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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Another Lesson

I shared with you in a post a couple months ago how unhelpful I am in the realm of homework, and generally in tutelage altogether.  The point was brought to my attention once again as the kids and I walked home from school last week.  You know me, I can't pass up the opportunity to conduct a grammar lesson, even when my instruction doesn't exactly take hold.

So we were walking, and the kids were competing for my attention with tales of What Happened at School Today.  Well, technically Jake was just telling me a story while Zoe competed for my attention, but let's not get caught up in semantics.


It's a wonder I can ever hear anything either of them say, since they typically mumble quietly while facing in the opposite direction of my eardrums because 98% of their attention is actually focused on kicking snow.  But here's how the conversation went.
ZOE:  Today me and Peyton were running on the playground at recess...
ME (unable to resist correcting her grammar):  Peyton and I  were running at recess. 
 ZOE:  No, me and Peyton.
She sounded like she was pretty sure she was right about this one.  I was about to lecture her on proper use of me  and I,  but then she continued with her logic.
ZOE:  I know it was me and Peyton - you weren't even there!
I didn't have a chance to explain that I wasn't claiming to have personally been the one running with Peyton on the playground, because Zoe barely took a breath before barreling ahead with her story.  This incident will, no doubt, simply be filed away in Zoe's mental vault of Evidence That Adults Are Morons; so far its contents include the following facts:

  1. Gran always falls for knock-knock jokes and can never figure out riddles like, "What happened when the mirror laughed?"  (In case you're wondering, he cracked up.)  I might argue that Gran is just letting Zoe have the pleasure of delivering a punchline, but Zoe has informed me that, no, Gran is just very gullible.
  2. Gerry insisted on ordering Fish Guts the last time we played Restaurant, despite the fact that Zoe informed him several times that she doesn't serve fish.  When Gerry said he didn't want fish, just the guts, Zoe had to ask (with waning patience), "If I don't have any fish, where am I going to get the guts?"  Duh, Gerry.  She then immediately fulfilled his order for "a sushi."
  3. And now, apparently, Mommy is having delusions about who did what at recess.
But she's used to being the one who knows the most about whatever's going on, so it didn't faze her.  She went on to tell me, with incongruous glee, about how she slipped on the ice on the playground and hit her head, and the ice cracked, even though it was "this thick" (here, she held her hands about two feet apart to indicate that the sheet of ice she'd shattered with her head was of truly glacial proportions).

Jake chimed in to tell me that a friend of his had accidentally pushed him at recess, so he'd also slipped on the ice but didn't hurt his head (or crack any major ice bergs in half).  Not to be outdone, Zoe quickly added that she had twisted her ankle when she fell, and (suddenly walking with a very pronounced limp) it still really, really hurt.

Practicing our fake limps kept us occupied until we got home, where we immediately started homework.  I always have them do homework right after school, because otherwise I'll forget and they'll end up having to do it later while they're in the bathtub.

I went through their backpacks, and in Jake's I found some promising evidence that maybe he's coming around to my way of thinking regarding those Fred videos.

I was soon disabused of that notion, however, as Jake explained that instead of being the scathing editorial review that I'd hoped it was, it was actually a tribute to Fred's perceived hilarity.  Excellent.  (And speaking of Fred, I heard he's getting his own show on Nickelodeon.  Swell.  That gurgling sound you heard was the nation's collective television standards swirling down the drain.)

In Zoe's backpack I found evidence that she still refuses to spell her name correctly.  I have chosen to use Passive-Aggressive Parenting Technique #492 in this situation, also known as Ignoring the Situation Completely.  I'm assuming that one day she'll decide to spell her name right, and if not, I don't think it really matters.  As a parent, you have to choose your battles carefully, and I'd rather focus my energy on other things, like encouraging her to eat dinner in fewer than seven hours and convincing her to throw away the sad-looking half-deflated balloon left over from her birthday party.  Besides, knowing Zoe, pretty soon she'll probably change her name to Princess Cutie Ballerina Pink anyway, which she'll spell "Boobies" in honor of her latest favorite word, and I'll be looking back with fondness on her misspellings of Zoe.

We started on Zoe's homework, which began with a worksheet about telling time and the question, "Mommy, is there such thing as 27:30?"  I used my typical Unhelpful Homework Assistance Techniques, which in this case involved pointing at the numbers on the clock and encouraging her to try again.  Thank goodness my kids are smart, so eventually, despite my blunderous attempts to prevent her from ever learning how to tell time, she figured it out on her own.  The next page was fractions.  Then on to... algebra‽  Yeah, I guess these days algebra is a first-grade sort of thing; how else are they going to understand quadratic equations and organic chemistry by second grade?  I'm not sure what exactly I told her, but in the end she got it and was (rightfully so, I think) pretty stinking proud of herself.  Me too, but I'll confess I'm a little scared to open her backpack today.  God alone knows what I'll find in there, and I'm not all that confident I'll be able to help her with it, considering I don't even remember where I was at recess today.




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