Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hey There Smarty

The saga continues with "They Might Be Geniuses".

Little Awesome came home with papers for me to sign to have her tested for the 'Gifted and Talented' program.

Before I signed, I thought we should have an important discussion about what it entailed. I sat her down at the sitting rug (the rug in our living room that we sit on because we don't have a couch cause geniuses don't bother with mundane things like 'having enough furniture').

"Little Awesome, are you sure you want to do this?" I asked solemnly then explained my concern: "Because it usually just means you have to do more homework."

She considered for half a second and shrugged.

Well, if that isn't gifted and talented, I don't know what is. I signed the papers.

We're still waiting to hear back on that.

Then came the end of term. Or what I thought was end of term. I looked forward to the litany of A+++++'s I expected to see on their report cards. In fact, I became a little obsessed. Once it became apparent that it was possible for my kids to get straight A's for the first time in their lives, I wanted it like I've never wanted anything before.

I have never behaved thusly. I started chiding MiniFantabulous if she received any grade below 90. Naturally she took my constructive criticism as threatening, psychotic behavior and said things like, "Shut up!" and "Stop being a crazy bitch!" I saw reason in her arguments and backed off. Still, I couldn't wait until the end of the term to see all those bright, shiny A's we had earned.

Like a schmuck, I assumed the term was over when Christmas break came. What a dumbass I was!! I must have temporarily forgotten how smart we all are! It takes a real genius to plan the school year so the kids have their finals, AFTER they've had two weeks off from doing anything scholastic whatsoever!! I saw it as an opportunity. MiniFantabulous had one class in which she only had an 85% and several in which I had no idea whatsoever what was going on because I was 'too annoying' and 'acting like a freak'! I did everything in my power to use those two extra weeks to bring us back up to at least a 90% across the board.

I came up with a plan that would rival any Einstein had ever had:

"I'll give you 5 dollars for each A you get."

Lesson learned: Intrinsic rewards are for B earning dumbasses.

It was pure genius (I was beginning to see where they get their smarts from), nothing motivates like the prospect of being able to spend money on clothes sewn by the tender hands of children who never earned an A in their life (mostly cause they've been working in sweatshops since birth) at your mom's work with an extra employee discount!!

I was so determined that on the last day of the term when MiniFantabulous came home saying she hadn't been able to turn in a big homework packet because she had forgotten it at home, AweseomCool and I rushed her back to school in a frenzy to get it turned in.

The teacher wasn't there. It was the last day of school for the term. It wouldn't be accepted tomorrow. It might not even be accepted now! We hysterically pleaded our case to the front office. The office suggested we put it in her mailbox. We did.

Then we went to her classroom in case the office had lied and she was totally there and if she was there to alert her to the uber-important mail she had waiting in her teacher mail box. She wasn't there, however, the silly fool had left the door unlocked.

We did what any sane parents wandering around their kid's school would do. We barged in, MinFantabulous in tow. We rummaged through her desk. We found the rest of the homework packets. What could we do then but go back to the office, break into her mailbox, get the packet out, sneak back into her classroom, find MiniFantabulous's class's homework packets and mix hers in like it had been there all along?? If you answered 'Anything but that' you are so wrong and not nearly as committed to your child's grades as I am.

Then the report cards came.

"How many dollars do I get for an A?" Asked LittleAwesome, innocently.

"Five." I answered my genius temporarily waning. If she didn't remember, I didn't have to either. One is just a good of a number as five, right?

"What's 8 times 5?" (She's not the kind of gifted and talented genius that can do math facts in her head, duh.)

"What?!"

I snatched the report card out of her hands and there before me were A's in all her EIGHT classes. It was then that I realized I should have found out how many classes she was in before I made this bargain. Who knew a 5th grader would have eight classes, though? Does lunch count? What the hell?

Then came MiniFantabulous's. And although our valiant efforts with the homework packet did not garner her an A in that class, whatever she was doing in all her other classes did.

Luckily, she only has six classes.

Sill. I owe my kids $65 for something they probably would have done without any motivation whatsoever. So who's the real genius in this scenario? (If you answered anything but 'SuperFantabulous' you clearly know nothing about what it means to be smart. Really, really, for REALS smart.)

2 comments:

James said...

Sometimes I worry that I won't be able to be a parent.

I read this, and have a role model for my future self.

SuperFantabulous said...

Luckily for derelict nutjobs like me, kids just kind of show up when you least expect them