This school year is not turning out quite as I expected. With Child #1 high school now and Child #2 in sixth grade, I anticipated them doing more work on their own, leaving me a little more time to work with the Child #3 and Child #4. It hasn’t happened that way yet, though, and we’re already into November.
Our school day starts out pretty laid-back, and I begin working with my first grader, Child #4. Before we’re done, however, Child #1 calls my name.
“You’ll have to wait,” I respond. “Go on to something else until I can come.”
Since Child #2 already saw that Child #1 didn’t get help right away, Child #2 tries another approach and stands beside me with her book.
“I have a question,” Child #2 says.
“Wait until I’m done,” I answer. “Go work on something else.” But Child #2 continues to stand there. “It’s just a quick question,” she says.
“Oh, all right,” I say, interrupting the lesson with Child #4. That’s when Child #1 comes into the room.
“Why are you helping her? I asked you first, and you told me to wait.”
I start sounding like a pirate at this point. “Arg! Fine. Let me help Child #2 a minute, then I’ll help you.” Meanwhile, Child #4 is still waiting to continue his lesson.
“Mo-o-o-om!” Child #3 calls from the other room. “I need your help! I can’t finish this.”
“Bring it here,” I call back, figuring Child #4 and I have lost our momentum anyway.
“Can you come here?” Child #3 answers.
My sweet teacher-like disposition is now almost totally gone. “No — you have legs — you come to me.”
Child #3 comes in as Child #2 finishes. I begin to help Child #3, when Child #1 says, “You know, I asked for your help a long time ago. Why are you helping Child #3 now?”
I look down at Child #4, still waiting to complete his lesson. “You can go play,” I say, and another school day has begun.