Where there’s school…can homework be far behind? And one mustn’t forget, this is India, where ‘learning’ is sadly secondary to exam results.
So I wasn’t quite surprised (just a little sad) when Ishaan brought home, his first ever homework assignment – coloring, just surprised at the detailed picture he was supposed to color! It seemed way beyond anything a toddler would have the skill or patience to do. Ishaan like all almost 2 and a 1/2 year olds is incapable of sitting still for more than a minute at a time. The only exception being when he’s watching cricket (with Sachin Tendulkar in it), when that period can stretch up to two minutes 🙂
The picture he had to color was one of ‘Shera’, the mascot for the Commonwealth Games to be held in India next week. My only knowledge of said Games is that they have been mired in controversy…everything from the actual ‘bid’ to the construction of the stadia and athletes accommodations has provided sensational headlines & fodder for the Media, tainted as they are, by scandal, corruption and shady politics. Sadly, none of this surprises me, cynic that I am.
But I digress. Some quick research on Google (Where would I be without it? Indeed where would any one of us!) and within minutes, I had a print-out of the Mascot for ready reference. He is rather cute! Ishaan however was completely uninterested! The most he would do was repeat ‘Shera’ after me a couple of times and after the fifth time, he just grabbed the printout, crumpled it up into a ball and proceeded to play cricket with it…sigh…what am I going to do with this boy? I persisted…mostly because the worksheet had two tiny clock-faces on it with start and end time to be indicated, one could only presume, by drawing tiny clock hands on them! But Hey! No Pressure! I handed him his crayons and the test of wills and patience begins…and please, no prizes for guessing who comes out tops! I’m just human after all 😛 He picks every crayon and either flings it across the room or lays it aside with contempt (Yes, toddlers do feel and display contempt!), and eventually the living room room floor is colored with bold strokes of green and blue, while Shera remains quietly watching on the sidelines, pristine, untroubled by color (except for a few blue strokes that bisect him in two), black on white! I give up after 10 minutes…I’ve decided to write a note to his teacher saying I tried but he’s not interested, which is the truth. I glance at the paper and read that the objective of this exercise is for Ishaan to identify Shera with India, his country! Ambitious! Too ambitious methinks!
I postpone the note-writing until late Sunday night. As I write, I’m aware of a vague sense of failure, probably, coz somewhere within, I feel like I haven’t done my homework, like I’m failing some crucial test, and worst of all like I’m failing Ishaan, in a way that will forever scar his future ‘homeworking’ ability! I should, I could have tried harder, longer, been firmer…sigh…I know I’m over-reacting, of course I am! My rational self scoffs at all the crazy thoughts in my head, but there it is, another lesson learnt, parenting is not always rational is it? So I write the note and it goes into his school folder. Eventually it will come back to me with his teacher’s comments and staying with irrational, I dread the day, as if her assessment of this one thing left undone will decide Ishaan’s academic future! Why do I allow so much power to slip away from me to another human being where my child is concerned? Another unanswerable.
And so this story ends here…a tale of homework undone but lessons learnt. I’ve learnt that I need to trust my knowledge of my son’s ways & interests and leave the homework-obsession to those who care 😛