Saturday, September 09, 2006

On the Job Training: Motherhood - Part 16b - Who is going back to school?

Well we survived this week. She and I waited at the corner for the school bus. She danced and twirled around while I feared she'd twirl right into traffic. I would hug and kiss her good bye, and help her to climb the big steps on the bus. She would sit in the first seat and wave to me with an excited smile. From behind the tinted glass, she looked so small. (What am I doing? Where is she going without me!? Where's her booster seat? What kind of society is this?) I would brush away a tear and walk to my car. For the first time in years, I am driving directly to work, not stopping at the daycare.

There's been a lot of excitement this week about the first day of school. The saying is that you get to relive your childhood through your children. That's definitely true. However, childhood was not always popcorn and butterflies. Now, all those anxious memories of school are surfacing!

The Bus

My sister and I used to walk to elementary school, but took the bus in middle and high school. It was at the corner and we could just about hear the bus come down the street. I think of all those days we had to wait in the heat, cold, and rain with kids. We had to drag our instruments, tennis rackets, gym bags and book bags to the bus stop. There was always commotion in the morning; we couldn't miss the bus because my father had already left for work and we'd have no ride. We would finish eating our toasts at the bus stop. There's a foggy memory of Mom bringing a mug of milk to the stop for myself, my sister or my brother.

Now, I'll be waiting at the stop again. Fortunately, the two of us could wait in my car at the corner so we won't have to withstand the elements. However, we do have the morning rush in the house. My daughter is a slow eater and we've got a routine of begging her to stop talking and keep eating. I'm working on getting organized in the morning to eliminate any last-minute rushes. Again, I'm feeling anxious about missing the bus. I could easily drop her, but that's not the point. You're committed to taking a bus.

Yes, I know she's in kindergarten, but she has homework. We have a blank calendar for September, which needs to be completed with the dates and color.

I'm getting panicky about homework because I was not disciplined about it as a child. I think all three of us had this problem. We did not have a set schedule for doing homework. We'd come home, watch TV, play outside and it wasn't until after dinner we settled down to do it. Then we would be yawning while my father explained math and chemistry to us. In high school, we'd come home around 7 or 8 from tennis games or music rehearsals. We would settle down to do it then. I remember doing homework first thing in the morning or during other classes.

My husband also confesses to hating school and homework. He was in the Indian school system, which is much tougher and has a lower tolerance than the US system. He said he consistently was in trouble for not doing it, and maybe more so because his mother was a professor. He just makes a face about how much he hated school.

My first question to parents with school-aged children is, "When do you do homework?" Most of them say they do it as soon as the kids come home. They know there are too many distractions to delay it. I'm going to start now so both she and I will become disciplined about this.

Other Stuff
I've gotten a bunch of papers about fundraisers and activities. I don't particularly like doing the fundraisers, such as the entertainment books. Really, who can you sell it to if every school is doing it and your friends are in the same boat as you? I'll gladly make a donation to the school in lieu of peddling wrapping paper at work.

Circle of Life
If this is all part of the circle of life, let me tell you, it's quite a dizzy ride!

1 comment:

drmo said...

we always do homework as soon as the girls are back from school, it seems to work for us. when we tried putting it off , they are so tired , it takes twice as long to finish.