Apparently that is my sobriquet amongst GP1’s friends, due in part to my whimsical tendency to insist that he occasionally tears himself away from the X Box to do his homework (well I try) and in part to my – sorry, our – bizarre and totally unreasonable refusal to allow TVs, games machines or computers in the bedrooms. I found this out last weekend when we took twelve teenagers paintballing. Twelve? Yes, twelve. That’s the result of having two birthdays in the same week and then, as happened last year, choosing to have major surgery that very week. There’s a lot of making up to do. Bad planning, some might say.
Anyhow I thought it was a bit unfair to call me The worst mother in the world, albeit with a huge smile, when I’d finally got around to arranging the paintball outing. Personally, I thought The most spoiled boys in the world was much more appropriate. And all this was before I confiscated the X Box and consigned it to the darkest reaches of who knows where (I can’t tell you because they might be reading). Goodness knows what they’re calling me now.
My reason for snatching the X Box from the sitting room floor in an apoplectic fit of rage was very simple. Homework. Or, to be more precise, a lack of homework. It was the third email from this particular teacher in as many weeks telling me that my tall skinny son hadn’t done his homework. It’s maybe not such a big crime except that the night before he’d told me he had done it AND he’s doing his Highers this year AND people are bending over backwards to help him. Admittedly my questioning hadn’t been very precise: “Have you got any homework?” rather than “Have you done that English homework that’s in your diary?” But still. Give me a crying baby to look after any day.
It was just a good job he wasn’t in the house when the email arrived as I would happily have resorted to corporal/capital punishment. Or at least I might have done if I was tall enough; the X Box was well within reach though so it has gone. It might be a little tough on his highly conscientious, much more focussed younger brother, but hey! Who said life was ever fair?
I would quite like to wander off into a discourse on exactly what I think of Higher English but you would all get very bored so I may save that for another post. But however sympathetic I might feel towards GP1’s struggles, he simply has to get on and do it. So, if he wants the X Box back any time before next summer, he had better start showing willing. I do wonder what he and his friends are calling me now. Do I care? Nah.
Rather you than me, but well done for sticking to your guns GPM. You should check out Crazy Trace’s blog – she has daughters but it sounds like similar stuff is being said down under (and, no doubt, around the world!).
Have just dropped by Crazy Trace and similar stuff is indeed being said. Some things are just universal! And I thought girls were perfect.
Similar stuff indeed! Thanks for dropping in on me – it is somehow comforting to hear that there are other ‘terrible’ parents out there – all over the world.. there we are, doing unreasonable things like expecting them to *gasp* study! Hey, at least you are getting feedback from the teacher. We seem to be a bit behind down under – at least in my kids’ schools. We’ve had the opposite problem with the (maths) teacher not giving a damn. No such thing as emails from the teacher.
I’ll be back to share more angst!
Ah, but you don’t know what I’ve been through to achieve this pinnacle of emails from teachers. I have a post brewing somewhere about that very thing.
Oh it really isn’t just you! Trying to get miss to do her homework is a nightmare and while thankfully she isn’t doing her standard grades this year like GP2 the lack of effort and enthusiasm about anything other than swimming is just stunning. Now removing that really is a last resort as my social life revolves round this activity now too, she has on occasion been left with Gran while I go off to the club. The only other thing that has any effect is removing the mobile!!! And yes I too am the worst motyher in the world and nobody else’s parents make them do their homework. Tuff that’s them not me!!!!
Hi GPM, just foudn my way over to your blog! Sorry it took so long. Bit of a cyber novice, but am now visiting and commenting, and I’ll be back 🙂
Hello sfr. I have learned over the years not to believe everything I see on the telly and try to apply the same principles to my teenager’s outbursts!
Paradiselostintranslation – am going to have to abbreviate that, it’s too long to type. PLIT doesn’t sound very nice; would Paradise do? I’ve been enjoying your blog. Do drop in again!
See the trick is to start out really mean. When my son first got his PS2, we told him it was for weekends only. He railed against that but I didn’t budge. After all, I could ease up, but it’s always more problematic to tighten up. Four years later, it’s still a weekend toy, AND hugely useful in the blackmail arena!!!
You are so right, EPM. Friends of ours did that and it works very well. I think we got it wrong from the beginning. It was fine to start with as it was self regulating and they do masses of sport. I think the trouble sent in with the internet connection. Our eldest & his mates hang around on the X Box instead of at the bus stop and that is a good thing in a number of ways. But it’s got out of hand.
Anyhow, they haven’t had it back yet and oddly there haven’t been too many complaints yet – they know I’m serious! I’ve told them they can have it back when I get a time-management plan. How sad is that! All I really want is a little time each day allocated to homework so I don’t have to nag. I think they’ll figure it out soon. When they do get it back, it will be weekends only.