Wednesday, September 23, 2009

F's and chocolate ice cream stains

Yes, I had another meltdown today. What is it with me - am I a toddler? It all started when....who am i kidding? Whose bright idea was it to give my 7-year-old boy who was wearing a white dress shirt at the time (their dress code, NOT mine!) a chocolate ice cream right as he is getting ready to get in my car to go home for the day? On what planet is that a good idea??

The kid gets in the car, I pull over to the parking lot to strap him in, and he wants to show me what he got. He's got a half-melted chocolate ice cream in his hand. That's when the rage crept up. What in the world am I supposed to do with this? I don't have a trash can (or friggin' wet bar) in my car. I want to just dump it on the ground, but said son is crying for it as it was a reward for his summer reading program participation. So I guess I need to let him eat it?? He gets out of car and proceeds to drip the chocolate ice cream all over his white dress shirt and one and only pair of tennis shoes. UGH!! I'm so furious, I don't know what to do. I understand it was good intentions and all, but seriously, WHERE IS THE COMMON SENSE??? Common sense, people, common sense! If you want to give my kid a reward, that's wonderful. Delightful. Just not an ice cream when it's 85 degrees outside and you're handing him over to me. In my car. Don't even get me started on the dress code that requires him to dress up on Wednesdays!!! That's another matter entirely!!

So this is the state of mind I'm in when I find out he got an F on a worksheet he did. Now my kid is smart. I'm sorry, I know I'm biased, but he is smart. Darn smart. Gonna leave me in the dust in oh, about a year and a half or so. Then I'll just smile and nod and pretend I understand what he's saying after that because I'll have no clue. Seriously. He's 7.

So anyway, bad grades freak me out. I realize this is my issue, not his. I was a perfectionist from the time I was a kid his age, and a D or F really freaks me out. He knows it's not good, but he's not that upset by it. Which is probably a good thing. But I'm upset. Especially since this isn't his first bad grade since we moved. He's gotten several others on similar worksheets. I'm threatening all kinds of stuff. "You won't be playing with friends. You're gonna lose this, that and the other. You won't be doing *anything* until you stop bringing home D's and F's!" Not pretty. I'm not proud of myself. I had an all-out meltdown.

So what was the outcome? Well, I figured it out. I am a toddler. Apparently I needed a time-out. I was feeling semi-psychotic, so I went and laid down and told him he needed to study for awhile while I did so. After he calmed down and I did too, I rested for a few minutes. What do you know? After a half hour or so, I got up and felt calm. A time out for adults. huh.....Seemed to help. After a little sanity returned, I sat down with him and let him show me the other (non-melting) rewards he got for his reading program. He was proud of them. I felt bad for having a meltdown earlier over everything. I decided we'll ask his teacher if there's any way he can practice the things he's struggling with on our own. And I'm not gonna freak out and assume that because he got another F that he'll never get into college or get a decent job or..... (Cuz don't ya know that's where my mind goes!? "His life will be ruined forever!!" picture me with hand to forehead)

So that was my lovely afternoon. I'm all better now. But who knows what horrors lurk around the corner with these 40-something hormones that are raging all the time! DUH DUH DUHHHHHH!

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