Monday, January 16, 2012

The Hardest Talk I've Ever Had With My Baby

Just when I thought we had this school situation settled, N is bringing home zeros for missing homework, and had a 62 on a recent social studies test. This is January; it can't still be growing pains and frankly I'm sick of it.

Right now I need to face the fact that either she's not as smart as we thought or she's having some focus issues. Clearly my initial solution of spanking her for every zero has not been a good-enough deterrent in this case. It was in the beginning but now it's not working. And spare me your theories on spanking- I believe in it and nothing you say will change my mind.

So, in my attempt to reach her, I had to give N the straight story. I have strong suspicions that one or more of her teachers are straight up racist and/or do not like her. And it was hard for me to admit this because the race card is not one I've ever pulled on anything. And I've worked in education so I know how parents can overreact, but this is not the case.

I had to explain to N that this country that she's supposed to pledge allegiance to sees her as nothing more than a stupid, lazy little black girl, and as unfair as it may be, she has to work harder to make it. It was true way back in the day and is most certainly true now. I had to explain that with so many strikes against her- race, gender, socioeconomic background- she cannot afford not even one mistake. Not. Even. One. And that every homework she misses proves "them" right. Every test she fails proves "them" right. And every time she screws up it ruins her options in life. I wanted to transfer her out of what I feel is not a good middle school fit, but what new school or enrichment program is going to take a lazy student with sporadically good grades? The Prep for Prep's of the world don't want kids whose answer to "Why isn't your homework done?" is "I didn't know I had to do it." How is she going to make National Junior Honor Society with this "zero" bullshit?

I hated having to crush Ns life bubble like that but something has to get through to her. She cannot coast through this life thinking the world is fair and she has the same opportunities as the kid sitting next to her. We all know that's the propaganda served up to us but it isn't a reality.

Uncovering the man behind the curtain was the only weapon I had left in my arsenal and I don't even know if it will work. It might just be time to accept that she's chosen her path and it isn't an academic one.

*no smooches today...motherhood has killed my happy*
I just wish I knew how to fix this already because the stress of it all is killing me slow.