“I have everything under control” he said.
“We are on top of things” he said.
“My wife will make sure he does his homework” he said.
These were the spoken words of my first husband, “His Royal Highness” who wanted to pacify me into believing that he could do a better job at keeping our sons grade afloat then myself.
Silently, I stood back watching my sons grades slip farther and farther down into the land of F’s. A couple months ago, I sent a quick text to my ex stating that our son was failing one of his subjects. “I know, I got it covered….he’s going to tutoring” he messaged back.
Normally, (before I moved) I would have emailed all his teachers to find out what my sons problem was. Was he distracted? was there a girl? did he not understand the new lesson? nine times out of ten we figured it out and my sons grades climbed back up……yes, there was resistance on his part but his grades and future are important to me.
I knew that around the end of October his grades would suffer a little due to a yearly haunted house that he would take part in (and also with football)…..every year it’s the same and no amount of arguing and threatening that he will not take part in the haunted house if his grades don’t improve just gets overruled by “His Royal Highness”. Sooooo, I didn’t look at his grades online until …. yesterday, I wanted to give my son the benefit of the doubt and I was hoping that my ex (for once) would really have it under control, well I was wrong……so wrong.
I stared at my laptop in disbelief ….. how in the world could he be failing two classes and almost failing in another? I clicked into one of his failing classes for more detail to only see that he hadn’t turned in ONE classwork/homework assignment since late September and the other class showed big fat zeros in the last four assignments posted. Frustration spread throughout. Then I remembered the words from my ex-husband “He needs stability in his life and going back and forth from home to home is just causing him too much stress, let’s see if this will help his grades improve”. This was bogus, just because I was at the time, single and the only instability in my life was the constant reminder of Mr.Crazy (his friend) he thought THIS was my sons problem…..NO it wasn’t, because like I mentioned and showed him on a very detailed excel spreadsheet that on the days my son is with him no assignments were never turned in or he failed his test because he didn’t study the night before. BUT…because he was adamant that his TECHNIQUE would work I decided to see how well his new form of dictatorship would go down. Unfortunately, his technique sucked the big one because my son was taken out of his classes and thrown into independent study. At that time, I had only wished my son wasn’t afraid to have told his father that he wanted to live with me because the schools out here are so much better ….I know for a fact we (he) wouldn’t be having this issue….now.
I did speak to my son last night to find out what was going on with his grades, we had a lengthy conversation about his future….of course I heard his reasons why he wasn’t completing his assignments but he promised me that now that football was over he won’t have any reason not to complete his assignments.
Meanwhile…….I didn’t know my daughter Ann was chatting with her stepmom regarding my son’s (her brother) grades. According to my daughter the stepmom stated that my son has been acting like an ass to everyone, has been consumed with his girlfriend and made her (stepmom) cry a few times. Well, it all seemed too familiar from last year when he started to snap at me but of course his father only puffed up my sons feathers and never scolded him for disrespecting me….it was more “he needs stability in his life”……ok, so what’s his excuse now??? The stepmom stated that he had better improve his grades by December 6th or else…….no sports, no contact with his girlfriend and whatever else they will (NEVER) enforce.
Ann and I both found this quite entertaining because if I was still there my son would have never gone to Knotts with his father or would be going to Magic Mountain with his girlfriend next week……my son would be spending all of Thanksgiving vacation making up all his missing assignments and any extra credit work that I was able to convince his teachers to give him………….like I have in the past!!
Ann knows this to be true considering I had to do this with her from time to time…..especially at the end of her senior year!!
“Mom, I can’t believe that he isn’t grounded….I got grounded for just getting a D. I had everything taken away from me..phone…computer…I had to come straight home, I HAD NO LIFE” I heard her frustration loud and clear. “Well, you know your dad and his TECHNIQUE….you would think with him being a “teacher” he would help your brother out of this slump” we both broke out into a fit of laughter.
It frustrates me not to have the control that I use to. Just seeing him huff and puff when I told him that I knew about his assignments that are due and that I would like to see them once completed was simply entertaining….but I knew I was doing my part as a parent. My ex’s philosophy is that my son is old enough that I shouldn’t have to be on him constantly, that it is HIS choice if he wants to fail….. (HRH said this about our daughter, Ann as well) …..My thought was that it is OUR responsibility as parents to make sure that our kids graduate and if we have to ride them every flipping day then so be it. Yes, it’s exhausting having to email the teachers weekly, to call them if need be……to beg for makeup work or at least ½ credit when a late assignment is turned in, but again……that’s our job!!
~ screw it…I don’t care if I am in another state; it’s time for me to email some teachers!!!
Quick follow up :
I emailed his teachers and pretty much found out that he can’t make up his assignments…well he can but he won’t get any credit for it because of how late they are.
I emailed his father and informed him of what I found out, his response was short …..
It doesn’t matter if his girlfriend is in the picture or not. He is doing what he does best and that’s get lazy. He understands the consequences if he blows it. He wants his girlfriend to go with us when we go Christmas caroling this year; however, he won’t be bringing her if he doesn’t get C’s or better. He already spoke with his stepmom. Not to mention the fact that he has to stay eligible for athletics. He’ll get it together or he will pay the consequences like Ann almost did!
His last sentence almost made me send him a little note but I refrained …..
But I would have said something like this :
Ann graduated her senior year because she had everything taken away from her, I emailed her teachers weekly…begged them to give her extra credit and allow her to turn in missing assignments. Do I have to remind you that you kicked her out of your home and told her that she was a bad influence for your children? I not only had to pick her up emotionally but also had to find a way to have her see that her distraction was nothing but a loser who had nothing better to do then pick up seventeen year olds on the internet!! Thankfully she found her way and did graduate………….but that wasn’t your doing.