“How come you can remember you have those?” I asked DS1, as he discarded the duplicates from his latest Match Attax purchases without having to check his album.

“Because my brain actually works,” he replied, dismissively.

It’s a shame it doesn’t work so well when it comes to doing his homework. But you can’t have everything.

The weekly battle to get DS1 to do his homework drags on. We win the occasional battle, but I fear we will never win the war.

We did have a minor breakthrough after half-term, though, as he fought to complete as much as he could of the work that he’d been set for the holidays – long after he should have handed it in.

“If I’d just done this every day over half term, I’d only have had a tiny bit to do each day,” he epiphanyed.

“No shit, Sherlock,” I didn’t say – mainly because I wasn’t there when he uttered this potentially life-changing realisation.

Instead, I replied to the wife’s message: “He’s still got two-weeks’ worth of maths, spellings and Spag (spelling and grammar, not a plate of Bolognese) to do today. Why’s he doing half-term stuff now?

“Because it’s two weeks overdue apparently,” she replied.

He’d obviously had a telling-off from his teacher. It transpired he’d even had to suffer the indignity of spending a lunchtime in ‘Get Ahead Club’ – the politically correct title for what is effectively a detention for not doing your homework.

Hopefully, he had seen the light. Homework will be a breeze going forward and will be done during the week, rather than at 6pm on Sunday, I thought.

Who was I kidding? Only myself, it seems.

“Homework is at 6 o’clock on Sunday!” he screeched the following week, before flouncing off.

That revelation made no difference then.

A right shower

The other weekend, I did have some success. Actually getting him to complete his homework over the course of a day – Sunday, obviously, but still – with the incentive of playing games with him in between each burst of effort.

Of course, the following week he’d sussed this tactic out. And it was back to the 6 o’clock ritual.

Although he had completed all his homework on this particular Sunday, there were a few spelling errors. Nevermind the fact that he’d insinuated that his mother was an alcoholic in a couple of his sentences – for example, for ‘vary’ he wrote: “Mum (who is an alcoholic) likes to vary her alcohol intake by choosing a different drink for every evening of the week.”

On the Monday, after downing a bottle of vodka (not) before escaping to work, the wife reminded me: “Don’t forget to get him to correct his spelling mistakes.”

I dutifully carried out her instructions and pointed out to DS1 that he might like to check his homework because there were a few spelling errors. The reply was nothing but predictable.

“They are all spelt correctly. Shut up!”

I let the wife know.

“Oh, OK. I shall enjoy it next time I go out for a bear,” she replied.

After another failed week of homework cajoling, the appointed hour on Sunday also came and went.

He was too tired to do homework. Who’d have thought? It’s a point I have made once or twice (maybe 173 times) before about not leaving it to the last minute for that very reason.

The tiredness on this occasion was so great, that even the Sunday shower couldn’t possibly be contemplated. So, deciding an argument-free evening was the better part of valour, I offered him a compromise.

“If you’re that tired, then you should go to bed now then,” I said. “As long as you agree to have a shower and do your homework in the morning before school.”

He (a bit too) eagerly concurred.

You can but try, I guess.

When I got up the next morning, I found his homework book open on the dining room table, with a fair amount of the questions answered. Not all, but sufficient to show he’d put some effort in.

I went into the lounge, to find him in his dressing gown, hair suitably wet and the bathroom in chaos – towels as well as shower gel and shampoo bottles everywhere; their lids on the floor, while shampoo leaked out from the open bottles lying in the bath. Not to mention the puddle of water on the floor.

Still, at least he’d washed, I suppose. I commended him accordingly, glossing over the mess on this occasion – I was just flabbergasted that he had actually done some homework and had a shower without being ‘reminded’ several times.

It was only after school that he owned up.

“I faked the shower, Dad,” he laughed.

“What? But your hair was wet, you had your robe on and the shampoo was everywhere.”

“Yes, I just wet my hair and then poured shampoo all over the place,” he confessed.

What can you do, except shake your head (and piss yourself laughing in secret)?

The effort he’d put into his deception was phenomenal – it would have been quicker to have the bloody shower.

Leave a comment