One of the main reasons we enjoyed such a carefree long weekend was the lack of homework. Sure, the older kids had some projects to complete, but they've known about those for a while and were grateful for the days off to have extra time to focus on them. The younger ones just emptied the Thanksgiving themed artwork, word searches and empty lunchboxes from their backpacks and enjoyed their break. Ahh, bliss!
By Sunday evening, with the realization that their long awaited weekend of freedom was at an end, people started getting agitated around here. I was frustrated right along with them. All too often, moods are determined by the demands of school. It's been a hard year in that regard. My kids are pulled in so many different directions and school has been pulling the hardest. A couple of weeks ago I was particularly frustrated and so I wrote a letter to vent my feelings. I'm just not sure who to send it to. Here it is, for what it's worth....
I hate you. There, I said it. In fact, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!
I hate how you follow my kids home from school every day. I hate how you stay way too long and suck the fun out of everything. I hate how you make my kids feel guilty when they want to spend time with anyone (or anything) else while you’re still here. I will admit that there have been times I have felt your meaningful contribution to our lives. Sadly, those times are rare. Mostly, I just hate you and the black cloud that hangs over my house when you are around.
When you tell my kids they have to read, then they get no enjoyment out of reading. When you tell them to do math, they complain because they already did math at school. When you tell them to write, they disappear and try to hide from you and say their tummy hurts and sneak outside because they’d much rather run and play. But when they come in, you’re still here! You never take the hint. I’ve tried to help them get rid of you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down right next to them to try to help them meet your daily demands. I’ve colored their maps for social studies. (Since when is Social Studies an art class?) I’ve helped them brainstorm for papers even when they tell me, “That’s not how my teacher does it!” If it’s always supposed to be how the teacher does it, then I say let them do it at school where the teacher is! Actually, I say that even if it’s not always supposed to be how the teacher does it. So there.
The teacher has my kids for over 7 hours a day. You know what? I think that’s enough. If you always follow them home, when do I get them? With you here, meal times are always stressful. With you here, bedtime gets later and later. Sometimes you even have the nerve to still be here when they wake up in the morning! When do my kids get to be kids? When do they get to read for pleasure? When do they get to be excited about what interests them without having to write a report about it? An amazing thing happens when you leave them alone: My kids are curious. They use their imaginations. They read and play together and laugh and sing and joke together. But when you’re here, they fight and cry and yell. You are a bully.
I hate you.
(How many days until Christmas break?)