The note came home from school, Fill a sandwich bag with 100 things; we are fast approaching our 100th day of school.
Bray asked me on Sunday if I’d seen the homework assignment. I shook my head no. He went in search of the note, and there it was. The explicit instructions to fill the bag with assorted things, using examples, and clear instructions the bag must be a sandwich bag.
I went off on a little tangent, A sandwich bag? How do you fit a hundred things in a sandwich bag? And no one understands what this means for a triplet family! This means THREE HUNDRED things. Can we just go to the bank and change three dollars for pennies and be done?
He paused, in my imagination he counted to ten like he must always do when I fail to react with reasonableness and gentleness, and said, Is this how you react when your boss gives you a project you don’t like? You throw up your hands and say I’m not going to do it? Do you look at your boss and say this project makes no sense and I won’t do it, or do you just do the project?
Boy was he right.
When it comes to my career, I do what needs to be done. I may not always love a particular project, but I do it and I usually do it without grumbling about the value.
How will my kids know how to be cheerful and engaged learners if I’m at home moaning about their homework? They’ll adopt that attitude and suffer in school, and life, thinking it’s an appropriate reaction.
So, I put on the right mind-set and went to talk to the kids about the homework assignment. It’s very exciting in kindergarten to celebrate the 100 days mark, and I wanted to make sure they didn’t have anyone in their life detracting from the celebration to come, Alright guys, let’s start pulling together very small things from around the house and put them on this plate for your project!
Everyone chipped in. I poured some Captain Crunch cereal and contributed pennies and dimes and stickers. Lillie found hair ties and Barbie shoes and pom-pom art supplies. The boys found pebbles and small leaves and some pieces of tissue paper. Bray contributed duck feathers and Smarties. There we sat happily chatting at the kitchen table as they counted out their items from one to ten, and assembled their stacks of ten to transfer to their sandwich bag. They had room to spare.
They finished their project and excitedly looked forward to the week ahead. And I took a lesson from my husband about my attitude. If I want my children to respect their teacher and complete their school work without grumbling, I am going to have to model that behavior. This won’t be the last assignment when supporting a project THREE times over feels like a bit much to ask, but each of them individually needs to tackle it with a positive attitude and pride in their efforts (without worrying about their mom helping three kids).