, kisses her dog Gretchen on the lips, and watches shows on the Disney Channel featuring preternaturally cheerful teens. She may even stop to do some impromptu coloring.

I was at yoga on the night in question but I can assure you that she had ample time to do her homework and the one chore she was asked to do. In theory, she should even have had lots of time left over to play video games with her dad and whatever else she wanted to do. But that's not how she rolls.

In any case, I did respond to her teacher with assurances that we'd work harder at making sure our daughter completes all assignments. I also let her know that we did not require the little fibber to do chores ALL NIGHT. When I called my mom and told her about her granddaughter's latest escapade, she laughed until she was out of breath.  "Well, she sure threw you under the bus!" she exclaimed.

I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of time under that bus.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Ha-ha-ha....our son is like that too about most everything. He is just really easily distracted and mostly just wants to do what he wants to do. I do have one suggestion for the dressing slowly thing, though. If she didn't get ready in a set amount of time, I would be sorely tempted to pick out her clothes myself and physically dress her. At some point - hopefully sooner than later - she might start getting tired of being treated like a toddler - or, if you are really good at picking out her clothes - she might get tired of your selection. If nothing else, she would be dressed more quickly, even if she never does learn the skill herself. :)