I had a whole other blog post all but ready to go as of yesterday. Then I came home.
RockStar asked me to check Dylan's homework. When I did, I found that for a "writing in math" assignment (which is where you answer a math question in a complete sentence) he had just drawn wavy lines. There was a whole page of questions and he did the wavy lines for each question on the whole page.
Now, Dylan struggles with homework and writing is a chore for him. Writing in math is one of his least favorite things. But to pretend to do it? I was speechless.
Without saying a word, he lied.
I was so disappointed.
In fact, I was so upset, I couldn't eat last night, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been too upset to eat. All of the other times were involved romantic problems largely in my youth.
It's Dylan's big mistake, make no doubt about it, but RockStar also bears some culpability. Instead of sitting with Dylan or at least hovering around him and making sure he was making progress, RockStar read the paper while Dylan "did" his homework.
Nonetheless, punishment was in order, and it could not be solved by missing dessert. No, instead he will be missing Endymion, one of the biggest New Orleans parades of the Carnival season. Endymion is a big deal, but when you lie (and lie big, albeit quietly) the punishment has to hurt.
Of course, the downside is that the punishment will hurt more than Dylan. After all, I like to go to Endymion, too. I could find a babysitter, but half the fun of Endymion is being there with Dylan.
There's always the question of whether you can overcome the crime, make up for what you did, and avoid the harsh punishment. I probably shouldn't but I am usually open to making up for what you did wrong. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing any or at least enough sign of it.
I gave Dylan the offending homework in his bed last night and told him he could fix it. He didn't.
It was also on the agenda for tonight's homework, but he didn't even finish what was assigned for this evening.
The ironic part is that the blog post I've already got half in the bag? It's about homework. How there's too much, how it's not helpful or appropriate, and how teachers give it because they think they should, not for any real educational purpose. I'll still finish and share that post eventually but not right now.
No, right now I'm just disappointed. It's hard to advocate for relaxed homework rules after something like this. And disappointment is such a painful parenting experience. Anger is quick and gone almost before your blood pressure goes down. But disappointment? That settles in like a bad cold, with achey touches of sadness and hopelessness.
It's inevitable; no parent has ever gotten a child through childhood to adulthood without at least a touch of disappointment, but it doesn't make the pain of it any easier. You expect the best of your kids. While having him lash out in anger, slam doors, and say things he doesn't mean is difficult, it's not done cunningly. Lying and falsifying...that takes thought and specific action. He knew he was doing wrong and did it anyways.
With Mardi Gras coming up, we'll have a blessed week off from school. While there will be homework due upon his return, we will be relieved from the daily grind. I think it's a much needed break for all of us, and a chance to get beyond this disappointing misstep.