My dentist appointment was rather sucky.  They were able to place the implant, but the bone isn’t healed enough yet to place the abutment (it’s this space capsule shaped thing that screws into the implant that spreads your gum tissue to keep it from shrinking).  Apparently the abutment weighs too much for my healing bone to bear it.  So it’s going to be a little longer than expected before I’m all finished.  I remember a little more than normal because they only let me take half a Halcion when I got to the office.  The one I took before I got there was apparently quite enough.  Hailey had to tell me how to take the second bit.  I remember looking at the pill in my hand and the little cup of water she gave me, and I was confused because it wasn’t my water bottle.  How was I supposed to take a pill without my water bottle?  I guess I looked at her funny because she went, “You might want to put the pill in your mouth and then drink the water.”  Oh, okay.  That’s how it works.  I also remember getting the shots, but not much after that until I went to bed at home.  My mom got me up at three so she could go home, and I stayed awake for about thirty minutes.  I woke up again around seven.  I spent the rest of the evening in a stupor, watching Big Brother, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Stick It.  So I finally went to bed for real around one.  I had bizarre dreams, including one where the ex-boyfriend showed up and said he was taking the house and the dog.  Uh, I think not!

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well, so when my phone rang at eight, I wasn’t a happy camper.  I had to answer it though, because it was Ex-Husband, and he normally only calls that early if Munchkin is sick.  Well, Munchkin isn’t sick.  No, he waited until this morning to give his progress report to his dad.  Most of it was just fine with a mix of A’s and B’s.  There was, of course, one glaring exception.  He has a 53 (a 53!!!) in Language Arts.  He had a 100 for his homework grade, and then three zeroes.  The zeroes were in projects that clearly are a large part of his grade.

Confession:  I must suck as a mother because I had no freaking idea that this kid had any projects due.  Everyday, I ask how much homework he has, and what subjects, and he goes to work.  He tells me he’s done with everything, and I sit there like the biggest sucker in the world believing him.  We put the kid on speaker phone and proceeded to tag-team him, trying to get to the bottom of this crap.

Me:  What were these projects?

Munchkin:  Book reports.

Ex:  What books did you read?

Munch:  We had forty-four to choose from.

Me:  Well, what did you choose?

Munch:  It doesn’t matter.

Me:  Yes it does.  I want to know what books you read.  And by the way, what happened to the reports?

Munch:  They disappeared.

Me:  They dis-a-peeeeered?

Ex:  How did they disappear?

Munch:  I don’t know, they just did.

Me:  Where did they disappear from?

Munch:  I don’t know.

And on and on, like that for thirty minutes.  We were finally able to ascertain that one book was of their choosing rather than on the list.  He was reading it over here.  It’s on my nightstand at the moment, and it’s about 80% finished according to the bookmark.  It turns out he never read a book off his teacher’s list for the second book report.  He finally confessed to never writing the reports either, but boy did he stick to that mysterious disappearance theory for a looooong time.  Oh, and I still don’t have a clear understanding as to what the third zero was for.

I’m shocked and appalled.  First of all, I feel like shit for not knowing he had these projects.  I also feel like shit that he didn’t think he could come to me and say he was behind and needed help.  Second of all, I’m just completely baffled as to how he could just not do the work.  I mean, I have turned in some shoddy work in my time, including a thirty page paper on the Iran-Contra Affair for a poli-sci class in college that I wrote in two nights.  I got a D+ on it.  What the hell is the plus for?  Just give me an F and be done with it.  But I turned that piece of shit in.  Anyway, thirdly, I don’t understand how he thought he was going to get away with it.  Did he think we wouldn’t notice?  Apparently.  I think that’s sad, and that just contributes to my feelings of being a self-absorbed piece of crap mother.

In the end, we have decided on the following punishments:

1.  Munchkin is grounded.  Duh.  But he’s not the kind of grounded where he goes to his room because he’ll just go to sleep in there.  Nope, he’s the kind of grounded where he gets to sit at my desk in the family room and do homework and read and study until his eyeballs bleed.

2.  Once his eyeballs have bled, he gets to either a) clean his room at his dad’s if he’s there or b) clean whatever I tell him to at my house.  We’ll start with his room, and then he can scoop dog poop.  It just goes downhill from there.  I have a father who once made me clean out the grooves of the little rubber seal that goes around the fridge door with a Q-tip.  He said, “Nobody will notice if you do it, but everyone will notice if you don’t.”  Really Dad?  To this day, I have never checked the grooves in somebody’s door seal to see if they were up to snuff.  Needless to say, thanks to my crazy parents, I can find a cleaning project where none is to be had.

3.  No soccer until his grades are back up.

4.  As he is obviously not ready to be treated like he has any sense of responsibility, we will be checking his backpack everyday.  He has to write down all assignments, homework, test dates, and projects.  And we have to check all his work.  This means we’re having to trust him to actually write down all the work, but I think he understands we’re serious.

5.  He’s writing apology notes to his soccer coach for not being able to play and for screwing up the roster, and to his Language Arts teacher for not doing the assignments.

6.  He’s doing the damn assignments whether he gets one point of credit or not.  This one was my mom’s idea.  I gotta say, way to go Mom!  That’s using your evil genius!

We also have an appointment with the school counselor tomorrow morning.  This is kind of an ongoing problem.  Not the deal with not turning stuff in – I mean more the problem of not applying himself, not pushing himself, and not expecting more out of himself.  It’s like if it’s going to take more than five minutes of effort, he won’t do it.  This kid is in all AP classes because that’s what his teacher’s recommended.  He got good grades on what he did turn in.  His homework grades were all good, but his test scores fell a bit from his homework scores.  That just tells me he’s not studying for his tests, and he’s not checking his work on his tests (that’s always been a problem).  I want to know why he’s like this.  He’s in seventh grade and he says stuff like, “I’m dropping out of school.  I don’t want to go to college.”  Maybe he needs therapy.  I don’t know.

Shit.  He’s too smart for this garbage.  Oh, I forgot to mention that in the middle of the phone call, he faked a heart attack so we’d stop talking about it.  “Oh my God, something’s very wrong!  My chest hurts!!!  An elephant is sitting on my heart!  No, really, I’m dying here!”  I’ve got my work cut out for me.  

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