And I’m Off…To Work

This is a picture of Chloe jumping for joy at the prospect of my imminent return to work, because when Mommy’s at work, Mommy can’t bug her. Yep – it’s official now. Today was my first full day at the new job. So far, so good, at least as far as the office goes.


At home, slightly less successful. No problems this morning to get Sophie to the babysitter and Chloe to the bus. But the limits of our careful planning were on flagrant display this afternoon. At one point, our big girl had to fend for herself for a little while while Papa was on a conference call. That was not part of the plan.

Our schedule (and yes, I actually prepared a printed schedule) requires our 1st grader to do her homework right after she gets home from school. Obviously, if she has a playdate (which I think we’re going to need to limit to one or two times a week), the schedule needs to shift slightly. But homework before Mom and Dad get home is an absolute imperative. Did she start her homework when she returned home from her playdate today? Of course not.

I like the idea of having my 7-year old get used to taking the initiative and doing her work without being told. But let’s face it. She’s only 7. If I’m being fair, I think my expectations of her may be a little too unrealistic. Nevertheless, I’ll continue to keep my fingers crossed. Because if she’s a diligent worker bee, our lives will be so much easier.

While it’s nice to have such lofty goals, it ain’t going to be easy. You see, in order to engage Chloe intellectually, her teacher has started to give her extra weekly spelling words to “explore.” Which means that the spelling portion of her homework is now more challenging and takes even longer to complete. Chloe’s typical homework session goes something like this: (1) Take out the spelling journal; (2) Sit down; (3) Realize she forgot a pencil; (4) Go find a pencil; (5) Sit back down; (6) Start writing; (7) Make a mistake; (8) Realize she forgot an eraser; (9) Go find an eraser; (10) Sit back down; (11) Try to remember where she left off; (12) Continue writing; (13) Ask random questions that have nothing to do with spelling.

This is why her homework takes so long (although I must say that she’s very fast with her math exercises), and why I told my extremely skeptical dear husband (who hasn’t really had the pleasure of supervising her homework this year) that he should expect Chloe to require 45 minutes to finish 20 minutes worth of work.

And, lest I forget, the fire and brimstone if Chloe misses any screen time. We’ve instituted a new policy – she has one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening for her couch potato activities (which is still way too much, but cut us some slack, please!). Assuming she hasn’t had any of the time docked, which is a pretty big assumption, she can choose her preferred medium, whether it be TV, computer or Game Boy.

Before you know it, it’s 8 o’clock, my girls are jumping and dancing on the bed, and my husband and I are vowing to play the lottery more often to increase our chances for early retirement.

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