living up to Carol Brady….



Every Monday evening I check the kids grades online, to see if I can spot any trouble areas. So far the boy’s lowest grade is an A-in honors math. I chided him the other day saying,  “You can do better….” He smiled and gave me a stern warning…”Mama, if you push me on my grades, I may just stop working (on them) all together”.  Looking back at him with a stern look I reminded him, “Yes, if you decide to quit school too…you know what will happen, don’tcha?” He smirked and said “Ah yes” and that concluded our conversation about grades.

The doll on the other hand is not doing so well in one class. “Doll, I noticed your having a hard time in Mrs. Markum’s class” I began the conversation. “Yeah, I know. Its just so dumb mom, I mean I really really studied for that dumb test and thought I did really well, until she gave me the test back.” As a former rotten student myself, I totally understand where she’s coming from. “Well I’ll tell you what. how about the next time you have a scheduled test in that class, you let one of us know-me or your dad so we can help you study okay?” She agreed and went on to finish her homework.

Yesterday when she arrived home from school she said, ‘Mommy…” Uh oh she’s using Mommy, I thought. “It seems I’m getting a D in Mrs. Markum’s class.” she said softly. “Yeah doll I know, we talked about this the other night. “Well, we had a test yesterday and I studied really really hard for it, but when the test was given to me,  (her voice began to hitch at  this point as she willed tears to form in her eyes as well) all the answers flew right out of my head, zip, zang gone and well I did really poorly on the test.” “I see” “And I did study mom, I read the chapter three times and then me and another girl quizzed one another right before the test, but it didn’t matter.”

The flurry in which she spoke, I kept waiting for her to  take a breath. Once she finally stopped making excuses for herself I asked. “When did you know you were having a test?” “Why?” “Just answer the question doll.” I replied. “She told us Tuesday afternoon that the test would be on Wednesday.” She explained. “So you’re telling me….you came home from school, did a little homework, went to volleyball practice, went over to the park to play with Felicia, came home took a shower, and then WATCHED TV UNTIL 10 PM. before going to sleep. Tell me, when did you study?” Feeling a bit of pressure from me, the welled tears finally began to stream down her cheeks. She looked back at me and said, “Why can’t you be like the TV mom’s who are understanding when their kids mess up?” Standing up she turned to  walk out of the kitchen, but not before she slammed the kitchen door for effect.

A moment later I was standing in her bedroom, while she hid underneath her comforter “crying and moaning’ “Doll, listen, your dad and I always ask that you do your best. If your best is a D in this class then so be it. But I don’t believe that to be true. What I do believe is I told you, when you have a test in that class, you’re to ask your dad or I to help you study. Instead, the TV became more important than that test. So…no more TV for a while. “MOTHER!!! ITS NOT THE TVs FAULT!!” she yelled. “Doll, you had ample time to study, but you chose to watch television. You had ample time to ask us for help, but you watched TV instead. Until further notice, the TV is off for you.” As I turned to leave her room she screamed “THAT’S NOT HOW THE PARENTS ON GOOD LUCK CHARLIE WOULD HAVE HANDLED IT!!” and then returned to crying. Smiling I said, “Well here’s the thing doll, I never see the characters of that show ever watch television. As for the parents? Since we are not living in a sitcom, to each his/her own” and then walked out of the room.

Its hard enough raising kids without being compared to Carol Brady. I mean really, she had a maid!

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