What Homework Mom?
Mom’s calling me. I don’t want to do my homework. I want to play on my tablet or with my friend Joey. She’s getting closer. She likes to sneak up on me and catch me. If she sees me on my tablet she’ll take it away until my homework is done. I stick it under my pillow. I’ll pretend I’m asleep. I remind myself not to squeeze my eyelids too tight, it’ll be a sure sign I’m faking. I tell myself to close my eyes like I’m sleeping.
I whisper to my only friend in the world, my stuffed black bear, “Help me out, Rupert. You’re my best friend. Snuggle next to me and pretend you’re asleep.”
The door opens. I’d recognize Mom’s voice anywhere, “Vincent. I know you’re not sleeping, Vincent. It’s only five-thirty. You’re never asleep at five-thirty. Where is your homework? If you hurry you can finish it before dad gets home. Dinner is at six.”
Mom mentions the other half of her Delta Force, Dad. It is Mom’s not too subtle warning she will turn me over to him if I didn’t cooperate. I open my eyes. I rub them like I was waking up. I give a good yawn.
“Hi mom. I had a hard day at school. I think I was all worn out. Do you mind heating me up a frozen pizza and bringing it in here? No need to bother me about dinner. I’ll be playing Mind Craft on my tablet.” I immediately regret saying Mind Craft.
Mom stood at the side of my bed and staring at me, “Your homework, Vincent. March into the kitchen and get started. No Mind Craft until you are finished and I check it.”
I say what every normal eight-year-old boy would say, “What homework, Mom?”
“Let’s try math and spelling. Mrs. Navis posts the homework each day on your class’s webpage,” she says.
“Oh, that stuff. I already know it. Thanks for asking. I think I’ll go down the street and see if Joey can come out,” I say as I get up out of bed.
Mom stands in the doorway, her right arm extends down the hallway and her finger points toward the kitchen.
I say, “It isn’t fair, Mom. Joey doesn’t have to do his homework until he eats breakfast. Why can’t you be like Joey’s mother.”
“Vincent. Joey is not my son. You are. Let’s get moving or no Mind Craft tonight.”
Mom knows how much I love the game. She won’t let me play it unless she gets her way. I stomp into the kitchen. The stomp is something third graders practice at recess. It lets our parents know we don’t agree with them without being accused of talking back or arguing with them. Linda Filbert told us all about it at lunch three weeks ago. When we went on the playground after lunch, we began doing the stomp. I almost fell over laughing. The playground supervisor came over asked us what we were doing. Linda told her it was a new dance. Adults can be so dense.
You’re probably an adult reading this stuff. I’m pretty sure I’m right. How do I know? How many kids are going to read Ray’s blog? Give me a break. Kids don’t need to read quotes. Kids don’t need poems nobody understands. And the stuff he writes? I better not go there because he’s doing me a favor and letting me be the guest author if I promise to write about a day in the life a third grade kid. The first thing I did was ask Ray how much he was going to pay me. The cheapskate said nothing. He told me if I didn’t do it, he’d rat me out on slipping my broccoli under the table to Dexter our dog. Dexter likes it, especially if I swirl it in gravy.
Mom was still standing by the bedroom door, “Vincent, did you forget something?”
I stop, turnaround and stomp back to my room. I open my backpack, take out my homework folder and stomp back to the kitchen.”
“I don’t appreciate the attitude, young man,” said Mom.
I think I overplayed my hand. I turn toward Mom and said, “I’m sorry, Mom.”
“That’s better. I’m going to practice yoga in the living room. I’ll keep the TV on low. Let me know if the sound is bothering you.”
“Okay, Mom. Thanks,” I said and tuned her and the YouTube yoga program out.