Last night, my husband studied the two packages we had received in the mail, talking ostensibly to Younger but actually to himself. “This one is mine,” he announced. “Because I need to fix your mom’s dryer.”
As if the dryer only wicks moisture from my clothes.
But I rolled my eyes while maintaining my silence because I do appreciate that his mechanical abilities prevent us from paying a couple hundred dollars to have a twenty-dollar part replaced.
But then later, from the laundry room, I heard singing: “I am so smart, I am so smart . . .”
And, well, I maintained my silence then, too.
Because sometimes I simply have no words.
No good ones, anyway.
Exhausted, Younger sprawled on the floor, tossing his grammar homework at me, displaying distinct disinterest in the grammar book I attempted to hand him.
“You can just do it for me. Your poor boy is exhausted.”
“I could,” I responded, shoving the book beneath his nose and determinedly pointing towards the lists and explanations on different pages. “But then what would you have learned?”
“I would have learned how to get you to do my work for me.”
Instead, he had a different learning experience.
How to quickly duck a swinging textbook.
Some lessons are harder than others.
Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2005 . . .
In my attempts last summer to prepare Younger for kindergarten, I tried to discourage certain behaviors. The last in a long list was whining. I mean, the child had forgotten that “whatever you want” was not the response to expect to his every request.
So, finally, after several attempts to derail his screeching, I told him, “Younger, you are not going to be able to whine like that in kindergarten.”
“Mo-om.” He rolled his eyes. “You know, if you’re gonna tell me everything about kindergarten, there ain’t gonna be much use in me going.”
. . . and he still doesn’t see much use in him going . . .
The other day, Younger asked for money to purchase one gadget or another.
“You already owe me money,” I reminded him.
“Oh. Yeah.” He titled his head to the side. “You know, I think I should charge an hourly rate for my mere presence. And you would owe me money.”
So I explained some economics: “That only works when the demand is greater than the supply.”
And his dad explained some economics: “She already has to put up with me for free.”
But the only economics Younger learned?
His mere presence isn’t accepted as part of the product-currency exchange at Walmart.
Younger has decided he doesn’t like economics.