Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And so the summer ends ...


Today was the first day of school. The boys got up at 7:00 and were ready to go by 7:25. We didn't need to leave until 7:40, so there was a lot of standing around and sighing, like Why does our mom make us do stupid stuff like wake up at 7:00? 

Tomorrow there's a chance that they'll be ready by 7:30; by Thursday I'll be yelling at them to hurry up, we're going to be late. It's the same every year.

To that end, we have contracted with Jack about his behavior. Actually, his behavior is quite good. It's his habits that are horrible. So last night I typed out an agreement that basically said, Here's all the fun stuff you get to do IF you keep up your end of the bargain by getting out of bed on time in the morning, doing a good job on your homework after school, and making A's and B's on your report card. Oh, yes, and by actually talking to your parents from time to time.

Jack agreed to the agreement, not a surprise as it a) gives him a lot of independence in exchange for his compliance; and b) not agreeing was not an option.

Yesterday was Open House, and you'll be happy to hear I only said one or two stupid things as I made small talk with the other parents of fourth and eighth graders. I'm learning to ask questions and shut my mouth and to not feel I have to be clever or funny or entertaining. This strategy works well, although I'm so busy trying not to say funny or clever things that I miss half of what's being said by the other person. Oh, well. Hopefully I give off the appearance of really listening.

Now it's 8:00, and we're all exhausted. After I dropped off the boys at school, I met with some fellow moms from Our Fine School for coffee (only I drank tea, as is now my way). Nobody's kids slept last night and everyone was ready to go at 7:25. That's the first day of school for you.

11 comments:

Gumbo Lily said...

And the flowers look as though they are coming to and end too. I picked a lot of dry stemmy flowers out of my gardens today.

Best wishes on your new school year and your contract.

debbie bailey said...

Good idea about the contract. It always worked when I did those with our children. It puts them in control of their behavior and shows what the consequences will be before actions are taken; makes then responsible for their behavior. Then they can't blame us for anything since it was written down beforehand. Brilliant!

Ali said...

Our boys are similar ages and your back to school pattern sounds eerily familiar. I am clinging on to the last couple of weeks of the holiday.

Angela said...

Keep well
enjoy the quilting
and WELL DONE for the early start

is there a proper name for these contracts ?[similar to a 'pre-Nup' - can't be 'pre-school' that means something else in the UK. Pre-term? pre-class,???]

blessings xx

Heather said...

My kids have to wake up at 5:40 to be ready to leave by 6:40 for school every morning. I love how the kids act like I'M inflicting some sort of punishment, as if I made the school schedule.

I feel like I'm always embarrassing my kids by making 'funny' comments around their friends and other parents. I've definately started to watch my mouth, too. It's hard, isn't it?

Tracy said...

Hmmmm..maybe all three of my kids need behaviour contracts? Although Miss Mischief just needs to turn 15, and then all her moody "I know best" attitude will need to end. The other two are just into pushing each others buttons, and therefore mine.

Your first morning sounds like my day off. The one day I don't have to leave the house at 8am they're standing around causing trouble. I end up taking them way to school way before they need to be there just to get them out of the house!

Pom Pom said...

Everything you say is so true, Frances! On the first day of school all the kids were bright-eyed. This morning they were zombielike. I hope the contract works!

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, I remember being so excited on the first day of school. Except for 6th grade. I got stung on the top lip the weekend before and my lip puffed up to 3times it's normal size, which was big to begin with. My mom was so cool, she let me stay home from school that day. Mom wasn't usually very cool so that really stands out in my memory.

I like your flower photo. Very pretty.

GretchenJoanna said...

"I'm so busy trying not to say funny or clever things that I miss half of what's being said by the other person." That is exactly how it is! I try to love and listen but it is certainly challenging to this brain.

Jo said...

Your end of summer is the beginning of our spring. I am loving the tiny promise of warmth in the air, and you're looking forward to wearing that knitted cardigan amongst the pumpkins...

I have a little 'moment' every morning when the front door finally bangs behind the last child, where I collapse limply into the nearest chair and remind myself to breathe... welcome back to the school year!

magsmcc said...

Next Monday for us. And I think I can safely say that I'll not have any invitations to drink coffee with the yummies! Bon courage!