It’s only the beginning of day three of eLearning for my kids and already I. Am. Done.
Teachers everywhere have been working hard to compile assignments for their students to do online or as worksheets from home. Getting my kids to sit and do their work for more than five minutes at a time without needing a break to go to the bathroom, get a snack or find a new way to irritate their family member of choice is a whole different matter.
Here’s an average morning so far:
Young Son: “Mom?! I don’t get what I’m supposed to be doing on this dumb assignment!!”
Me: “Did you read the instructions?”
Young Son: *HUFF* “NO!”
Me: “Why don’t you start there.”
Young Son: “Fine.”…10 seconds later…”Ugh! This is stupid. Why do we have to do this? This is too hard! I just want to play Minecraft.”
Me: “Yes, I’m sure you do. Your teachers would not have assigned something they thought was unnecessary or too hard. Stop complaining and get started.”
Young Son: “But Mom!…*HUFF*…I don’t want to do this! I’m hungry. I’m going to get a snack.”
Me: “Fine. Get a small snack and then get to work.”
Young Son: [Still standing in front of the open refrigerator 5 minutes later.] “There’s nothing good to eat in this house!”
Me: “Get a cheese stick, shut the fridge, sit down and get to work.”
Young Son: “But I don’t WANT a cheese stick! I don’t know what to have.”
Me: “Then you must not really be hungry. Please sit down and get one assignment done, then you can have a break.”
Young Son: “*AAARRGGGHHH!* But Mom!…”
At this point First Born saunters in, flicks his brother in the head and makes loud slurping sounds in his ear just to piss him off. It works.
Me: “First Born! Knock it off! Are you done with one subject yet?”
First Born: “I’m starting on it. Jeez.”
Me: “Then get back to it. I don’t want to see you until you’ve got one subject done. Scoot.”
First Born: [Rolls eyes, slowly stomps up to his room.]
Me: “Okay, Young Son. How’s it going?”
Young Son: “Not. Good. I don’t want to do this! This isn’t working!”
Warrior Princess, who’s been working with PlayDoh quietly, decides it’s her turn.
Warrior Princess: “Mom. What should I make?”
Me: “*sigh*… I don’t know…Good choices for the rest of your life?…A cup of coffee for me that is still hot?…”
Warrior Princess: [Blink…Blink…]
Me: “I don’t know. How about your make your grumpasaurus brother?”
Warrior Princess: [Looks contemplative for a few moments and gets to work. A few minutes later a human-like form emerges. “Ta Dah! What do you think?”
Me: “Nice job! I like the pout you were able to incorporate into his face and the crossed arms. Looks just like him.”
Warrior Princess: “Thanks, Mom.” [Proceeds to knock over sculpture and takes rolling pin to it.]
Me: “You go girl. I feel your pain.”
Young Son: “Moooommmmm! I need help. This isn’t working.
Me: “Let’s look at it together.” [sits down with Young Son and starts going over assignment.]
First Born: [Thunders downstairs again.] “Mom? When’s lunch?”
Me: “Dude. It’s 9:30. Did you get one subject done?”
First Born: “Yeah. Sorta.”
Me: “Good. Why don’t you take a break and roller blade around the block or something to get some fresh air.”
First Born: “Nah…Do we have any chocolate or something?”
Me: “Not until you’ve finished three subjects.”
First Born: “Two.”
Me: “Then no chocolate.”
First Born: “Ugh! You are so mean.” [Stomps off.]
Me: [Turns to find Young Son still pouting, having accomplished nothing.] “Let’s try again…so, ‘Read the following paragraph and underline…”
Warrior Princess: “Mom? Can I have a drink of water?”
Me: “Of course.”
Warrior Princess: [Looks at me expectantly.]
Me: “You are fully capable of getting it yourself.”
Warrior Princess: [Gets water and takes it to table. Continues working on PlayDoh. Spills entire cup of water and now PlayDoh is slimy and water is quickly making its way toward Young Son’s iPad.]
Young Son: “WARRIOR PRINCESS! What the HECK!? Go get a towel! Hurry!”
Warrior Princess: [Runs over and gets 80 sheets of paper towel and starts smearing water and PlayDoh slime all over the table.]
First Born saunters downstairs again. Sees pandemonium and takes opportunity to irritate his brother again. Flicks head and slurps. Fighting ensues.
Me: “Okay. That’s it! All of you. Get outside and find something to do! Scooter, bike, do sidewalk chalk. I don’t care. Just GET. OUT! And don’t draw and write obscene things with the sidewalk chalk!”
The inmates finally get outside, still arguing and complaining. I sit at the kitchen table with a now cold cup of coffee, head in hands.
Warden: [Saunters out of office to refill coffee. He’s been on conference calls…on speaker…the whole time.] “Where is everyone? All doing their homework?”
Me: [Laser death glares.] “No! They are outside because they were trying to kill me.”
Warden: “Yeah? So what’s new?” [Pours last cup of coffee, strolls back to office and shuts door.]
[Five seconds of silence. Then yelling, arguing and banging coming from the garage. Door flies open.]
All three inmates: “Mooommmmm!!!!…”
And then I burst into flames. The end.
It is now 9:45 AM.
This has just brought into clearer focus that this is what teachers do EVERY DAY. But with 20+ students. I’m beginning to think that this coronavirus/social distancing/eLearning thing is all a conspiracy created by teachers everywhere to prove once and for all to parents that their kids are jerks and that teachers need to be paid a billion dollars a day.
[Gets out checkbook. Loads inmates into van, drops them off at respective teachers’ houses. Squeals away.]
You win teachers. You. Win.