You Are Impossible!

My dear, I love you, but you are impossible.

Who said that? And why? This mom. Me. It was math. Subtraction made me do it.

The girls sat down to do their homework and instantly when Gretchen found out it was subtraction, she said (no, whined) that she could not do it.

Now, if you know me you know that I cannot stand folks who say they can’t do something. She said she couldn’t do it before she even realized what it was.

Olena, was off and racing through her worksheet which, I have to admit, made me a bit worried… but back to Gretchen.

“I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. That subtraction. It’s hard.”

“Gretchen, you haven’t even started yet. You know how to do this.”


“Well, that’s why they give you this homework so you can practice.”

“I just can’t DO it. Can you help me?


So, I proceed to help but then stop. I wasn’t sure how they had learned this so I stepped back for fear of confusing them.

But, as Olena showed me, it was just as I learned. So I moved forward.

Gretchen just could not get it. She started yelling. As patient as I was with her I lost my cool too and you all know what that means…Major Meltdown from the Boss.

“That’s it. Let me take Theo outside. You two work it out and I’ll check your work when I get back in.”

“So now you’re not going to HELPME?!! You’re just going to let me do whatever?!!!”

“Gretchen, for your sake and mine, I’m taking Theodore outside. You work on your page. I’ll look at it when we get back in. You don’t want my help. Every time I try, you fight me.”

IMAGE Olena working on her homework

Olena, thinking…

Not even 2 minutes later, out come Gretchen and Olena. Gretchen did NOT have her paper (she said it was completed). Olena came out with hers clipped to a clipboard.

“Gretchen, where’s your homework?”

“I finished it.”

(All that yelling, for nothing. Great.)

Eventually we get back inside the house and the two start on their homework again. I look over Gretchen’s page, she gets 4 of 10 wrong — which is not bad considering how frustrated she was. Olena had filled out the entire page of 20 (and she has 4 wrong as well). I circled the incorrect answers and prepared to give Gretchen the news.

Let’s just say she didn’t take it well, and I uttered those words “you are impossible.”

“What?! Why is it only me?!! Why did you say that?”

“I’m sorry Gretchen but you get like this and I can’t talk to you with your whining and crying and fighting.”

And she continued on…

And so I just walked away…

Sometimes you just have to walk away.

Until next time…


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