At the start of half term, Friday evening, I say to son 'I don't want to nag you about homework. I want you to enjoy half term, but it does still need doing.' 'Yes, Mum,' he says.
Tuesday afternoon arrives and nothing has been done, so I say 'When are you planning on doing your homework, son?' 'I thought I'd do it all day tomorrow: a big session, get it all done.'
Tomorrow becomes today. I put the homework printout from the school intranet on his desk so he can see we all know what needs doing. Son arrives in my room, looking emotional 'I can't do this. I don't know anything about the French Revolution. We're doing that next - why has he asked me to do something I don't know anything about?' 'It's so you start learning to do research, son' I say. 'You have this World history book, those Horrible Histories magazines, and the internet. Try the BBC website.' Son stays emotional, becomes stroppy and then gets stubborn: 'It cannot be done.'
So I stop work (I really was working) and I look up the French Revolution and locate the two people, two ideas, three events and three places of interest he needs to research. I cut and paste information for him to put into his own words.
He writes one idea and comes back to my office to say he hasn't got enough information. What, he insinuates, am I going to do about this? I ask him what he as written; I suggest including certain words and phrases. He returns to his room. Half an hour later I pass his bedroom, and he and his (fiction) book are in the loo. I check his pc, he has used 'social and political' like I've suggested. Nothing else has been done. I sigh.
20 minutes later I tell him to get out of the loo. He appears at my desk after another 10 minutes . 'Why have I got to do it all today?' he asks. 'Because yesterday you told me you would. And if you don't finish it today, we have to have this conversation every day until you do. And I'm tired of this, and I have work I want to do.' 'I don't want to do it all today, I want to do a little bit every day.'
Poor chap, I hear you say, what a harridan. But I have had this conversation with him 4 squillion times, and it's always tomorrow... until tomorrow.
Let him get into trouble at school, people say.
What kind of mother leaves him alone to face the music? Not me.
But I've done my homework and I don't want to do his.