The Dog Ate My Homework

The kids are in the bedroom (which here in Little House means 5 feet behind my kitchen table) half arguing half playing, and I’ve got my ear cocked (forevermore) for the tipping point when good-natured ribbing turns to malicious needling. Malicious needling is the fuel for flashpoint, when in mere seconds there is pummeling, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Tomorrow I have a giant paper due for my comparative literature class. That means not much sleep tonight, and I’m already stretched too thin. You might not be able to be too rich, but whoever said you can’t be too think was never a single mother. (Yeah, yeah, I know what they meant.) Instead of writing my paper today, as I had planned and prepped, I was scraping the barrel and driving to the water and electric company with my bill, which a nice man knocked on my door to kindly tell me would be turned off tomorrow. Nothing like living on the edge, babies.

Child support would sure help out right about now. Did you know that visitation is not tied to support? It’s not. You can be a total deadbeat, not contribute a dime to the support of said children, leaving their responsible parent to juggle not only three (beloved and protected) children, but full time school and bill collectors all by herself- and yet still gain visitation rights? It’s true.

For the first time in ten months, X was allowed visitation this last weekend. I’m still trying to get everyone back to level- mostly Bean. We’ve had some biting and emotional acting out. Which is super fun- after X spends his (supervised, by order of the court) three hours with them, I then spend three days cleaning up the emotional wreckage left behind. Again.

Do you think my professor would buy this story? Or should I lie and say the dog ate my homework?

13 thoughts on “The Dog Ate My Homework

  1. I think it’s a good idea to talk to the professor. They’re just glorified students anyway; they understand deadlines and things coming up and life happening. CompLit is heady stuff; good luck with that paper. Hope your kids sleep like rocks, your ideas gel, and your fingers fly!

  2. I would kill to visit. Then you could have a break, and I could play with those darling kids of yours. I keep telling Sam we should steal Bean so I’ll have a playmate when he’s away. He’s only my favorite kid on the world.

    Love you, Tracy. Tell your little family I say hi!

  3. Oh this is so awful! I’m with Mrs. M. As someone who works as a college instructor, I always listen up when I hear a story like this and try to accommodate. Good luck!

  4. Show what you have so far and then explain the juggling. I have compassionate profs once in a while. Not always. My Organic Communication prof was quite succinct when I recently asked him if there was anything I could write about or research in order to help raise my grade.

    He told me to ace the rest of my exams. 😦

  5. Ah, behavior boot camp…I wish you had CS to balance out the emotional upheaval it causes. My youngest pukes, my middle child turns into a world class stinker and my oldest bursts into tears over everything. All three together make the perfect storm. You have both my empathy and my sympathy 😦

  6. visitiation rights/child support – in Japan it is the opposite – you can pay your child support every single month until the child(ren) is a legal adult, and still the parent looking after the children can refuse you visiting – and there`s nothing you can do about it (its happening to a friend right now – he`s paid every month for years, but ex-wife refuses to let him see the children at all)

  7. Tell your prof. Go to office hours (seriously, profs are impressed by people who care enough to show up at office hours) and explain your predicament. Also, in a lit class, you might be able to turn in whatever you’ve got, and then rewrite it. In fact, if you get this in time, and you have anything even halfway decent, that is what I would suggest. Because then the professor knows that you have done something, and you’re asking to improve it.

    Seriously, when I’m teaching, I love having moms who have gone back to school in the class. They’re conscientious and work hard and care, which is more than can often be said for the 18-year-olds. Good luck!

  8. My brother’s ex hasn’t paid him the child support that’s due in over 2 years, but still gets to see her child every other weekend. Even though their son has severe asthma and she keeps smoking around him, has been caught driving him around without a carseat, and is now pregnant with her 3rd child from a 3rd father…… and her visits are unsupervised. It takes at least 2 days after every visit to calm him back down and the visits wreak absolute havoc on his manners and social-interactive behavior. I can only imagine the carnage you’ve been dealing with… and I can’t imagine getting any intelligible homework done in the midst of it. You are such a strong woman, and patient to boot.

  9. Thanks everyone for the advice. I’ll file it away for next time- and this prof is really nice, so talking to him would likely help. I stayed up way too late and got all three essays written. Probably not my best caliber work, but I got it done, and that’s what matters. We’ll see what my marks are…

    • If you don’t like the grade, I (as a college English prof) would encourage you to ask if you can rewrite it (you know, in your copious free time). Even if you just talk to the prof about rewriting, and then don’t get around to it, you create the impression of a person who cares and is trying to do your best (which means if you get into a time crunch later, you have some good impression banked).

  10. Tracy, I am so sorry! I sympathize, empathize, and whatever other -ize there is. We are the foster parents to my great neice and nephew, the boy (8) is also autistic. We struggle with the visitation chaos as well, and I really resent the mother accusing us of turning her children against her- she managed that all by herself! We receive no monetary compensation for the costs we incur, other than mileage reimbursement at a ridiculously low rate which appears 6-8 weeks after the event. Weekly trips to a bigger town 90 miles away for counseling sessions, bimonthly trips to a town 75 miles away so the kids can see one parent, and twice weekly visitations with mom completely usurp time my own children need. The boy has made incredible progress in the time he has been with us, but when mom came back into the picture, it became massive regression. So frustrating and unfair to the kids! They don’t even want to see their parents, but this stupid socialist state we live in refuses to listen to the kids. Grrr!! I don’tknow how you do it with single parenting, school, breadwinner, etc. Hats off and kudos to you sister!!

Comments are closed.