Dear Preschool Homework,

I see that your instructions are addressed to me, the parent, so I feel it is appropriate that we speak directly. I want to express my appreciation for all that you have done for our family.

My son’s grasp of the English language has grown dramatically since you entered our lives. Under your tutelage, his constant stream of nonsense about trucks or rescuing trucks or smashing trucks is almost 50 percent real, intelligible words. He also interrupts every book, television show, and movie to yell that he found a letter C, even if no letter C is present. Though he spends eight hours per day in the company of professional teachers, I believe it is the 30 seconds he spends scribbling on your worksheets at home that is making the difference between academic success and life as a preschool drop-out.

You seem to have almost magical powers, Preschool Homework. Before you, my son spent his evenings spreading LEGOs across the entire house, inventing games that only he can win, and crying uncontrollably because he wanted grilled cheese for dinner, not mac and cheese — even though they are the same fucking thing. When you are here, he tells me he hates me, throws a crayon at my head, and then hides in his room. Voilà! You have magically transformed a preschooler into a teenager.

My marriage is also stronger under your influence. Whereas my husband and I never used to fight about pieces of paper, cotton balls, or glue sticks, we now argue regularly about you and your components. Expressing your feelings is healthy in a marriage, especially if those feelings are unmitigated rage about the supply list for your 20 Winter Break worksheets.

Speaking of Winter Break, I want to congratulate you on that particularly creative packet. My son absolutely loathes crafts, so your relentless progression of cutting, gluing, and painting gave us a great alternative to time-outs for the break. It also led to our son volunteering for a brand-new chore called, “Find all of the half-dried glue spots around the house and deposit a single Cheerio in each one.” As you know, chores are very important for developing responsibility.

Finally, Preschool Homework, unlike families enrolled in those lazy school districts with achievement-killing policies like, “No homework until sixth grade,” you have given our family a huge head start on academic competition, self-destructive behavior, and parental and child burnout. Perhaps most importantly, my son now has a near-genius-level understanding of the mechanics of bribery and extortion, which will serve him well in his future career as a District Attorney prosecuting white-collar crime. That dream is only possible, though, if he finishes his fucking homework.

Laura Skopec

P.S. Our homework will be late again this week.