So now Blogger is back up, but Twitter is down. This has been a disorienting couple of days. At least it was not both at the same time! APOCALYPSE.
I posted a new review yesterday:
ARM & HAMMER® Spinbrush® MY WAY! ™ Toothbrush
and Orajel ® MY WAY!™ Kids' Toothpaste---and a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway---and if you are wondering if I was required to write those things in all-caps with exclamation points, that would be a big AFFIRMATIVE! (Also, the names must not be broken between two lines; thus the awkward formatting.) Anyway, I tell you this not only because part of my contract involves telling you about it, but also because when Blogger went down it lost all the comments---so if you commented on the post after it went up mid-day Thursday but before Blogger went down later in the day, you'll need to re-comment to be entered.
Rob made me so angry the other day, I could barely talk about it. Paul had checked Rob's homework as usual, and had made Rob re-do a math worksheet on which Rob (1) hadn't done the problems the way he was supposed to, (2) hadn't shown his work the way he was supposed to, and (3) had gotten the wrong answers. And Rob had better grow up to be a stunning trial attorney who works either for justice or for our exceedingly comfortable retirement years, whichever, because ROB CANNOT BE WRONG. Does he seem to be wrong? NO, YOU ARE WRONG. Can you prove him to be wrong? NO, THERE IS ANOTHER EXPLANATION. Can you calmly and quietly explain to him that everyone is wrong sometimes, and that in this case it is his turn? NO, HIS EARS ARE NOT HEARING YOUR IMPOSSIBLE CONCLUSION IN RE HIS WRONGNESS.
So. Rob maintained despite all evidence to the contrary (written instructions at the top of the sheet; the provably wrong answers) that he was doing it the way he'd been taught AND that he DID have the right answers. It was obvious his ears were no longer connected to his brain: during the time he should have been listening to Paul's admirably patient explanations, it was clear that all he was doing was compiling his next argument to explain why he COULD NOT be wrong, whatever the evidence seemed to be. After MANY (again, admirably patient) attempts, Paul finally sighed and said all right, Rob could continue to believe he was right if he wanted to, but Paul was nevertheless telling him that he must redo it the way the instructions said, and with the work shown, and with the correct answer at the end. Rob FUMED the entire time.
The next day, Rob presented us triumphantly with a signed note from his teacher (he emphasized this to us: "SIGNED") saying that he was supposed to show his work and do the problems the way he'd been taught. He had evidently explained to her that his parents were doing exactly what the teachers had said they might, which was to try to make him do math The Old Way. When, as you know if you've been following along, Paul was NOT trying to do: he was telling Rob he had to do the problems not "the way Paul learned in school" but "the way shown at the top of the paper." AND, Paul had been TELLING HIM TO SHOW HIS WORK.
Not only is this blisteringly embarrassing to me to think of Rob telling the teacher that we were forcing him to do what we were NOT forcing him to do (and then having her SIGN A NOTE to that effect) (and I can't think of any way to explain to her what actually happened, without looking crazy/defensive/over-reactive AND making HER feel embarrassed), but our theory that Rob's ears are entirely disengaged at such times was demonstrated with excruciating clarity. I don't know how Paul kept his temper, because I started CRYING with the effort not to BEAT ROB WITH A STICK and then perhaps send him to his room until the next school day, when I would shove him ahead of me into the classroom and force him to tell his teacher what had ACTUALLY happened, and give her a SIGNED note saying that SHE may now beat him with a stick.
But all Paul did was sigh and explain AGAIN. To which Rob said, "OHHHHHHHHHH... _I_ thought you meant..." (that was when I started crying with frustration).
And you know how everyone expresses exasperation at the "Just wait!" people, and yet the "Just wait!" people continue to say "Just wait!"? I can feel them out there, so tempted to tell me what small potatoes this incident is in comparison to what is to come as my 12-year-old gets into his teens, closely followed by his four siblings.
I always wonder what it is such people hope to accomplish with that kind of talk. Do they want us to give up on this whole child-rearing endeavor, and leave home and/or kick the children out so we won't have to deal with the horrors that await us? Do they want us to go back in time and not have children? Are they hoping to plunge us into ineffectual and pointless despair as we contemplate upcoming years of Ever Worse? Are they imagining that we are somehow so blind and delusional, we believe that our current complaint represents the worst we will or could encounter? Do they want us to imagine them rubbing their hands together with poorly-hidden happiness at the thought of our upcoming surprise and distress?
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...