It’s not uncommon for parents to sometimes look at their children and wonder “Who the hell are you and when does your spaceship return?” I have those moments often and it’s usually when my kids bring home reports cards or receive glowing verbal reports of their “attentive and respectful” behaviour. While I think it’s great that my kids are well-behaved, I can’t take full credit for it because I know parents far better than me who work hard at parenting and have still have kids who have the ability to kill sperm with a single shriek at 100 paces. It’s a crapshoot folks; sometimes you win at the lottery and sometimes you don’t. But there’s balance in the universe because while my kids get excellent grades without stress, they also do things like take all of the garbage bags for flags to decorate a makeshift backyard jousting arena and also eat ALL the Oreo pudding cups even though I emphatically expressed how these cold creamy treasures are the only things which bring me joy three days every month. So yes; parenting is a “win some, lose some, lose some more, call-it-a-draw, lose again” proposition.
The biggest and most obvious difference between my children and myself comes in the math department. I can’t count past 12 without a pen and paper and in grade three I risked schoolyard taunting by faking diarrhea in order to spend half an hour in the bathroom rather than submit to “Speed Round” multiplication drills. I may not know my times-tables, but I did perfect “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” thanks to the awesome acoustics of the first floor primary bathroom.
Math is not something I “get” because I don’t think logically. I think emotionally. Why is eight plus eight sixteen? What does it mean? How does it make you FEEL? I don’t like things that are concrete and have definitive value; I’d rather analyse an entire novel than figure out the tip on a bill ending in .57. My kids think I’m nuts, and they have many supporters. They are logical thinkers, these two, and both excel at math and science, and even when they don’t know the answer, they turn it around so that that’s your problem, not theirs, because it was probably a dumb question anyway.
Case in point – a grade four math test returned home with a mark of 22 out of a possible 23. Only one mark was missed, but I would have given it to him for sheer balls:
I’ve posted in a few other places this month as well. I’m at MamaPop.com talking about some nice guys and some jerks and all sorts of other terrible people. and today I have a post up at iVillage.ca about how Halloween was kinda sorta better when we ran feral in packs of masked children.