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Home » 9to5to9, Big Guy's story, School days

9to5to9: Big Guy’s glory, Mommy’s migraine

Submitted by on Monday, 27 October 2008 No Comment
It's an honor Big Guy has coveted for a week, and that's an eternity when you're 5. He's even been handicapping his chances.

"Xx was Friend of the Week last week," he said. "We have the same first letter, but his second letter is ahead of me. So maybe it's going to be my turn this week. Oh, I hope!"

I guessed that he'd calculated correctly when he came barreling out of the cafeteria this afternoon -- usually I have to near-drag him kicking and borderline screaming, because he'd rather chat than walk home with boring old mom.

"Guess what! Guess what! I'm Friend of the Week!"

"Oh, that's wonderful! What's that you have?" I asked, pointing to a scrolled paper nearly as long as he is tall.

"That's my poster. We get to do it for homework this week!"

I struggled to keep the Stepford Mom smile in place. "Get" to do it? Just like I "get" to hogtie you to the kitchen chair every night to "get" you to finish your regular homework?

Friend of the Week, by the way, is a totally made-up honor. The only requirement: Be in Mrs. A's class and have a name. I think most kids qualify.

The rewards are preparing a poster about yourself and bringing a toy every day to show off in class. A born ham like Big Guy laps up that part, though I can see Little Guy hiding in the bathroom all week when his time comes.

It's also a creative, albeit sadistic, plot to trick the little boogers into cramming more learning into their heads. It's homework on steroids. Not one, not two, but seven things to complete. Writing, drawing, cutting and pasting. It's meant to be done over the course of the week. Big Guy wanted to finish it in one night. Seems Friend of the Week is something you don't screw around with.

Truth be told, he's been a lot better about not blowing up over homework lately. He's actually trying to form his letters rather than bouncing the pencil at me in a bout of frustration.

But seven items in one night, plus the regular load. Someone shoot me.

We did the writing first, figuring it best to tackle the ones requiring the most thought while he was fresh. He started to flag at the end, substituting "cat" for "skateboard" when he figured out cat is a shorter word.

Then he drew the family: him in brown, the rest of us orange. I swear I've never used tan in a can in my life.

So far, so good and headed toward cut-and-paste easy street: Find pictures in magazines of things you like and don't like and glue them to the poster.

Except the only magazines I had on hand -- Real Simple and Parenting -- weren't suitable. "There is nothing in here I don't like. Not one stinking thing," he fussed.

Then he spied a Thomas the Tank Engine ad. "I don't like Thomas. Hey, Little Guy! I don't like Thomas!" He backed down when his brother pleaded for the page. Friend of the Week can be magnanimous to the serfs.

That reduced him to drawing his turn ons/turn offs. And it's been established that I can't draw.

"I don't like corn. Show me how to draw corn."

I tried, but he rejected it as looking like "a lady with green hair." I kind of saw his point. He settled for not liking peas, green beans and apple seeds.

"What I Want to Be When I Grow Up" kicked off another uproar, though. "Show me how to draw an officer." God kid, don't you get it? Mommy's impaired here.

I draw a stick person rounded out with blue clothes. Goofed on the hair -- "Mom! I can't be a girl officer" -- and blew it big-time on the hat -- "Why is there a bowl on my head?"

He gave up and draw his own officer. In orange. Seems the tan-in-a-can look is spreading.

I'm sure the local police department won't mind when they hear Big Guy is Friend of the Week. Maybe they'll even wear orange for a day just to make everything right in his world.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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