Monday, November 19, 2012

How to grieve like a 5th grader

Report card time is officially upon us. This middle-of-November annual ritual of finally seeing how things went at school during the first quarter can go one of two ways....

"You made honor roll?? Sweet, let's party elementary school style"


"Mannnnn the holidays are gonna suck for you"

This year being the kids' final year before they have to be all responsible in middle school, I've been extra diligent about following them around the house hounding them about doing their homework and making sure their assignments were completed and turned in. I've been stressing this for months.

"If you don't fill out your reading log, your teacher won't know you actually read, and you won't get a job and you'll have to live in a box."

It was working....for a minute,

The problem is (if you can call it a problem) my kids are very bright. They ace most of their tests and score incredibly high on those crazy aptitude tests and SOLs that I completely bombed when I was a kid. They just hate the extras. Extras being actually filling out the reading log to PROVE you had your nose buried in The Hunger Games for the last hour. So the extras, the EASY stuff, didn't get done no matter how many times I reminded them.

So about two months ago I warned both of them that I knew they would be easy-ins for the honor roll if they would just keep up with the simple stuff like reading logs and using colored pencils in your Science notebook because your Science teacher is a little nuts and a regular pencil just doesn't cut it....and oh by the way, if you don't get all As and Bs like I know you should, privileges are gone for the entire second grading period.

That includes no iPods, Wii, TV, birthday party. I've been warning them almost daily. They assured me they were fine.

This is where the 5 stages of loss come in.

Today report cards came in. Clifford: C in Writing, Alexander: C in Reading and a C in Science. (Damn colored pencils).

Peace out, privileges.

So after the initial "I'm terribly disappointed" conversation where I was certain I could guilt them into trying harder, I reminded them of the dreaded consequences for not making grades. And this is what I heard.....

"But what do you meannnnnn???????" (Denial)

"You can't take away our birthday!! Who would do that?? That's so meannnnnnnn!!!" (Anger)

**I considered chiming in at this point to explain that the Mayans have managed to do that job for me this year since the kids' birthday falls one day after the calendar supposedly ceases to exist, but I held onto that one. For the time being.

"But 3 whole months?? What if we do chores, what if we behave?????" (Bargaining)

.....Silence.......... I think this is the Depression stage.

They're both downstairs right now not making a sound. Alexander had his head in his hands with the meanest look he could possible conjure up when I walked past him earlier so I'm hoping that by simply leaving the room they'll both move on to the Acceptance stage and we can still eat dinner without any incidents.

We'll see.

I'm super mean (according to them) and this may end up being somewhat of a punishment for me....but I warned them.

I should probably sleep with one eye open for a little while.

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