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The Mail Pile, Teenage Brain and More Homework Woes

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Mail Pile, Teenage Brain and More Homework Woes

Sorry if it feels disjointed when you read this. The stuff coming up weighs so heavy on my heart that I have to lighten it up in between.

If you have ever been to my house, you have seen the corner in my family room that we refer to as "Leo's mail pile". I have begged, cried, and threatened him to get rid of it. I once started to put it all in a garbage bag to store downstairs when he freaked out saying it was "organized" by when he got it and what he has already gone through so I stopped. It is ugly and a reminder of one of my husband's biggest flaws. Procrastination (I won't say much here since I suffer from it too). I really think he thinks if he ignores certain things, they will go away (again, with certain things, I am the same way). You might ask why I don't open the mail. Much like the sandwich that gets pulled apart or things that spill, Leo is quirky about the mail. God forbid, I ever open mail without a letter opener, it will send him rolling his eyes and huffing and sighing. For some reason the sight of a jagged envelope gets to him. I'll share a secret...sometimes...when I am mad at him...I open the mail with my fingers, leaving the envelope looking like Gia got a hold of it, just because I know that it drives him crazy. I know...evil.

Last night, he asked me to stay in the kitchen with him while he tackled the corner. It was a joke. If I wasn't so disgusted by the whole thing, I would have laughed. He felt the need to tell me the things he had found. One thing he found was a postcard that was sent to us by accident for the neighbor girl telling her parents what a joy she had been in school...LAST YEAR! Another was an electric bill from last year that obviously he paid but I wonder how many phone calls I had to answer about that one before it was paid. He had found health club discounts that expired last year and Christmas cards that were from the Christmas before Gia was born that were sent back because the addresses were wrong. I don't even think he noticed that I left the room, he was concentrating so hard on a menu from a Chinese restaurant that we ordered from over a year ago. At the rate he was going, the mail pile should be gone by the time Nico leaves for college which brings me to the second part of this post.

I'm starting to wonder how Nico will ever survive college. I love my son and I think he has the potential to do anything he sets his mind to but he would lose his head if it wasn't attached (an old saying that we have all heard a million times but it fit here). I will share with you the conversation I had with him on the way to baseball practice:

Me: Where is your hat?
Nico: Oh, yeah. I meant to grab it. (He left for about 5 minutes which had Gia crying in a stationary car. He came back without a hat.) I can't find it.
Me (feeling a lecture coming on): Nico, I know you are smart but what is going on with your brain? First, you lose your Wolves pullover, then your Wolves hat, you text me telling me you forgot your social studies homework and then nevermind, you found it and then you forgot your math book for the only homework you have tonight. What is going on?
Nico: I'm not good at remembering things.
Me (incredibly confused): How is it that you can play quarterback and remember all of those plays, point guard and know which plays to run and remember everything you are supposed to when you are playing catcher?
Nico (rolling his eyes): Mom, this body doesn't work right (that breaks my heart a little). Really only my arms and legs work the way they are supposed to which is good because I need them for sports. My brain really only works for sports.
Me (not really knowing how to respond to that and amused on some level that he even came up with it): Great.

Besides his struggle with math, he is a good student so I am not really worried about the academic factor. I am more worried about the responsibility factor.

Then, while helping Isabella with her homework, I got this:

Belle: Um...Mom, can you help me with this spelling worksheet?
Me (so tired of helping with the dreaded spelling worksheet that is more of a vocabulary worksheet that is worthless in the practice of spelling): What do you need help with?
Belle: Which one of my spelling words fits in this blank? Farming is a blank way of life? Here's my spelling words---
Me (stopping her because I really don't want to do 3rd grade spelling): Say every word and see if it fits in the blank.
Belle (about to throw a "frustration fit"): I did and NONE of them fit. Can you look at it and help me, PLEASE?
Me: Even if I look at it, I am not going to tell you the answer. You have to figure it out yourself.
Belle (full-blown frustration): I don't want you to tell me the answer! I just want you to tell me what it is!

And if anyone can tell me what the freaking difference is, that would be great. I am stuck between wanting school to be over because I am SOOOO tired of helping with homework (was I really a teacher in my former life?) and wanting school to go on forever so I don't have to deal with three different social calendars.


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