Everyone please repeat after me: I WILL NOT HARM THE BOY CHILD! I WILL NOT HARM THE BOY CHILD! I WILL NOT HARM THE BOY CHILD!
Today (Tuesday) has not been the best day for The Boy Child. I received a call from his school letting me know that he'd neglected to do his math homework and that he would need to stay today or tomorrow after school to complete it. The call was not that big of a surprise, really. He's notorious for "forgetting" bits and pieces of his homework.
Not being a fool, he claims that he "has short-term memory loss".
I told the office that I would prefer that he stay today so he could get the work done and, hopefully, learn his lesson.
When I picked him up, he walked out of school with his head hanging low and a quiver on his lip. He was certain that The Spouse and I would be furious with him.
Instead, I greeted him with a smile and told him to get in the car. As I drove away, he asked if I was mad at him. I told him that his mother and I were not mad and that we understood that things happen once in a while. I also explained that we did not want this to become a habit and that we felt he would probably learn his lesson from this. (Just so you understand, I was trying to play mind games with the little bugger. It's best if you keep them confused and guessing. If you fall into a predictable pattern, they will learn it and use it against you in their darkest hours!)
Before I pulled away from the curb I specifically asked him if he had any homework. He assured me he only had a Literature worksheet. Foolishly, I pulled away from the building. (I should have continued to use some warped form of psychology but I dropped my b.s. radar in a moment of weakness.)
Fastforward to 7:00p.m....The Boy Child, forced to open his backpack because I took the iPad away from him and told him he HAD to work on his Literature, announces in a quaking and wavering squeaky little voice, "Oh no! I had Math homework and didn't bring home my math book!"
It's a good thing I watched my wife go through labor. I learned the breathing technique and, in a pinch, it helps. I practiced the breathing method that one should do as they are trying to pass a 10lb living child through a straw. I was seething. I'm not going to say for sure, but I'm pretty sure a volcano erupted inside my head. I promise I didn't cuss...out loud...but I assure you I let my feelings be known.
At one point, I think I stripped him of every privilege except breathing. If I could have kept him alive and done that, I would have! (If I can figure that out, I'll do a detailed post later.)
Once the dust settled, we called a friend and I had the sweet child read the word problems to me on the phone and I typed them out. The sweet child's mother, a dear friend who shall be rewarded richly with multiple Diet Dr. Peppers, even took pictures of the last few problems and texted them to me because they were longer and a bit more complicated.
Through many tears, gnashing of teeth, wailing, crying, screaming, and head-banging moments, we worked and worked. I even phoned a couple who are both Math Teachers (one is a former Math teacher and is now a principal) and asked for assistance on solving two problems. They, too, shall be rewarded, only they will receive some form of liquor because I know they will like that much better than Diet Dr. Peppers.
Right before bedtime, The Boy Child announces that he has completed his math homework. We all breathed a sigh of relief and scurried him and his sister off to bed. Of course, we kissed them both, prayed with them (and, I'll admit I prayed OVER him with a hand on his forehead, and asked for the Holy Spirit to come down and remove this "short-term memory loss" issue from the child. I've always been intrigued by the "laying on of hands". If it works, I'll let you know and I'm going to hire myself out to parents in my area. I could make a killing!)
Shortly after the kids were in bed I received a text message. It seems that the sweet child who helped us out with the Math problems had forgotten his Literature homework. I'm contacting his Diet Dr. Pepper drinking Momma if that laying on of hands thing works! She'll be my first "client".
I think there's a moral to this story somewhere in here. Maybe it's something like: "Turn adversity into opportunity." or "When in need, phone a friend." or "Laying on of hands and praying over the child will prevent you from harming him/her and will keep you out of trouble with Child Services." I think it's that last one...