Hypocritical Mom

12 Oct

Sometimes, I really believe The Universe is trying to teach me some valuable lessons so that I’ll be a better person. I’m made to face my own challenges so that I might be more empathetic to the difficulties other might be facing.

Other times, I think The Universe is just trying to prove that I’m a hypocritical jackass.

Of my three children, there’s little doubt that my eldest, Kitty, is a little “organizationally impaired.” On top of that, unless she’s actually running in a race or at practice, she does not move at a speed faster than continental drift. In practice, that means that I’m usually waiting for her because she forgot or can’t find something, and she’s strolling at a leisurely pace to retrieve it while I’m counting to 1,000 trying to keep my head from exploding. Sometimes, it’s not pretty. Sometimes, my head explodes.

As you can imagine, this particular skill set isn’t helpful in an academic setting. During her years in elementary school, I was regularly driving back to the school to pick up the misplaced homework sheet or drop-off the forgotten sneakers. Super fun.

Last week, I found myself explaining to a friend who happens to parent a similar child that I was drawing the line now that Kitty had entered middle school. In fact, I encouraged my friend to impose the same policy on her child. After imagining the gains in personal responsibility that would surely result from such a policy, we went our separate ways – each certain of our parenting brilliance and confident in our ability to follow through.

The Universe had other ideas.

Sunday morning, I ran into a teacher friend who also happens to be Kitty’s former tutor. She just so happened to mention that Kitty needed to correct the math quiz from last week and turn it back in. I found this particular factoid interesting since “correct math quiz” wasn’t included in the list of items that Kitty had mentioned as homework. I was (of course) assured that she knew she had to do it, MOM. It wasn’t until about 4 hours later, around 2:15pm, that she discovered she hadn’t remembered to bring the quiz home.

I totally stuck to my guns. You forgot it? Too bad, so sad.

NOT.

We headed up to the middle school, and by some miracle, managed to catch the eye of a custodian at a door near the dumpsters, literally 5 minutes before he was set to leave.

Turns out, girlfriend also forgot her science notebook so she could study for a quiz that was imminent as well.

We got home – all was well.

And just like a dieter who has fallen of the wagon, as she’s wiping the potato chip crumbs off her lap, vows to do better next time – I told myself that this was the last time I would make up for poor planning on my daughter’s part. Fo shizzle.

Until this morning found me chasing a school bus halfway down the street, bra-less in my flannel pajamas and flip-flops. Why? Remember that quiz? After correcting it, Kitty forgot to put it in her school bag.

For those of you keeping track – that’s Universe 2, Mom 0.

Next time though…she’s on her own.

Tell me I’m not the only one – what hard and fast policies have turned out to be a little more pliable than you intended?

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2 Responses to “Hypocritical Mom”

  1. Debbie Composto October 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    First of all Elizabeth, I know we are not close friends so I hope you never remove me from your list of facebook friends! I really enjoy reading your blogs! I find I connect with many of your stories…love the curly hair..great photoshop work too! You are hysterical and your stories are interesting and quite entertaining! I can relate to your “Hypocritical Mom” blog. I have started this “policy” with my 5th grader. In the past we have made many trips to school to pick up that forgotten homework. He also has no desire to study or practice spelling words on his own and I am tired of being a nag, so I have decided to allow him to discover the consequence this will bring. It is very difficult to stand back and let him make these terrible choices, but I feel it is best to do this now then later when his grades will be more important. Not sure if my new policy will work, but I am going to give it a try and hope he doesn’t fail 5th grade! Thanks for all your great stories!

    • Beth - Realist Mom October 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      Thanks Debbie – and I would never remove you!! It is so tough to stand back and watch them fail. Parenting should come with instructions.

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