Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Oh my gawd, people, I am back to the homework wars. Last night, DH and I checked Ari’s homework and it was only halfway done. If we hadn’t reminded him, none of it would have been done for this morning. This was after he had been grounded for not turning in homework, after insane lecturing on our part and tears on his end, and after he had an entire week off school. Ugh!!! This homework thing is going to be the bane of our existence.

Once again, we took away the iPad and video games for a week and playdates on school nights. Every day after school this week, I will be closely monitoring to make sure that he completes it. Ay.

A group of moms in Montserrat, Spain, have gone topless for a racy calendar to raise money for their school buses, according to the TODAY Show moms blog. In case you are wondering, they have raised the money needed to keep bus service for 600 elementary school kids, which begs the question, how far would you go to fundraise for your kids’ school?

In other news: a Caucasian mom at BlogHer with an African American daughter wrote about the nuances of travel in this country — finding “friendly” places where non-white people can stay. I understand where she is coming from. I can think of two places, in which I felt uncomfortable being the only brown person that day. One of those places was in the deep south where people around me waved confederate flags and dropped the “n” word quite casually. I learned very quickly to keep my mouth shut — and never returned. It’s sad that in this day and age we still have that in this country. I applaud this mother for recognizing it and protecting her daughter.

In people who are completely off the mark: Keli Goff at the Huffington Post wrote a piece about “why bad parents oppose kid-free flights.” I liked this comment by a self-described 52-year-old gay man with no children:

Here’s the million dollar answer. People of all ages travel by plane for medical reasons. Banning children from flights could be challenged on the basis of the Americans with Disabilities Act if a child with cancer needs to fly to a cancer center for chemotherapy.

Yes, this. I would add that children are still people and it is a slippery slope to start deeming who is “too annoying” to fly. There are plenty of adults who arguably belong in this category, too. Unlike a private beach or club, air is public. Flying is just one of those things we all suck up because we have to — a funeral, an illness, visiting family, going on vacation, etc..

And that’s all I got. What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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41 thoughts on “Monday Morning Open Thread

  1. Grandma woke up at 4 and wanted to go to the hospital so here we are. Against all expectations, she’s improving. I saw her last night and she was chatty (ish) but tired. The back and forth us so. Freaking. Hard. Die- don’t die- what’s it going to be? Is that awful? I don’t know whether to hope or what to hope for besides an easy passing.

    • It’s not awful.. my guess is she has a ways to go…. and you will know when you are there… you just.. will.

      And how’s this for bad? once they determined my mom was in her last stages and sent her bck to the nursing home for the end it took her FOUR DAYS to pass away and on day 3 my brother said “um… you know.. we kinda have stuff to do here mom.. I mean I don’t wanna rush you or anything but… um… you know.. just sayin…” Fortunately she was comatose and did not hear him.. or maybe she did .. but you do kind of reach that point where you’re like .. ok let’s get the show on the road here…

      • Nobody said it, but I totally had that thought with my FIL. Once we were all there in the waiting room in the hospital and they took him off all his life support, I imagined it would happen within a few minutes (like on TV). I had no idea it could take so long. It was just really really hard for his wife and 4 boys and all the older grandkids who knew what was happening. I had only been in the family for 5 years at that point, so I was sad, but not like how the others felt.

          • I know! Our bodies are just programmed to fight to live, right? So it probably takes all the systems a long time to get the message. About a month before my 44 year old cousin died of cancer (gulp, that’s my age now), her hair stylist was pointing out to her all her regrowth. It seemed like such a hopeful sign, like her body was saying, “this isn’t over yet, we’re making more hair up in here!”

      • Thanks everyone. Her doc isn’t calling it just yet and she’s crabby about how no one will let her sleep which is apparently a good sign. I’m thinking this is going to be a bit of a marathon.

    • This is what I plan to do next. I have no clue if she’s talked to him about it — only that she’s sent me an e-mail. DH and I were discussing this very thing last night: he feels that Ari should just do the homework and the school should not accommodate him in any way. I feel that the school needs to do a better job of communicating to the students why homework is important. I’m hearing from other parents — of boys — that their boys aren’t doing the homework either and being grounded for it. I am thinking that they must not see it as important.

      I have no context for this because I always did my homework. My DH? Not so much. But I do plan to talk to the teacher about it.

      • Ah – this is my world with Alex and yep – it started around ages 9-10. The not telling us about big assignments, the just NOT doing anything…and then the lying and just flat out not CARING. Sadly, I never totally broke through that mental barrier with him until 10th grade! As you said, he just doesn’t think it is important. Pleasing other people wasn’t enough of a motivation. Pleasing HIMSELF wasn’t either or else he would have cared about his overall grades. No – he just didn’t see the POINT in working for the sake of working without a tangible benefit. Now, he sees a path to going to college and studying topics he cares about so he manages to remain engaged (to a point) in keeping up.

        The struggle is trying to find his motivation and his perceived obstacles. I had to dial way back on the lecturing and frustration to get there. Not easy :-)

  2. He’s still little, Elisa. It’s not surprising that you’ll need to check his homework and remind him. Just get into the habit that he shows you his homework before he gets to play games.

    The real issue last time was the lying, and that’s gets a different kind of response than passive procrastination.

      • I don’t think at this age you can trust him to do the homework without prompting. The kids that are that responsible are rare.

        What you can expect to trust him about is that he will be truthful about what homework he has and whether it’s done.

        • Yeah, we go through the homework folder every day. I have a terrible memory when it comes to things like that, so I can’t hold it against my DD if she forgets to do something at this point. I think the weekly packet is tough for this age group, so I’m glad DD gets daily assignments now. Time management skills are important, but I’d rather she have a few projects here and there that are more long-term, and then the homework be daily.

      • He’s really little though. You do still have to be his reminder system for a few years yet. # 2 worked well if he tackled his homework right after school – it was easier for him to stay in school mode than to go and play and try to come back to it. We still remind and ask our 15 year old about homework and she’s far more organized and together than any 15 year old has the right to be.

      • No advice really but I feel your pain ;) You are not alone!

        My two are so different about it. The younger one just sits down and does it without any prompting from us whatsoever. He remembers what needs to be done and does it, and gives stuff to us to sign if it needs a signature. Homework really is no trouble at all. The older one is completely the opposite and has always been that way. He forgets stuff, procrastinates, tries not to do it at all if at all possible, or do the absolute minimum required. I think some kids just are more difficult to manage about it. I am still trying to figure out the best way to get it to happen but it is an ongoing challenge.

      • My two are also opposites. My elder does his homework without prompting. My 4th grader is the challenge, but I have learned the hard way that he must retain ownership – if I make it my business to make sure his homework is done, it’s war. Long, painful, protracted war, with no winner. So I have to stay out of it and let him wrestle with himself. If he repeatedly fails to turn it in he has to finish it before I’ll let him leave the house, which he hates, but as long as he is getting it done he has the right to choose when to do it. Fortunately his teacher this year also takes this approach and most of his work gets done during school. I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed for next year.

  3. I really struggle with this with M. For a really long time we thought our issues with HW were due to her not caring, not trying, etc. Then a few teacher conferences later it became apparent that she has some underlying attention issues that exasperate the HW (and class work, and social friendships…). So now we’re trying to figure out the right balance – how do we help her get the skills that she needs, when does she need a structural intervention, when is she just not trying? We’re working with the school and an outside team, so I’m hoping it gets better. I’m hoping that working on this now with M will make things easier in middle school… Fingers crossed :-)

    And overall, I do really think there’s just too much homework now a days. I am not convinced that it is worthwhile. But I’m in the minority of parents at our school, so I have to figure out how to walk that balance too.

    • Our school board just voted to raise the homework limits. I was planning to attend that board meeting so I could voice my opposition. Even though I couldn’t go (forgotten prior commitment) I got major points from my boys, who were very impressed that I wanted to fight for their right to have less homework. I think I have a little more credibility in their eyes now. :)

  4. God, I hate getting so little sleep. But that little imp of mine was so darn cute at 6 this morning! Soda is the only thing that will save this sermon I have to write. (And I can just tell that I’m going to be swilling coffee before too long.)

            • You know, I have never seen Les Miz. I just have a knee jerk reaction against it because my dad loves and is obsessed by it. He’s seen it 2-3 times on stage, loved the movie, and plays the soundtrack constantly while trying to explain what’s happening in this scene or that. It drives me nuts, and DH even more so. My dad is also obsessed with Josh Grobin, so we kind of put them both in the same category. They might not be our favorites anyway, but the annoyance factor is through the roof with my dad pushing it so.

              • I did see it, when I was in high school. I found myself enthralled by the experience at the time and loved it, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

                But Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals invite mockery because of how over-emotive they can be, IMHO. They’re so OTT they’re funny, I think.

  5. Thank GOD the kids are back to school and we’re both back to work after 2 snow days and then the weekend. Lucy was very happy to be going back to school today, too. We are so very grateful that the blizzard that is crossing the plains is crossing south of here. Initially, we were supposed to get hit at least a little, but now we’re getting none of it. Sorry Happy Clam…hope y’all are hanging in there! All my college friends in Kansas are complaining madly on facebook. The moms are complaining, at least. My cousin who is a college student is posting frolicking in the snow pictures and taking advantage of the time off. They are used to getting a few inches here and there, then a melt and some 50 degree days. This back to back blizzard stuff is not normal for them at all.

    • I noticed it was missing you this time. Lucky! It has started and they are saying 10″ + by morning, we will see. Folks are canceling things like crazy, but so far the schools (K-12) and University are wait and see. I think the last time we had big snows like this was 1942. ( I am a transplant who grew up in Michigan, so I love the snow.)

      • I had a heck of a time getting home today because it’s blizzarding on the other side of the mountains and they closed the freeway 7 miles from the edge of town all the way to the state line. IDK why they’ve started doing it that way, they used to close it at the last exit and I could at least get home, but now they close it 5 miles before my exit and it backs up another 3 miles or so (as you can imagine if you close a major interstate through a major metro area!). I left work at 1:30 pm and it’s normally 14 minutes door-to-door (hop on freeway, drive 9 miles, hop off) and it took me 35.

      • Hey–we should meet up sometime, doncha think? Do you ever get up this way? We don’t get down there as much since Lucy’s godmamas moved out of your town, but I’m sure I’ll be in the vicinity at some point this summer at least.

        • Sorry, Sister Q. I meant that for Happy Clam. Though I’d also love to meet up with you sometime, it’s a much longer driver than the 3 hours separating me from HC.

        • Yes! My BIL used to be in Lincoln, but since they moved we haven’t been up your way at all. Now most the family is in a line to the west of us from here to the mountains. If you head this direction, give me a shout-

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