Sunday, December 2, 2007

This is the kind of Mom I am.

The Boy had some homework to do today. Kind of a lot, and he was feeling the pressure. And there was a piece of paper that he needed, and that he couldn't find. I got him to describe what it was and what it looked like. It was some notes on a film they'd seen in school, from which he had to make a little book about what good study habits are. The book was already partially done. According to him, without these notes, he couldn't remember everything in the film, and would have to do stuff that wasn't in the film, and get a lower grade. He was absolutely sure that he saw these notes in his accordian file this weekend. They were definately in the house but now have mysteriously disappeared. Now, this boy is smart. And he DOES try to be organized and responsible. He just hasn't perfected it yet. (Well, he IS responsible. It's the organization that he hasn't perfected yet. And he has an annoying history of blaming inanimate objects for disappearing or for other misdeeds that of course can only be the fault of a PERSON. He came by this trait honestly: he got it from his father. I hated it when his dad did it, and I hate it when The Boy does it. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELVES, PEOPLE!!! If the paper is gone, YOU LOST IT. IT DIDN'T RUN AWAY ON IT'S OWN.)

But I digress. He hadn't even started in on that angle this time...I was just anticipating it. So, the notes were missing. Did I yell at him for being irresponsible? Did I nag him to be more careful? No. (That's what my mother would have done to me, in order to satisfy her own need to vent.) But it would not help the notes get found, it would do nothing to teach him to be more careful, and would only serve to make him more frantic. What I wanted to teach him was that if he was sure he'd seen it in this house, then it had to be here still. It didn't magically disappear. So I quietly helped him go through his accordian folder, piece by piece, looking for the notes. It wasn't there. I helped him go through the "catch all" bin for his stuff, piece by piece. It wasn't there. Then I went through the trash. Piece by piece. And I found his notes. Covered in damp coffee grounds. "Is this it?" I calmly asked him. Yes it was. I noted, calmly and matter of factly, "I'll bet it was on the coffee table and you threw it away by accident when you cleaned the living room yesterday". I talked to him, nicely and calmly, about working on his organization skills. And how, since he was sure it had been here, then it still had to be here, and so it was. And I even put the notes in a plastic sheet protector, so he could use them without getting all gunky. And he gave me a big hug and went to do his homework.

7 comments:

Jess said...

I love that a frantic child story ended with him giving you a hug and running off to do homework. I think it speaks to your parenting philosophy and the great relationship you have with your kid that you managed to turn it around like that.

Innocent Bystander said...

What Jess said. Because, really, she's completely right.

Annika said...

I really like the kind of Mom you are.

allison said...

I think you are an awesome Mom.

Now, can you come to my house and teach my husband the same lesson?

jenn said...

But, but... what about the blow up and crying and hysterics and three hours of screaming and slamming of doors? How could something like this be taken care of without all that?

What? Talking and learning?

Weird.

CosmicAvatar said...

You rock.

That is all.

Amanda said...

You are a fantastic example. I hope I'll be able to have half your patience.