Saturday, October 4, 2014

And Skippy Teaches Lessons

You know I unabashedly love my kids.

Blah, blah, blah.

We ALL do, and it IS wonderful - we all have damn nice kids and it's probably why we are all friends in this pond.

But sometimes?

I swear on God's little green apples I am ready to stuff one of them in a closet. With a box of crackers and a bottle of water. Sleep on my coats. grrrrr. hee

It's not anger, it's frustration.  Sort of like the "ORLY?" b.s. they write on Instagram and Twitter when they do stuff.

Target of my ::headdesk:: this week? [see? I can do it too!]

YEP! Your's truly, my beloved Evelyn.

First off - the little dink had an extra credit project for an AP English class. She had to read a book and do an art project for it.
Okay...this is a no brainer for her, right?  She even picked a book we had both read, and love.  The Glass House.  A disturbingly wonderful book.  It is a true story and a very good read.

However, Evie had asked to drive [always a time commitment here] and go visit friends for the afternoon. But she made the mistake of mentioning this extra credit project to me beforehand. I told her she had to finish that first.

Um. yeah. Kids.

We discussed it and brainstormed a few good ideas. We both know this book well.
Then she went into her room to create.

She came back less than 30 minutes later and showed me the finished project.

I looked at it and told her "It's fine."
She took it back and said "Fine?"
And I replied "Yeah. It's okay.  What do you want me to do? Applaud because you rushed through something I know you can do better?  This isn't 'everyone gets a trophy for participation' Lou*."

I have to admit. I wasn't happy, and it was only extra credit in a class that she is doing well in, but c'mon.

I let it go.

I was not going to belabor the point - she knew what I meant.  She left it on her desk and went off to visit her friends. I resigned myself to the fact of "whatever".

I have to explain here that I don't believe in telling my kids EVERYTHING they do is perfect, wonderful and first place.  Y'all know me and I love them, but sometimes second place, last place and "life sucks" exists.  Life isn't perfect.  Our kids [yours and mine] do so many wonderful things, but when they aren't up to par, shouldn't we tell them?  When life hands you lemons sometimes the sugar and water isn't there to make lemonade.  I don't want to be the one to be the grinch in their life, but reality exists and not everyone is first.

Anyhoodle. . . to continue the story. . .

I took a nap.  When I woke up it was around midnight, Steven was in bed and I noticed the light was on in Evie's room.  I nudged my head around her door and saw her sitting at her easel watercoloring a picture.

Now, I don't have a problem letting her create when she wants to, but I do have a problem with midnight on a school night, and so I asked "What's up?"

She said "Oh, hi! I got back around 9 pm and Dad went to bed so I decided to redo my extra credit."

I would be a liar if I didn't admit to stepping back outside the door and fist pumping just a bit. YES!

It took her another hour to finish her project, but it was truly representative of the book and it made better sense. That is not my opinion btw, it was hers.

She came home today and told me it was hanging on the "Big Board" [whatever the heck that is] in the English room.  Sounds important - but more importantly she turned in her best work, instead of just throwing out a good scribble.

The second lesson?

When you don't understand how your new car works [Ozcarz - which Evie now owns] and you get cranky at your mom about it? Your mother will take your keys, hand you the owner's manual and explain that there is a 100 question test coming up next week.

And? You have to score an 80 percent or you aren't getting the keys back.

In Evie's defense - she is a fantastic driver, and it was a simple interior light issue that she funked out on, but? Instead of allowing me to explain Ozcarz' features [which I have explained so many times. We lived in that car] she snipped at me.  And it was raining. And she was tired after a 6 hour band practice and I was in pain....and....

Girl? I GIFTED you MY car. Idonotthinkso. No one talks back to da'Mommas. No matter what.

Get your pencil sharpened.  'Cause those keys are burning a hole in my pocket.

So? On a scale of A - F, I think I am rating about a C+ this week.  But can I please have extra credit for answering the phone at 6:20 am the other morning when her sister called "just to talk".  I asked her why she felt the need to "just talk" at that time of the morning and she said "Um, walking to campus and I was bored and I figured you were up with Evie anyway." UM NO.  But it was fun and I will talk to them anytime. It's a gift when they call....still? 6:20 am? Sigh.

Yep.  I love 'em. Couldn't live without them.  But? Rules people. RULES.

It's like the old saying "Parenting without a sense of humor is like being an accountant that sucks at math."

And then I got a surprise tonight - Evie painted me a picture in Art class, on canvas [a canvas she made herself] and told me "It reminds me of you Momma."

The minute I saw it I knew.  It is Alaska and the Northern Lights.  A fellow student offered her money for it and she said no, it was for me.

After she texted me the pic' I told her she had to give me the shirt back [I didn't know she took] and I would buy her another brush [for her hair] if her's was missing. giggle Ah, frantic artist I suppose. But? I still want my shirt back. And of course I praised her picture. She knows*

Smile loudly. Life is a gift.
We'll see ya' on the flipside. Love and hugs, Janine

*Lou is my nickname for Evelyn
And Alaska - well. . .you all know me well enough to know it is one of only 3 things on my bucket list.  I have had to trim my BL down, but that will remain number one until the day I die. I will never see it, but I will have a beautiful rendition of it on my wall, won't I?

So. . .who taught the lesson? I love my family.


Unknown said...

Lovely post, I always love coming in and read here. Not been very active and fast in catching up yet, but am getting there. We have a lovely autumn day here in wicklow today, all house work done and heading out for a walk. My husband is sitting by the drawing board finishing off a design of a garden, so I'd better give him some peace lol! Have a great day!
Hugs, Eva
P.s. Kids are lovely aren't they ;)

Unknown said...

You are a great mom. And that's because you get this: that kids should be encouraged to DO THEIR VERY BEST if they're gonna do something. If they get a C, then that's fine, but only if it was THEIR VERY BEST EFFORT.

ANd the proof that you're a great mom? She knew that already, and went back and worked harder and made it her BEST. And then gifted you with icing on the cake with her beautiful Alaska picture.

Thanks for sharing. I try to be the best I can at mothering too.

ellen abbott said...

You have such a wonderful family and you are such a good mother. I agree, kids should be told when what they do is mediocre or worse. how do they learn to tell the difference between poor, OK, and good work if everything they do is praised to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this post from beginning to end Skip. Yep, even my Straight A daughter would get frustrated, tired, snip back a bit, and when she did I realized she just needed an extra hug.

I'd hug her tight, and I could feel her relax. I do miss seeing her face everyday though! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this post from beginning to end Skip. Yep, even my Straight A daughter would get frustrated, tired, snip back a bit, and when she did I realized she just needed an extra hug.

I'd hug her tight, and I could feel her relax. I do miss seeing her face everyday though! Hugs!

CWMartin said...

Don't think of it of "exasperation with kids" moment. Think of it as a "well, my kids are normal teenagers after all" moment. ;)

Tracy said...

Teaching mom lessons never end.

Teresa said...

Great post! Bee-you-tee-ful picture! I'm a big fan of her work!

Joe Sixtop said...

I need your expos (I mean Nats) 2 get a win in Cali 2day. I've been really looking forward to a playoff matchup between our fave teams. Go Cards!

Celia said...

I think I told you that I was raised by my aunt. She had high expectations and standards for me, so she would have definitely pointed out if I did poor school work.

You care about your kids and their success in life. Besides being an amazing friend, you are a super parent.

Celia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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