Why Dogs Eat Homework

Wonderbutt Knocks Himself Out

If I could hijack a time-machine, I would take my butt back twenty years and slap a twenty-two year old teacher in the face.

That teacher would be me.

I realized today what a smarmy, know-it-all I was back then.  Actually, I knew that before but I never really felt the need to beat myself up over it.

My daughter’s homework precipitated this overwhelming urge.

After twenty years of teaching, I have developed some pretty strong feelings about homework.  I used to think it was a great skill builder and a necessary character builder.  Now, to put it simply, I think that 90% of the time it is a big ole time waster.

Dimples brought home “home”work for the first time today since school started last week.  She usually finishes it before I pick her up.  But this time it required Family Participation.

She pulled out this mathematical bonding activity, and I started to read the instructions.  Apparently this is supposed to be a game designed to practice multiplication.  Dimples knows her times tables back and forth.  Perhaps the teacher thinks that I am the one who needs to brush up on my multiplication skills.

As I am trying to make sense of the instructions, Wonderbutt is doing his Stevie Wonder routine on the floor next to me.  It is a little distracting.  Thinking about all of the things I would rather be doing instead of 4th grade math homework is also distracting.

This game requires colored cubes which we don’t have. But the teacher has kindly written next to the materials needed that we can make our own by coloring paper and cutting them out.

“Got it!” the perpetually cheerful Dimples declares as I scowl at the increasing complexity of this “fun game.”  She grabs some paper from the kitchen, quickly snips out a bunch of squares, and writes a D on half of them. Good enough.

Next thing needed are number cubes (school talk for dice).  Or we “can make a spinner using a paperclip”.  Surely we have some friggin’ dice around here that Wonderbutt hasn’t consumed.

At that moment, Wonderbutt falls over, nearly conking his head on the table leg.

“Yahtzee!” Dimples yells, and runs to find the miraculously intact box full of number cubes and half-completed score sheets.

I look at Wonderbutt, half-dazed on the floor, and seriously contemplate feeding him the homework. Now I know how dogs got such a bad rap.

Once the number cubes are obtained, the game goes quickly.  Through no fault of my own, I win.  The bottom of the page suggests we may want to play again.  I reluctantly suggest this to Dimples.  She shakes her head.  I sign the page with a flourish and she returns it to her backpack.

I eye the Yahtzee game, mentally ticking off it’s educational virtues – addition, multiplication, gambling…  Plus, there is no assembly required.

Too bad we spent so much time bonding over Dimples’ homework that we don’t have time to play it.

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Posted on August 30, 2011, in Children, Dimples, Dogs, Humor, Parenting, Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Awe i hope the dog is ok

  2. Well I just hope you get a good grade after all that effort!!

    ‘Mathematical bonding activity’ my a** (please note only two asterisks for the benefit of yourself and other American readers. Here the words is spelt A***)

  3. When my girls were at school doing homework, many years ago, it was completely and utterly above my head.
    I knew how to get the answers, and be correct, but I did not know how to explain how I got there.
    Modern methods baffle me….

    I also hope that with your efforts Dimples got top rate marks and Wonderbutt, Bless him, got a big sloppy kiss !

  4. Dimples always gets top rate marks in my book. As for Wonderbutt, he is in the doghouse again, but that is for another story…

  5. harperfaulkner

    Nice. Well-written. A+. Now, for homework, try to write a short story like …

  6. This cracked me up. I dearly love the picture of that dog. All I have to say about the family participation math homework is that I’m glad the kid that brings it home is a math wiz. Because I don’t get it, ever.

  7. I can relate. My girls’ teachers ask me to participate way too much in their learning. Also, I hate it when I have to assemble something. Like dinner isn’t enough?

  8. I’m a bulldog fan and I’m now a fan of Wonderbutt! I had to email my daughter’s teacher one morning with a PICTURE of her detroyed workbook. The very sad part was that I sat up late the night before and actually LET my 8-month old bulldog (Chuck) eat it. Because I was tired. And thought it was a cookbook. And I was also eating a sandwich + watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I didn’t even bother to pick it up and heard crying downstairs the next morning when my daughter and husband found it. Figured I was going straight to hell after that one. :-/

  1. Pingback: You Can Have Your Pants Back When I’m Good and Ready « whatimeant2say

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