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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

but, if the apple had legs he’d get up and run away from that tree as fast as his little fruity appendages could carry him!

This is one of my favorite excuses for my children’s shortcoming; especially since it’s usually the truth.  It’s kind of a flippant dismissal of the things that I as a mother am responsible to teach my children… but don’t.

Our school recently had parent teacher conferences.  I love these because it’s a time that reality overrides my fears and frustrations and I have other people (professionals) telling me that I do, in fact, have Really! Good! Kids!

But, I know my kids well and I know before I go into these meetings exactly what their strengths and weaknesses will be.  For instance: Boy Child!

I know that I will be told that he is quiet, respectful to his peers and teachers, has excellent academic performance, but very disorganized, and lacks discipline.  Here is where I giggle and say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  ***cheesy smile***

The truth hurts!  The truth is that to say that I am disorganized and lack discipline is a grievous understatement.  I am a HOT MESS.  I lose things.  Forget things.  Forget to do things.  I miss out on opportunities because I don’t turn in the payment or papers in time.  I pay bills late because I forget to stamp the envelope and take it to the mailbox.  Years worth of birthday cards to wonderful people are still sitting in my desk drawer.  There are so many other things in that drawer that it would take me an hour to find those cards.

I’ve never established a set homework station, or routine, for my children.  They study at the kitchen table, or their rooms, or in the living room, or… or… or.  I’ve never taught them how to keep track of papers that need to be turned in days down the road.  I’ve actually found lost assignments burried under my own stack of clutter before.

What kind of mother does this?!?

Then consider this:  Since school started this year we have had 3 family deaths, many out of town guests, several trips out of town for funerals, AND to top it off we have been undergoing a kitchen remodel.  There are days that I don’t know where my microwave oven is, let alone a paper that I am to sign and return to school.

Not only is my son not failing amid all this chaos… he gets exceptionally good grades.  But this is only fifth grade.  What about middle school when the stakes are a lot higher?  High school! College!  It is my duty to teach my children how to be organized and disciplined.  But I can’t teach something I don’t know.  It would be like convincing someone to eat their vegetables if they grew up in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!

I’m an eccentric bohemian.  We have 5 pets.  I cloth diapered.  I’ve taken my kids camping in the Australian outback.  I sing and dance and make their Halloween costumes.  I’ve been a radio disk jockey, a belly dancer, and I’m in a Lawn Chair Brigade… I don’t do organization!

But I’m going to try to learn.  I wish that I could tell you that I’ve already made a plan.  That I have a 5-star study station set up for each kid… but I don’t.  I do have some clipboards and a new pencil sharpener though.  And I’m thinking about it.  I’m going to try to do this for my kids and for myself.

I just wish our kitchen walls had paint…  one day at a time.

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5 responses »

  1. Organization is highly over rated. I know people who are highly organized, they collapse when things don’t go as planned. It’s just a different skill set, not a better one. You are teaching your kids to not take things so seriously and to go with the flow. Two exceptionally good qualities to pass on. Organization is helpful, but as a fellow adult ADHD, gonna get to it once I find it if I feel like it and am not too tired from searching for what I was supposed to have in the first place kind of person, let it go. Let it go like the keys that you dropped in the lava. There’s no sense in retrieving those keys and there’s no sense in trying to find your sanity in doing something so unnatural as become organized. Have a great day and don’t get lost waiting through the pile of clothes that used to be the living room (oh wait, that’s my house).

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  2. I alays figured that if it was important enough it would get donw. If not, something else was more important. Like watching the mice mate. Or baking something fun together. Or goint to a funeral. There’s learning going on in all of those times, whether it’s biology, chemestry and the importance of family or just telling others that they are important enough to take some special time just for them. Organization and dicipline make life easier, susre, but they don’t make or break a person.

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