The pandemic has hit us all hard. We have had to give up our toy store excursions, our leisurely strolls around the supermarket aisles while our kids wreak havoc in the very next aisle, our school runs, and those two hours of eerie silence when the kids are at school.
However, we have now realized that we would much rather take the early morning school routine than the pandemic version of schooling. We parents have to contend with weekly online classes and the horrors that come packaged with them: the Homework.
A word of advice here: Never think of homework as a small chore that you can get your kid to do without supervision. As Professor Moody says, you need “Constant Vigilance!”. Even then, it can get on your nerves while still being funny.
Let us take a look at some of the hilarious incidents that happen while we stab the eraser repeatedly with a pencil to alleviate some of our frustration.
They suddenly feel sleepy
We parents are no strangers to erratic sleep schedules. Our kids plan their day around our sleep hours, or literally around us during our sleep hours, poking and squishing us with their surprisingly powerful blows. But there is a marked change when they sit down to do homework.
Here’s the kid who refused to sleep on the bed because it wasn’t soft enough, sleeping on the floor at an impossible angle, accompanied by fake snores. Should we make them do homework at bedtime if this tactic works so well? Of course not. They will point at the clock (which they can’t read) and say it is bedtime, though they have never slept before 1 AM.
They want to become Picasso
There is no weapon more lethal than a crayon in your kid’s hand. Those little fingers will leave their impression on every flat (and curved) surface imaginable, including your own face. When it is time to write “A”, they don’t want to deal with sleeping and slanting lines. “Can I draw a rhinoceros?” is the first question you get from a child who can’t even hold a pencil properly to draw a circle.
You assume a stern expression and say no, and they obviously proceed to draw one anyway. They still use those sleeping and slanting lines, but not in the way you want them to. It is a cute drawing, no doubt, because you have already whipped out your phone to take a picture. But, is the homework done? Noooo.
When they have finally settled into a rhythm (of not dramatically re-enacting scenes from Peppa Pig), they have the audacity to tell you “I am going to make a mistake now. Keep the erasers ready”. You don’t know how to react.
You look down and you see a nice house where an “A” should be. You tell your kid, “No, you have to write it again”. The poor eraser, on hearing these words, curls up in the farthest corner of the school bag, hoping to avoid detection. But it runs out of luck, and soon starts shedding tears in copious amounts (you can see the white residue trying to cling on to the eraser for dear life).
Meanwhile, your kid has already broken the pencil tip and has now started to construct a lion out of sharpener shavings. The notebook is filled with graphite stains but your eyes are surprisingly dry, though you are crying inside!
Orchestra and Action
After the first line has been completed, the pencil suddenly becomes a conductor’s baton. Your kid has now assumed the role of a conductor in an orchestra and starts to wave and swish the pencil around, with the necessary head movements. They are quite the picture of grace and effortless elegance.
Without warning, they move into Act 3 of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (I exaggerate for a reason). A mini storyline develops quickly, and all the objects in the vicinity (including yourself) are now characters in this play. You are forced to convincingly play the role of a grandfather clock with all the appropriate cuckoo sounds, while the homework is left alone to stew. Don’t ask me how a grandfather clock got into the play.
The never-ending questions
Kids are born with questions. It is just the way they are made. Right from the day of birth, they question everything in different decibels and tones of crying. It is no different when they start to talk, or when they are doing homework. Here are some of the most interesting questions.
“Why is it pronounced “A” and not “Yaee”?”
“Did I recite the entire Spanish alpabhet correctly? Oh I did? So can I now write the Spanish alphabet instead of English?” (even though there is only one extra letter)
“Can I write with my other hand?” (and proceeds to write anyway, drawing in the air and asking us to identify the unknown object).
“Did you write all these letters when you were a kid?” You say yes, but your kid is already looking at your parents who are wildly swaying their heads from side to side in dissent. That’s enough encouragement for your kid to put the pencil down and run away.
They suddenly dislike repetition
The homework tasks these days require the kid to write each letter or number many times. Your kids say that it is too much work and they are bored with all the repetition. You roll your eyes, look up and say your prayers because the same kid recited the story of how you comically fell down in the kitchen, over and over again to anybody who would listen.
After finishing a single line, they complain that they have been doing homework for a long time (It has been 3 minutes). It is like Po the Panda trying to climb all those steps only to realize that he is only on step 5 after all the effort.
Are they doing it on purpose?
After all of these harrowing bittersweet experiences, you start to wonder if they are doing it on purpose. You know those little things they do to elicit a reaction from us, like swinging their legs over their heads, or hitting you on the head with a racquet? They want us to wrinkle our faces in disgust, and they want to laugh at us. But they manage to do it with such elegance that we find our hearts melting.
Even then, you have to go through several such acts – they will use the wrong end of the pencil and attempt to finish the page, or hover the pencil just a few millimeters from the page with the dexterity of a surgeon for an eternity, and then pull back at the last moment after serious contemplation.
You will also see them use different styles to write the same letter or number, and you know they are experimenting for fun. You are an endless source of humor for them. And yet, you are proud. Parenthood, folks.
Homework time is the ultimate test of patience for a parent (for now). See if you can deal with it like how the Bear does with Masha.
If you like what I write, please support the self-sustenance of this blog by visiting the affiliate section that has links to many exciting products that have helped me and my wife in our parenting journey. We recommend only the best products and you can support us by buying through our affiliate links on Amazon!