Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fingers crossed

My kids jumped around me as if on springs. “Did you see me cartwheel?” asked one. “Did you see me do a headstand?” the other interjected.

“I saw, I saw,” I promised, crossing my fingers behind my back.

Gymnastics is like that: A gaggle of kids twirling and bouncing as their parents “watch.”

“I'm surprised my daughter isn't attempting to do the flips,” said a woman sitting next to me. “She's always liked those.”

“I think that's my daughter,” I say, squinting my eyes. “... but I can't tell for sure. They're both wearing ponytails and turquoise pants.”

We laugh and go back to chatting about the “weather” or “things” or “nothing at all.”

Any time I actually witnessed “the headstand of perfection” during the 90-minute class it was sheer luck.

It's pretty much the same with dance class and soccer practice. I was pondering this when a question came out of left field.

“Are you homeschooling your kids?”

Had I been drinking milk at the time, the question would have undoubtedly caused a river of moo juice to gush through my nose.

But as it happened, my laughter and discomfort at the thought of such an insane notion, caused an equally painful reaction.

“Oh … I only asked because I was home-schooled,” she continued.

Then I felt like a knee-jerk, emphasis on jerk.

I didn't mean to denigrate homeschooling as a means of education, I just couldn't see myself as educator.

My children, who had already decided by age five and two respectively – before their own school careers had truly begun – that I knew very little about the greater workings of the world because I couldn't operate the car's GPS. How could I be trusted with reading and math and the inner workings their their expanding minds when I could not be trusted to get them home from a neighboring state without stopping to ask for directions?

They didn't even believe me when I told them today was a Sunday.

Can't say as I blame them.

Surely a day as rainy as this should be called a rain day.

Surely they know by now that when they ask me how it's even physically possible for milk to shoot out one's nose if one happens to be laughing and drinking at the same time, I will have to consult Dr. Google.

And even then I'd have to read from the entry verbatim.

“That flappy thing at the back of your throat lets stuff up when it should go down,” somehow doesn't feel quite adequate.

They certainly know from my lamentations over homework directions – having Googled some of those as well – that teaching isn't one of my strong points.

And even when I'm right, I'm wrong.

For instance, when Ittybit stacks three numbers for homework – 201, 54 and 5 – and comes up with a sum of 905, we both end up with big, old goose eggs.

She has ZERO interest in me telling her where she went wrong and I have ZERO interest in fighting with her over doing it correctly.

We might as well be standing on our heads.

At this point, however, I could probably have to do it with my arms tied behind my back.

Fingers crossed.

No comments: