Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boys in the Trees vs. The Bossy Momma

Today the trees were quite attractive to the boys. Ok, beat me over the head and tell me I was silly to think I could tear them away from climbing to do anything academic...but I was in one of those moods. I actually had something planned and it would only take 15 minutes of real structure. 15 minutes! That's all I'm asking! It wasn't as though I walked out to the tree, demanded they came down, and mindlessly droned on about something that didn't matter while their arms and legs were duct taped into desks. I waited until what I thought was a great time: they were no longer in the trees.

Momma-who-is-still-learning fails to realize that any structured learning time in the afternoon generally goes over like a ton of bricks because playtime is very much already in full swing. Especially on a beautiful day. The trucks and jumps and dirt hill was already fully in use. Archery had been mentioned. Who the hell cares about silent "e"?

Perhaps a better unschooler choice would have been to scrap the damn silent "e" book and game, regardless of how clever, and perhaps gone out and climbed trees with them. Or told them what kind of tree they were climbing. Or asked them why they think the tree is rotting. Or asked them to explain what kind of pain goes shooting through you when the rotting tree loses a giant limb that you're hanging on and you go smashing into the grass below. Those things would have been more productive, probably. But Bossy Momma holds on sometimes to her I-have-a-really-bossy-Iggy issues and struggles with, especially on certain days, that when she says "do this", he should understand it is not "optional". And when he looks at her with the kind of look like he might be 5, going on 15, sirens and lasers go off inside her brain that say DISRESPECTFUL TEENAGER and she freaks out.

As a homeschooling mama, I struggle sometimes. Knowing that you have so much freedom (which Iggy and Ooky are fully aware of) and that there are things you simply don't have to do or worry about...and then having kids slap that back at you when they decide something you want them to do schoolwise is "lame". "I mean, do we really have to do this? I don't want to learn about this." SERIOUSLY??? Who are these teenagers in small people's bodies? Give me a break. What I want to say is "Yes we have freedom, but there are still somethings you better know, and its my job to make sure you know them, so HUMOR ME!!!!!!" Is that wrong?

In any event, the trauma was remedied. We did do silent "e" stuff...among other things...a science experiment that failed miserably which made me, the bossy momma, look extra cool (since i'd dragged them inside to see the dumb thing). They eventually were released outside and we hung out until supper. Before bedtime, Iggy left me a message on the living room rug that said "Mom" with a smiley face...made out of Legos.

It made me smile. Perhaps the Boys in the Trees and The Bossy Momma can call a truce?


Sarah said...

Ah, yes. The structured momma moments have attacked me recently as well. I'm glad that yours ended on a positive note. BTW, great trees for climbing! All of our great climbing trees are, of course, right next to the county road--so extra supervision is required. Haha, I just got this vision of the boys being monkeys and you standing at the base of the tree saying "OK monkey's, it's time to come down from the trees and become civilized".
ROFLOL, my word verif is "lable"--not spelled right, but very funny.

jbantau said...
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jbantau said...

Yep, I gotta get my kids right away in the morning for any thing structured. My wonderful, sweet daughter thinks that being educated is stupid and a waste of time. I've threatened her, "Do you want to grow up and work at McDonald's?" "Yeah, that'd be awesome." She said, with genuine enthusiasm. Well, there's one way not to do it.

Maybe, if they were monkeys you could bribe them out of the trees with monkey treats. You could have a little shoot set up at the kitchen table that sends out treats when they get the right answers. Wait a minute, that might work with children