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Monday, January 26, 2009

Slipping through the cracks

If you are a regular reader then you know that I don't write too much about my middle child. Jordon is my quiet kid therefore, not too many crazy things to talk about like not wanting to smell like soap, making me a grandma or wild stuff like that.

Last week has been another story. You may of heard me brag about how smart he is and how we don't worry about him because he takes care of himself. So, I kind of rely on that so I can handle all the quickly-turning-gray-hair-pulling-episodes that my two girls cause me on a daily basis.

Is this bad? Yes and I learned this when my son told me he didn't want to go to school on Thursday. That part didn't shock me for even though he does well in school, he'd rather stay home and beat the sixth level boss on Mega Man. I rolled my eyes, waiting for his explanation as to why he couldn't go to school so he could stay home and play video games.

"Don't you want to know why?" he asked and clicked his tongue.
"Sure. Why not?" I answered and looked at him through the rear view mirror.
"Because everyone who doesn't have an "incomplete" for their grades gets to go to a pizza party."
"Soooooo, you don't like pizza?" was all I could think of to say.
He just glared at me in the mirror and it finally clicked in my head. You really don't need to know the EXACT words I said next to him. Heh, heh. Just know I was very upset with him. I learned, between me scolding him and him yelling back, that he just really didn't have a reason why he was missing assignments and the teachers must have lost them because he knew that he did them. Maybe that happened and maybe it didn't. All I knew was that while being a busy parent, wife and entrepreneur, I let my middle child slip through the cracks. So, I blame myself to think that a thirteen year old could run their life and no matter how smart this child was and how he could probably balance my checkbook better than me, he couldn't do it by himself.

When we got home, we sat down and made a deal. I told him that if he went to each of his teachers and had them write down the missing assignments and then get them all done-and oh yeah, he can't play video games until all is caught up- then, I would buy him a game. Yep. I'm bribing him. I know, he shouldn't be rewarded for doing something that he should have done to begin with. BUT, I needed to do this since I've been leaving the responsibility of growing up to this poor child. It really motivated him to do it too and if this works and reminds me to not forget about him then I think it's ok. I'm now going to stick a post-it on my monitor stating, 'Don't forget-you have THREE children.'


Creative Junkie said...

Aaaah, Tess ... don't feel bad about bribing. I always said I would never do it, but that was before I became a mother.

And I have been in your shoes before ... sometimes I forget that my 14 year old is only 14. Sometimes she acts so mature that I find myself not supervising some of her activities sufficiently. And then she'll do something that makes me feel like I should permanently cement myself onto her shoulder.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

The bribing thing happens to everyone I think. Especially when we feel like we dropped the ball.

Terra said...

Ahhh, I too have a smart, quiet, takes care of her business child. She is 8 - thanks for the heads up...I can see how easy it would be to let her slip from me...I tend to let her handle all her school work on her own - she rarely has homework and when she does she just does it. I think I should poke my head in a little more.

barb said...

Tess, I've got a super bright (but not always motivated) 12-year-old and we've recently had to have similar disucssions, and make plans to strive for better organization. I'm right there with you.

and like Andys says, sometimes we forget that our mature young teens are that, just young teens. ;-)

Retro Heather said...

You are such a good Mom!

Sometimes when things are clicking along normally it's hard to notice everything. And it's great that your kids talk to you!

eight helping hands said...

Been there, done that! My oldest usually takes care of herself. My middle child and youngest always seem to need me more. I know this not to be true, but at 14 my oldest does slip through the cracks.

Helene said...

I bribe my kids all the time! I figure, if it works, then it works!

Dana said...

don't feel bad!! You are anawesome mom!!!

Fearless Mom said...

it sounds like he wanted you to find out and do something. if that's the case, then hopefully this crisis will be short-lived.