It was an up-and-down week this week, but two things stand out.
Firstly, I had to go to the dentist. It all started when I experienced excruciating pain whenever I ate chocolate, and then graduated to just excruciating pain all the time. My dentist fitted me in as an emergency case – he really is a lovely man – and I spent an hour with my mouth pulled open to an almost-anatomically impossible width while several thousand torture devices were used upon my innocent teeth and gums. And then I paid several hundred dollars for the privilege! When things go wrong with your teeth, it really sucks.
Then there was the incident with Bookworm and his maths homework.
Poor Bookworm. Those of you who know Souljourneyboy and I know that we each have a fairly dominant vague and/or disorganised gene. It means we can’t ever remember were we parked the car at Ikea, and it takes us eight months to change a light bulb, and we’ve lost all of our children’s birth certificates at some stage, and we never know when school notes are due etc etc. Unfortunately for Bookworm, he has inherited both these genes, so saying he’s disorganised is pretty much like saying going to the dentist is mildly offputting. A massive understatement. Anyway after a week of forgotten books and scrunched up notes and lost shoes and hats, I really had reached the end of my tether when at the school drop-off on Friday he realised he’d forgotten his maths homework. He immediately started crying, because apparently if you forget your maths homework you have to stay in at lunchtime. I did feel sorry for him. (Well to be honest my first response was, ‘I have no sympathy for you AT ALL!’ But that was just the toothache talking). He seemed genuinely repentant and remorseful, and then he looked up at me with his big green eyes and asked if I could possibly go home and get the homework…
And I said no. Whereupon he burst into another storm of tears and walked off towards assembly, crying bitterly.
I had a moment’s regret; I actually did have the time. But I really think he needed to experience the disappointment of missing out on lunch as a natural consequence for forgetting his homework.
It’s so tempting to step in when these kinds of things happen, because you really do feel bad for the little munchkins. But I kept thinking to myself -I’d rather him learn the lesson now when he’s 9, than when he’s 35 and he stuffs something up at work and doesn’t know how to take the consequences on the chin. I’ve worked with people who haven’t learned to taste the bitter sting of disappointment, and it’s not pleasant working with people like that.
So anyway, he lived to tell the tale – and I don’t think his lunchtime punishment lasted too long in the end. And – maybe? hopefully? – he’ll remember the maths homework next week! One can only hope 🙂