I have also noticed by this time of the year the novelty of school has worn off for all involved. Involuntary twitching can be seen in teachers everywhere, parents recite times tables in their sleep while Jr. can't remember that any number times zero is ZERO, and our children's homework papers are crammed into their backpacks intertwined with last week's school notices that never made it home. The Return To School and the Keep At School sections of the homework notebook have become a mishmash of writing that is barely legible but could definitely qualify for an A in Swahili. In addition, the right corner of my son's backpack holds last weeks peanut butter and jelly sandwich which lays limply; growing mold for some science project that is due in 2012. But even worse than all that is that around this time of year it marks the return of The Homework Thief. You know him. He stars in the daily early-morning soap; The Case Of The Missing Homework. And he never fails to show up especially the morning after a night spent in Homework Hell. Count on it. Spend two hours working with your child on homework and the next morning it is impossible to locate. This despite your reiterating rule number # 632 "Put your homework in your backpack", which, you have undoubtedly said 632 times that evening. Sometime between midnight when you haul yourself into bed and the 6 am torture of packing lunches, ironing clothes, checking teeth making a hearty breakfast for your spawn; The Homework Thief sneaks into the house and steals your child's homework so you can look like the negligent parent who parks his ass in front of the TV all night and tells his kid to tell the teacher "the dog ate it."And it never fails that during parent teacher conference you see the teachers whispering as you pass by now and forever to be labeled Loser Mom of the Universe (LMU).
But today I had enough. Tired of being pegged as a SPAM (slacker posing as mom) or a LMU I decided to fight back and protect what shred of dignity I had left after my son's rendition of the now infamous What We Did On Summer Vacation report. Head held high I sent my son's teacher an email this morning. It read: