It was Wednesday, and that means the girls (and by girls, I mean Megan) only have me for 2 hours of homework time before I head to choir rehearsal.
Meg had forgotten to write out her spelling definitions Tuesday night (and while we're in this year's 3rd semester already, I still can't seem to remember that she has to do this task weekly AND BY WEDNESDAY, so I failed to check on it.) This irritated me because I knew that I only had 2 hours with her, and all of that time would most likely be consumed by her book report which was due on Friday. Then on top of THAT, there was her weekly memory verse, which was longer than most, so I really didn't want to save all that memorizing for Thursday night. Oh, and I guess spelling words should be studied as well. Ugh. TOO MUCH!!!
She got started on the book report rough draft, and the more I tried to help her, the more irritated she became. Why? Because book reports are HARD NOW. When I was a kid, we ...
1) Read the book.
2) Described the setting.
3) Wrote a summary including a beginning, middle and end.
4) Finished by writing our opinion.
5) Sometimes drew a picture for extra credit.
DONE. So straight forward and beautiful, it makes me wanna cry for what used to be.
NOW a book report is called a Response to Literature. Did you know that? Pretty fancy, right? Makes me want to have tea and crumpets before I whip out my quill and inkwell.
Anyway, there's all kinds of worksheets to fill out to help get your thoughts organized before you begin to actually write ...
1) Summary Map
2) Main Ideas Key Word Outline
3) Personal Opinion Map, which includes your position statement as well as reasons and references to back it up.
4) Author's Purpose Map
Overwhelming, in my humble 44 year old opinion.
So I had the brilliant idea of having Meg dictate to me what she wanted to write on all of these worksheets. THEN I'd have her sit down to write or type the final draft.
UM. BIG MISTAKE.
Why? Because I am OLD SCHOOL, and do NOT belong in this new advanced 5th grade writing vortex.
Meg dictated her thoughts to me, and I succeeded in filling out every "Map" WRONG.
To say she was irritated with me, would not even BEGIN to do her utter disdain justice.
"Fine!" I said, "Here's another set of MAPS. Fill them out yourself!!" Which she did, in like 10 minutes. Clearly these kids have been
Real Quick Disclaimer: Please know that I absolutely LOVE my kid's school and their teachers. So much so, that I WORK THERE. I would hate for anyone to mistake my sarcasm and momentary frustration, for me seriously venting some disapproval for such an amazing group of educators. I realize curriculum has evolved over the years, and that that is why I rarely feel smarter than a 5th grader.
After the Response to Literature was complete, I had 15 minutes to get to choir. That meant no time for me monitoring the completion of spelling definitions, or helping with the memorization of part of her verse.
Oh well. Guess the baton will have to be passed to Dad.
When I returned home, I asked Henry how it went. He said it went fine (Guess that means no heated banter between parent and child. Whatever.) and that Meg had finished her spelling word definitions. He also said that she had a surprise for me the next morning, but that he couldn't say anymore than that.
The next morning, I walked passed Meg's bedroom at 7:00 a.m. to find her STILL IN BED. No surprise THERE.
Me: Are you eating breakfast or what?
Meg: Uh, no. Where's Dad?
Me: In the shower. Please get dressed.
I went to the kitchen to prepare my oatmeal, only to have Henry come in right after me and prepare the same thing for Meg. Hmm.
I took this to mean that Meg preferred the way Dad made oatmeal, which would normally bug, but I had big plans to actually SIT and eat breakfast if possible, before Meg started asking me to do things like flat iron her hair, or find a missing piece of clothing.
As I sat down to eat, Meg walked in with a huge grin on her face, fully dressed and hair in a ponytail.
Me: So you ARE eating breakfast, you just didn't want ME to make it?
Meg: Mom, this morning you didn't have to get my clothes. You didn't have to do my hair. You didn't have to make my breakfast. Aaaand 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:6-7.
Me: Oh. My. WORD. You finished your definitions AND memorized your verse last night?!?!? And then got ready by yourself and had Dad make your breakfast?!
Meg: Yep. Are you surprised?
Me: Totally surprised!! BEST MORNING EVER!! THANK YOU!!!!!
Meg: You're welcome.
Okay. RIGHT?!? Does this mean I'm mothering at a decent level? Or that I gripe and complain so much that Meg decided to go an extra 10 miles just to see me happy for once??? Don't answer that. Just know that this little spitfire blessed me beyond measure the morning of January 30, 2014.