Parenting is a delight and a joy depending upon which time of day, which season and generally which parent you catch hold of. On some days the WTF moments are so numerous that you really need to take a step back and say to yourself, “Did I knowingly bring forth that child into this world?”
TO is in middle school this year. That coupled with the pandemic has made for a unique circumstance where the de facto response to pretty much everything is Nyet, No, Nada, Negative, Naaah and Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah. It should be taken into account when so many languages across the globe fall back on a single consonant to convey the same sentiment. Can anyone say conspiracy?
Anyhoo, Red and I have decided to divide and conquer. I take the subjects he doesn’t want to help out with and he takes the subjects I never did well in school- viz Maths and Science. That isn’t to say that I was a total dumdum…my response latency in those two subjects was slower than was permitted by the school authorities, parents and Indian society overall. Apparently when the genes for STEM were being handed out my mother missed the bus but stayed at the busstop longer for the Humanities and Language doles.
It’s been the same throughout TO’s childhood, I did most of the Art and Music classes with him in Gymboree, did more finger-painting with him while Red did majority of the the kinesthetic activities. Can anyone say physics geek? Back to circa 2020 and homework is supervised by either Red or I based on the subject we consider to be in our wheelhouse.
Last night Red took a break from home, hearth and homework and went off to play with his friends while I took up Math with the surprisingly blunt child. He told me categorically that we should hold off on the homework till his father got back since I wasn’t good at the subject and we’d probably have to redo them anyhow.
To say I was insulted would be to put it mildly. When a 11 year old calls you a dummy without actually saying it out loud, you feel at all once proud and miffed. Sadly both sides are still warring with each other and no clear winner has emerged.
I conceded the point a wee bit but this morning is when the audacious child really took the cake! There was a poetry workshop of sorts hosted by his seniors and I was hearing bits and pieces of words as they floated over the kids talking to each other. Now even a lapsed English Litt major will tell you that when they hear the word Onomatopoeia, something latent in them awakens and they almost dreamily float to the source where such figures of speech are being bandied about by kids. And that’s when life kicks you in the face!
I went up to TO and asked him what was going on and who was talking about Figures of Speech. In turn I was sneered upon and told that I didn’t know what I was talking about since it wasn’t about figures of speech..it was about ononma..onomo..omono…whatever! To add insult to injury…he showed me THE HAND.
Yeah..because that’s why I was instructed up close and personally by mean nuns wielding Wren&Martin textbooks and why I did 3 years of undergrads with ONOWHATEVERS making up my days and nights!
If you thought that delightful anecdote was the only #dafuq moment of my day, then you’d be wrong! So so wrong! During a break between his classes, I asked TO to quickly fill up the water bottles and to keep the glass ones on the dining table. This is what he did-
Apparently unless you specify that said glass bottles also need to be filled with water, they shall remain dry and empty.
So to sum up: be literal AND specify when communicating with your kids. Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time counting and looking up, or down (depending upon where you draw your inspiration from) just to get through the day.