Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And then what happened?

It is the last day of Julian's Spring vacation and tomorrow we can finally answer in the affirmative when he runs to our bedside and asks "Is it over?". He is, of course, referring to Passover. He's been a real trooper, foregoing waffles and other breakfast delectables that seem to be the most troublesome aspect of the holiday for him. In fact, on one particularly bad day (about Day 6) I found him sobbing in the kitchen with Daddy comforting him. I hope this won't be fodder for the shrink in his young adults years.

In any event, if it's the last day of vacation, that must mean there is unfinished homework to tackle. Now doing homework with Julian can require quite a bit of creativity and patience and the amounts vary on any given day but the requirement for both always exists. I imagine Julian feels the same.

Today we find ourselves looking out the window at the next door neighbor's dogs. We start the homework.

Julian (scratching at a mark on my thumb) "What's that - a booboo?"
Me: "Yeah"
Julian: "How did you get that?"

Me seizing this as the diversion opportunity it is start telling an outlandish tale and engage him in the homework at the same time.

Me: "Well, funny you should ask. I was walking down the street..."
Julian: "Go on"
Me: "And there was a broken sidewalk and I slipped and fell down and down and down into a big hole"
Julian: "and then what happened?"
Me: "Well you were operating a digger and you picked me up and flew out and saved me"
Julian: "I'm a superhero"
Me: "That's right, you're a superhero"

We have finished two pages of the homework and then,

Julian: "What happened next"
Me: "Well I got out and continued walking, but a bird swooped down...
Julian: "And what did he do?"
Me: "He pecked at my finger."

During this time we have also managed a few discussions on 2 being more or less than 3, which included his going to get a second opinion on the topic; refusal to count certain items; observations on the dogs next door and a growing sense that this homework is poppycock and suppressing the temptation to write a note to the teacher saying so.

It is at this point that the reinforcement steps in. Scissors sits down and finishes the homework with Julian. His tack is to give hugs in between finished tasks. Oh does this boy play us like a fiddle.

Tali get out your rosin.


Doug said...

Too funny! The story in the story broke me up.

G said...

We'd be nowhere without the story within the story. No sir.

Diesel said...

So is 2 more or less than 3?!?! You can't just leave us hanging like that.

Claire said...

Luckily your husband is willing to run a tag team. I really think that kids (especially young ones) only need a little math and some reading for homework.

weirsdo said...

Yes, but it sounds as though you both know how to STRING him along. . . .
Toyplayer is great about homework. Practicing is another matter.

Mo'a said...

This is a fun story and it brings back memories for me...not homework memories...Montesory School, bless them, no homeork :)but the little boy playing Mother and Dad like a fiddle. Soon I will be a witness to that again.
More fodder for the couch the better, is my moto.

Joel said...

Wow...flashback to our doing homework with youngest son. Every movement, every noise, every fleeting thought a part of the experience.

Great story G!

pia said...

This is an amazing peak into your lives.

It says more than any published literature.

And told with your trademarked humor

First Nations said...

beats the heck out of the way my parents put up with my homework travails, lemme tell ya!
did the bird get away?
did you have a fantastic passover?
are there leftovers?

can you send them?

HMBT said...

Great story! My boys require a lot of praise and prodding to stay on task too...I'll have to try that story telling tactic...that's great. :)

Logophile said...

I want to do my home work at your house!
mmmmm waffles

neva said...

i can't believe i missed this wonderful post! some NBFF i am... oy.

ah... the joys of homework. as Joel said, we had many similar "distraction" condrums, tho' none as cleverly resolved as yours. of course, with one still planning to return to school, it's not too late for a little creative story-telling assistance (yes yes, he's 23. what's your point?) is it okay if i give him your number? ; )

*claps* well done, NBFF! xox

ann said...

ah bless him... he'll get on well

and hooray it's all over for another year... I ate my first bread last night at kiddush... yummy challah.

lotsa luv ann xxxx

al said...

Sweet story, G. Very.

G said...

Diesel, I'm afraid that will have to wait until the next story about homework. Hang in there.

Claire: Bless you. What happens is during the break the teacher sends home a packet. I mean it is called a break for a reason. I agree with your philosophy.

Weirsdo: Haha! Yes indeed - STRING him along! Always a little something to push or pull about.

mo'a: Haha - indeed more fodder the better. Ah yes, if you've raised a child, you've been played like a fiddle. Now at least you'll witness it from the grandparents' perspective - even more fun.

Joel: It certainly can take its toll on all parties involved.. Thanks.

pia: I tells it like I sees it - thank you my dear friend.

fn: Somehow I'm guessing it wasn't good. It was at this juncture in the story that the parental units switched duties (heh heh - she said duties).

We did and I sent them on the wings of that bird that pecked me!

hmbt: The story telling tactic has worked for a spell now - I only hope it continues to, otherwise I'm sunk. But do try it! ;)

Logo: I want you to do your homework at our house and could you homeschool my son while we're at it? There's plenty waffles in it for you. ;)

Neva: I can't believe I'm not getting back to my commenters, but so goes life ay? No problem on giving #2 son our number - Adrian will even administer hugs. xox

Ann: I couldn't get enough of the challah, oh how I missed it. Yes Julian was a real trooper - now he's angling for challah french toast and pancakes tomorrow morning to make up for his suffering. Nice to see you back Ann! xox

Al: Well I don't take sugar in my coffee so I have to add it somewhere :_ Thanks bud.

Minka said...

Funny, he does play you well...and you are a very good character in his scenario of things to avoid. It sounds very homey and wonderful at your place. Good job!

tsduff said...

I love your stories - and I'm so happy they are YOUR stories... *grins*... my kids grew up and now one has a child of her own. I enjoy doing his homework with him occasionally, but it is fun rather than obligation. Hope your Passover was a good one.

G said...

Minka: Haha, he does try to get around me indeed. In all fairness, I do prefer to blog about my successes :) Thanks, we do call it home.

Terry - yes indeed, nice to read about, but glad to be in the history section for you. Thanks, our Passover was very nice, Julian's weaknesses over waffles notwithstanding.

Sar said...

Ah, yes, homework. Doing my own and with the kids - it's just not fair! /boo hooing.

Funny as always, G. :)

G said...

Sar, hats off to you my friend. I think I'd have to pay Tali to do mine at this stage of the game :) Good for you.