On Tuesday there was a bit of a kerfuffle about a certain t-shirt JCPenny stopped selling. This girl’s shirt actually referenced being too pretty to do homework. The public was outraged over such a horrible message, (Which, for the record, does not invade on anyone’s Free Speech. There’s a difference between yelling “That Sucks!” and “That Should Be Outlawed!” I was yelling the prior, therefore, not invading on anyone’s right to sell crappy merchandise.) and after copious tweets/messages/blog entries – they took the shirt out of the store.
That VERY SAME DAY, I had my first Parent/Teacher conference with Nikki’s teacher where I discovered the lie my daughter had been living.
Several times a week these first 3 weeks of school, Nikki has had homework. Some nights it seemed very normal, albeit boring. A half-sheet of paper with lines of letters to circle. Took her about 15 seconds and sometimes I felt like I could see eraser marks where she had erased circles and re-drawn them. Other nights it was more interactive. One night she had a half-sheet of paper with letters on it and we went around the house finding words that started with each letter. She put a hatch mark down and we discovered which letter was more “popular” in our house. And then she made Donnie sign the paper because, for some reason, that’s what we were supposed to do. Then Monday night’s homework was to draw her “Favorite Thing To Do”. She was listing all of the pages she was going to draw before I pointed out that if the homework was to draw her favorite, then maybe she should pick ONE. She did, and drew a picture of herself playing with her toys.
The next morning is when things got a little fishy.
Nikki, put your homework in your notebook.
I don’t need to take it to school.
How will Ms. B know you did it, then?
I’ll just tell her.
Are you sure she doesn’t want to actually see it?
Well. At this parent/teacher conference I learned why. THERE HAS BEEN NO HOMEWORK GIVEN. EVER. AT ALL. Now, these half-sheets of paper that look like wimpy homework? She gives those to Nikki sometimes because Nikki asks for homework. But the teachers are all supposed to use the same curriculum and they’re not giving out homework yet in Kindergarten so she just improvised with Nikki and periodically gives her these half sheets which – she told me – Nikki almost always completes before even leaving the building. So then what does she do? ERASES THE ANSWERS so she can do them again.
When I told her teacher about the other “homework” we’d been doing, she was very impressed. “Those are some GREAT ideas! I may use those later.”
We didn’t get onto her for lying, how could we? “You are grounded for lying about having homework!” Although we did discuss better ways to accomplish the same thing. That if she just TOLD use she wanted to do these things, we’d let her. We don’t ONLY allow homework in this house, and all other work is banned. We know she just wants to be like big brother, who thinks the whole thing is insane since he can never imagine a world where you would WANT to do homework.
To which I replied, “It’s because you’re too pretty.”