My kids are all so different. I always use the example of how they learned how to ride a bike to illustrate how different they are. Austin tried to ride a 2-wheeler and fell down. He tried a second time and fell. He threw the bike down and said, "This is stupid!" then stomped off and refused to touch the bike for the rest of the summer. The next year, when Savannah learned to ride a 2-wheeler, she got on, fell off, got on again and fell off again, and got on, and fell off, and got on, and fell off, and well, you get the idea. She was one giant walking scab by the time she learned how to ride, but she learned how to ride, gosh darn it! Finally, spurred on by his little sister, Austin picked up his bike and learned to ride himself.
Of course, when Jackson came along, he insisted we take the training wheels off when he was 3. He hopped on and took off down the street, never so much as wobbling across the sidewalk. Lexi learned how to ride by trying and falling a few times. She was cautious, but stuck with it and learned.
Clay, at the age of 3, asked us to take the training wheels off. We told him we didn't think he was old enough, so he took it upon himself to climb up on the workbench, find the right size wrench, and he took the training wheels off himself. Then he went for a ride around the neighborhood, never falling at all. I suspect Brooklyn will just demand everyone push her around in the stroller and won't bother to learn how to ride at all.
Anyway, everything has always come easily to Austin. He's never had to try or work very hard. When faced with a challenge, instead of working hard and figuring it out, he gives up. Things don't come so easily to Savannah, but she's determined and works hard and ends up doing really well.
Progress reports for Austin and Savannah were mailed out this week. I looked at Savannah's report. She's getting all As and 1 B+. Yay! You go girl! Great job, Savannah! I looked at Austin's report. He's getting 2 Fs.
"Austin, tell me this F stands for fantastic," I asked, hoping against hope for a positive explanation.
"OK, it stands for Fantastic," he lied to appease me.
"First-rate? Fabulous?" I tried.
Blank stare from Austin
"Fine? Fair?" I spit out, grasping at thin air.
"Mom," Austin said, his voice laced with concern at my maniacal babbling.
"Phenomenal?" Tell me it stands for phenomenal!" I demanded of him.
"Ummm, phenomenal starts with a P," Austin said, looking at me like I should be the one getting the failing grade.
"Yeah, you know how to spell phenomenal, but you're failing 2 classes, Mister! Why, why, why are you getting TWO F's?" I demanded.
Austin shrugged his shoulders.
"You don't know? You seriously don't know why you're failing two classes? Are you doing your homework?" I asked.
"No," he admitted. He continued, "Homework is stupid and boring."
I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a full minute. "Excuse me," I said, then marched over to the phone where I punched in the numbers I knew by heart.
"Hello? Yeah, I'm just calling to say I'm sorry. What for? Well, let's just say your curse has come to pass, Mom and I have indeed given birth to a child WHO IS JUST LIKE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL."
I'm not sure, but I believe I heard laughter as I hung up the phone.
(If I had a dime for every time I heard the phrases, "If only you would work up to your potential", "If only you would apply yourself", and "You have an attitude problem!", I would be a millionaire today.)
"Well, Austin, I'm not going to punish you. In fact, I'm going to help you out. I'll take away TV and video games so you have more time to study since you don't seem to have enough right now. Isn't that nice of me?"
Needless to say, Austin didn't appreciate my help.
Since I'm not having a heart attack, I have no excuse to get out of walking in my church's Crop Walk this month. (OK, I actually want to walk.) Anyway, I have a button at the top right side of my blog if anyone would like to donate to the cause. Just click the button and it'll take you to my page. Thank you!