When Katie’s incredibly sweet pre-K teacher sent home notices about the study buddy bags that would soon find their way home each day, I couldn’t process how and when we would squeeze this in; I mean, what’s more important…eating, bathing, or homework?
Thankfully, she included a message to make sure we knew this was not intended to be a stressful development. If there was ever a night when we felt like we couldn’t get to it, we shouldn’t sweat it. That’s just the hall pass I needed. On dance nights, we were skipping. We’re already behind schedule on those nights, so carving out time to do homework was definitely pushing the envelope. On nights when Brady has been at the station and I can’t convey to Beau that knocking Katie in the head with his left foot isn’t conducive to learning to read, we’d just skip it.
During supper yesterday, I ended up asking Katie if her teacher ever asks them in class if they did their homework the night before. I wanted to know if the teacher or aide just checked the homework status quietly on their own, or if they made a class production out of it. Why it never occurred to me to ask this before is beyond me. I can only assume this was God saying: “Hey…let’s finish out the year strong, how ‘bout.”
Katie ended up telling me yes, the teacher did actually ask them every morning when they got to class if they did their homework. Katie answers either yes, ma’am or no, ma’am. If she answers no, ma’am, then the teacher simply says something along the lines of “let’s get to it tomorrow, then.” Gentle reprimand...I feel it more than she does.
My husband and I have markedly different reactions to this. His reaction is more: This is pre-K, not middle school Math. Let’s get some perspective and go play outside. They do enough during the day in school. My reaction is generally more: Oh sweet Lucy on a bicycle! Our dear one is behind before we’ve even begun! The teacher may have raved during the last parent/teacher conference, but she was obviously too kind to point out we’re the only people not persevering and doing the homework every night.
Slight difference in intensity, to say the least. I told Katie that I was glad to know about it all, and that we would make an effort to not miss a night. She seemed completely…unaffected.
I also told her that I was sorry for all the questioning, to which she sagely replied:
“Oh, it’s okay. I don’t mind all the questions. I know you’re just trying to find out what the dill pickle is.”
Stick a fork in me. I’m done. No baby could possibly be sweeter and smarter. Thank you, Jesus, for Katie Jane.
Normally, after a long weekend like the one we just had, we’d skip the assignment on Sunday night. Our priority would be getting into bed and falling asleep, so that Monday morning could get a leg up…which I still think is the priority right now, but I don’t want my girl to feel like she’s behind, ever, so if I can help in this small way, I guess it’s worth it.
To be honest, it was exceptionally hard for me to sit there and listen to her slowly pick her way through “Bananas Sometimes” while the clock ticked closer and closer to her not wanting to wake up at all tomorrow morning. I started to twitch.
Brady doesn’t call me the sleep police for nothin’.
But we did it. We finished it, even with Beau coming in and out of the room and squeezing between us and asking us for “num-nums,” his bottle, and his “aye.”
[“Aye” is how he refers to his pacifier. I have no idea why or how this started. Maybe because of the “aye” sound in pacifier?]
Daddy eventually made it in the house after putting up our weekend of tools and locking up the chickens and corralled him in the dining room, where they camped out at the window to watch the world go by, ticking clock minute by ticking clock minute.
I think perhaps, more than anything, I’m not ready to let go of her babyhood. It was hard enough when she went from days at home with grandma and daddy to days at school, but I consoled myself with coming straight home and falling out of the suburban to play and read until supper. Now, however, Homework has swooped in and started to wiggle its way in to the routine.
And I know, from personal experience, that it won’t heft its giant tushie out of our lives until that last walk across the stage. By then, I’ll be nothing but fingernail beds and Tylenol dust.