Last week was exams and I thought life would be kind of quiet as the older boys buckled down and really applied themselves to their studies. Levi and I would respect their need for silence and stay busy in the kitchen and living room while the boys holed up in their bedrooms and studied the day away.
Perhaps if I had handcuffed them to their desk, this might have been reality, but my brother-in-law simply wouldn’t lend me his APD issued handcuffs and the toy set we have downstairs, well, the boys learned how to escape from those years ago. All it took was something “shiny” to distract them and they were off in another direction. Having a four-year-old brother in the house doesn’t help with the focusing I am sure. Levi provided plenty of excuses for why they were off task, though they came up with ample excuses on their own.
Just a short one, Mom
Five minutes into Caleb’s first study block, I walked in to find the room dark and him sprawled across his bed. “Just a short nap, Mom. I’ll be able to focus much better after I have a nap.”
Five minutes into Drew’s first study block, I walked in to find him building Levi a monstrous Duplo ship. “He just needs a little help, Mom. Once I get this finished, I’ll send him out and I’ll focus on my French.”
“Is there anything to eat, Mom? I’ll be able to think better if I have something to eat.”
“Just a short break, Mom. I’ll be able to concentrate after a game of volleyball with Levi.”
“I’m just gonna watch one dude perfect video, Mom. It helps me de-stress and then I can study again.”
“I just need to check Facebook for a quick sec, Mom. I’m sure my friends are all sharing important notes about the exam and you wouldn’t want me to miss out on important info would you?”
“I just I feel bad for Levi. He has to play all by himself today (as if he doesn’t do that every day!) I’ll play with him for a few minutes to keep him company and then get back to studying.”
At first I was giving Levi trouble for disturbing the boys as I repeatedly found him in their bedrooms, but it didn’t take long before I heard the whispered encouragements from down the hall, coaxing him to come and hang out in their rooms. “Levi, Levi, come here!”
Can I blame them? I remember doing the same thing myself. I hated working in my mom’s garden, but come exam time each spring, I was offering to weed, pick strawberries, anything to get a break from the tedious memorizing and reviewing of facts. There’s only so much info you can pack into a brain. But once that last exam is written, it’s a wonderful feeling of freedom.
My playmate is back
Thursdsay afternoon I picked Drew up from his final exam. He’s done! Drew took it in stride but Levi was pumped and yelled with excitement, “Now Drew can play with me all day long!” Drew’s eyebrows shot straight up. By the time Levi is done with Drew, he might be wishing to go back to school.
And so, as the week ended, my hat went off to all those secondary students who spent their weeks studying, reviewing, relearning, cramming, and perhaps taking a few extra breaks to chase something “shiny” before their exams.
Good work! Kick back and relax for a few days. You earned it!