God bless the kindergarten teacher. If these kind souls experience 1/10th of the frustration I do during journaling night homework they surely deserve a new car. Or a big pile of money. Or both.
My sweet Jake brings home a writing journal every Monday and Wednesday. I have come to dread the writing journal. His teacher gives them a writing prompt which they write down at school. Then he is supposed to use that prompt to write three sentences. Then he is supposed to draw a picture of each sentence. This takes him approximately 2 1/2 hours.
Tonight it took him a good ten minutes just to find the journal and bring it to the dining table. Even though I told him where the journal was located and actually pointed at it for him. Then he had to find the perfect pencil which of course was not sharpened yet. So he spent the next ten minutes trying to sharpen it in my crappy electric pencil sharpener. By this time I was getting Emma out of the bathtub and he yells at me, "MOM! I opened up the pencil sharpener and all of the stuff came tumbling out of it all over the floor. My brain told me I shouldn't do that. But then my bad brain told me to go ahead and do it. So I did. And I'm sorry mom." Keep in mind the child still has yet to write a single word.
Finally, we get the pencil situation sorted out. I ask him what he's writing about tonight. He tells me his three words. I can find ____. So I say ok, what can you find? And he says "I can find my crabby." I say great! Write that down. So of course he puts his pencil down and proceeds to show me different scenarios where he might have to find his crabby. Like if he hid it under the television. And he's acting all of this out. But he is definitely not writing it down.
So I remind him that he needs to focus on writing his three sentences. He sits down and writes "I can find my crabby." Then he asks me what else he can write about. So I suggest his shoes. Because in real life he spends a lot of time looking for but not actually finding his shoes. I thought writing about it might somehow make it come true. But he rejected my idea. And asked me for another one. So I told him it was his homework and if he didn't want to find his shoes then he could come up with something on his own. And he complained that that might take forever. So I told him that forever had already come and gone and he still only had one sentence written down. So then he said "how about I find you?" Great! Write. It. Down.
Two sentences down. One to go. Thirty minutes of my life I will never get back. By this time I had distracted myself by checking facebook so I wouldn't lose all self control watching him struggle to come up with a third thing he could find. Then I glanced over and saw the boy with two pencils in his hands stacking them on top of each other. I said "Jake. What are you doing?" And he said "look what I can do with my pencils mom, this is awesome!" Then I wished I was Catholic so I could say some prayer that starts with "dear mother of Jesus, come to me in my time of trouble." I'm not even sure if Catholics pray like that but I think maybe so.
Anyhow, finally he came up with a third sentence. Don't ask me what it was. I've wiped it from my memory. Five minutes later he was done with his drawings and life could go back to normal. I can't wait for tomorrow night when he brings home the blessed reader and all we have to do is sit on the couch together while he reads me a book about animals. I love Tuesdays and Thursdays!