Friday, 19 April 2013

Save That Coupon, Or Not

Mothers’ Day was in early March in Ireland. Along with my annual breakfast in bed—which came at 6.a.m, and thankfully Daddy rainchecked til 7:30am—I received a love coupon from 8yo Cutiepie.
Designed and crafted in school, I was totally expecting a voucher for a foot massage or an over abundance of kisses. Boy, was I wrong.
This coupon entitles the holder to:

Come again?

A day free of homework for my kid? Where’s MY evening without dishes or cuddles of endless hugs? Instead, Cutiepie is excused from homework? Go figure. Or wait, hold that calulation—maybe your mom has the same coupon?

Really. Some days I fail to understand school decisions.

Like when they break for two weeks Christmas holidays, yet prior to, teachers stop assigning homework for an additional two weeks because "it’s almost the holidays". Grrr.

Or, when it’s ‘golden hour’ every Friday where the kids watch movies like Cars or Toy Story. Couldn’t, at least, be an age-appropriate documentary?

Reluctantly grateful, I put the coupon to one side. Until Cutiepie solemnly inquired, “Are you ever going to use your coupon?”

I guess I’m an anomaly. Recently, I read a blogger mom complaining of  homework and the expectations it put on her, the mom. Sounds like she has the same scholastic migrane, only mine's without the homework.

While at the inlaws this week, the aunts, homework helpers, were loaded down with cousins and homework at the dinner table.

I guess it’s a chore. A chore I would relish. As children of a full-time working mom who commutes, my girls get their help from someone else, usually the au pair, maybe their Dad. 

Each Thursday, the eve of spelling tests, we host our own Spelling Bee. I try hard to make it all fun and play, but for me, I know they’re learning. I would jump at every chance to help with homework. In fact, I’ll take THAT coupon.

On Wednesday, Cutiepie’s test results put her second in her class. Hearing that, I scrambled for the coupon and told her not to forget it the next morning. She said, “But, I’ve already done my homework.” I told her to turn it in for the next day’s homework.

At which time, she proceeded to school me on how to use this coupon. “Really”, she says, “it’s an excuse.” Apparently she is not meant to turn it in until Friday morning when Thursday’s homework is expected. She says, seriously and with an all-knowing-slightly-cheeky grin, “you don’t USE an excuse, until something is expected of you, Mom!”

So adds another annoyance for my school’s list. Teaching my children excuses, rather than planning? Grr.

So on Thursday evening, eager to enjoy my coupon vicariously, I asked her how it felt to not do her homework. She casually said, “Oh, I did my homework today. Mammy, today’s homework was super easy. I’ll keep the coupon for when I have loads of homework!”

Ah, she’s PLANNING on how she’s gonna use her excuse. I’d like to think she learned that from me.

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