This is the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL around here. We’re almost DONE. I mean, except for the little bit of history that we’re going to stretch out over the summer because it can actually be FUN if you take your time and ENJOY it, dammit. Today, for an end of year celebration, we went to an evil empire of satanic mayhem, with a vile rodent overlord, that probably carries plague-laden fleas AS WELL as false cheer and creepy amounts of affection for children he’s never seen before.
Um, I meant to say Chuck E Cheese’s. You know.
Anyhow, when we’d finished all the fun there – you know, cowering in the midst of ticket-crazed hordes of children, choking down pizza-printed cardboard, gagging on our tongues from the occasional seizure caused by ALL THE FLASHING LIGHTS - that fun, we left to run a few other errands. By the time we got home it was 3:00. We have a rule here about schoolwork. I will not, WILL NOT harass my children to do their work. I will present it to them, answer their questions, and occasionally order them to put their heads down on the table until they are ready to STOP shooting things out of their noses, but I WILL NOT crack the whip over them. They have until 4:00 to finish, and if they don’t, a flurry of consequences rains down upon them. No TV, no GameBoy, no fun, no joy. Tre noticed the time when we walked in the door and proceeded to FREAK OUT (as he is wont to do).
“MAMAMAMAMAMA! Let’s do SCHOOL! I WON’T HAVE TIME TO FINISH! Do I have a LOT to do? AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!”
It was raining at the time, huge fat pelting raindrops. Rain has been scarce enough around here over the last few years that the novelty of it drew Max and Raphael outside. They were standing in the downpour, watching it splash off everything. This is good stuff, standing in the rain. I knew that once the schoolwork was done Tre would have no time for that sort of behavior, because post-school is the time in which he falls face first into his GameBoy or disappears across the street to play with friends. So I decided to postpone school a bit, give him a chance to play in the rain.
“I’m not quite ready. Why don’t you go play with your brothers?” He had to admit that all the wetness outside was interesting, and he soon slipped out to join the others. I breathed a sigh of relief because he was actually going along with my evil plan, and…well…truth be told…I hesitate to admit this…
Ok, I’m sick to death of school. This is the real reason we don’t do school year-round. I would go stark raving mad, drive pencils into my eyeballs, and leap off a large stack of books into a dark ravine if I had to do school all year.
Which is not to say I don’t love it. There comes a time, though, when it’s time to close the books for a bit. Their books. That’s the time *I* get to actually do some reading. I’ve been striving to read the first chapter of The Fourth Hand by John Irving for the last week. THE FIRST CHAPTER. But there’s NO TIME. But soon, soon, an entire chunk of my daily obligations will be cut out.
No more pencils,
No more books,
No more teacher’s – wait a minute.
Tre did enjoy playing in the rain for about twenty minutes. Every so often he would stick his head in the door to tell me things like, “We’re making a river in the sand box.” And, “Did you know ants float?” But he also FREAKED OUT approximately every 4 minutes and came tearing in, to shriek at the clock, “I’M RUNNING OUT OF TIME! I WON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME!”
“OY!” I said. “And by the way, VEY!”
Finally I relented, and stopped forcing him to play in the rain. They all trooped inside, dripping, and Tre and Max did about 15 minutes of school work. Tre was amazed and moved to tears to find out that I wasn’t going to require a full day’s work in 15 minutes.
I’m not sure what I accomplished there, but I do know this:
ONE. MORE. DAY. TO. GO.