02/22/2001 I snail mail bm the email from ss's english teacher,
"Sounds good--it worked. I've done something similar with my daughter.
No snack when she gets home until she finishes one easy assignment. She does
it quickly because it's easy and because she's hungry. And, doing it gets her
going with the rest of her homework after her snack.
(Ss) will learn that he'll get free time when he starts doing his
work more quickly. You've already made such wonderful improvement with him
since September. It used to be that I didn't see the work. Now I see the
work, and he's doing it on time. He'll undoubtedly be successful, especially
since he has such a brain."
Ss has 5 A's, the highest grade in English and science. He learned
that he'll be going in to honors English and Biology for his sophomore
high school year. Great news.
Tonight he left a science report til the last minute. Bm calls the
kids' line. My daughter tells her, like any other time if he's doing
homework, that ss can't come to the phone right now. Bm demands to know,
"Has he had dinner yet?!?" My daughter says no, they're still
Bm tries to make an issue that our family doesn't eat dinner by
5:30pm like her family, and that ss isn't allowed to eat dinner til
Bm calls 8:30pm, my daughter tells her he's still doing homework. Bm
yells at my daughter, "You put him on the phone right now!"
You'd think she'd have learned by now. We have our boundaries in
place. My daughter lets me know I need to take the call.
I say, "(Bm)?" She pauses, "Yes!" I said,
"He's doing homework." She demands to talk to him right now.
She says we must let her talk to her. I reply, "He has 24 hours to
return the call." She flips, "That's not in the court
order!" I hang up.
She calls our phone line. I answer. She says, "I want to talk to
(dh)." I said no and hung up. I've never done that before.
She calls dh's cell phone. He sees who it is and doesn't answer. She
calls our line. We don't answer. She calls again. Dh answers. Bm says,
"Why is (sm) answering the phone?!?" Dh calmly says,
"Cuz I'm watching tv." Bm demands to talk to ss. Dh responds
calmly, "He's doing homework. We don't let anything distract him
from that." She flips, "If he's getting distracted then he
should be on Ritalin!" Dh hangs up. (When bm had custody he was
getting D's, and increased Ritalin was her solution for everything.
Since dh got custody, no Ritalin.) I think bm wants desperately to
argue, intrude, or dictate what goes on at our home - whether it's in
ss's best interests or not.
Ss had dinner at 7:45pm, and finished the report by 8:50pm. He doesn't
know about the phone conversations. Dh calmly tells him his mom called
and asked that he call back. Ss said he'd call her tomorrow.
The last time she "needed" to talk to him she was cordial,
and I had him call back the next day at 5pm. She "had" to talk
to him to tell him she'd be picking him up at 9am instead of 8:30am. It
was something she could have left a message about."