Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bad Mommy Blues

DD#2 brought home Homework Deficiency #10 and #11 yesterday. Which means she now has two conduct referrals. Which means a phone call from the teacher to the parents. Which led to Hubs calling me.

"Her teacher wants to set up an appointment before Thanksgiving. Can you handle it, please?"

I wish I could be more upset about this whole thing. But I can't. Eleven deficiencies is an improvement over last year and the year before that. She does do her homework--but she misses parts or doesn't realize that something had to be turned in. She doesn't pay attention to everything that is said because she usually figures out where the conversation is headed before the conclusion. Most of the time, she's right. Or she gets so caught up in a project, especially if it is artsy-craftsy, that she spends far longer on it than she should. But she hates to turn in work that doesn't match her "vision."

The missing homework doesn't even impact her grades--not really. She'll drop from an "A" to an "A-" or a "B+".

After working in a open-plan office and growing up in a large family-small house situation, I don't feel guilty that she doesn't have her own "quiet space" to do her homework, either. She passes the public library on her way home. There are two bathrooms. She can use my bedroom and lock the door. She can use the room she shares with her older sister, as DD#1 is usually not there.

I want DD#2 to accept responsibility for her missing work. I want to know and, more importantly, I want her to know when she fails to complete an assignment. And I want her to make up the missing work.

But this particular problem is just not that significant on my parenting scale. She isn't deliberately avoiding her homework. Her missing assignments are scattered through several subjects. She isn't destroying school property or being defiant or bullying her classmates. She's being a scatterbrained 12-y.o. girl, who also happens to be blonde.

Of course, she's also Child #4. I was not nearly so sanguine with Child #1!