There has been a swift change in the intellectual order of our household – a disturbance in the force – an attempted dethroning of the smart by the dumb. For some reason, my 1st and 3rd graders have decided that they are, in fact, now smarter than I am.
I, for one, am elated to know that my tax dollars are allowing our district to hire such phenomenal teachers that my children are now able to leave home and make it in the world on their own at the ripe ages of 6 and 8 – their brilliance is utterly astounding, to be sure!
I am even more thrilled with the idea that I no longer have to carry the burden of thinking for myself, because I have been graciously blessed with not just one but two people that are willing to tell me everything I need to know. I need not question their reasoning, nor do I dare offer a secondary opinion. Oh, no… not a chance. Because, as previously stated, I am no longer smarter than the little people living in my home.
Just this week, I’ve had the privilege of being told how to pack a diaper bag… because obviously, I’ve been doing it incorrectly for the past 2 years. After all this time, you’d think I could’ve figured out a system, but noooo. I’m too low on the scholastic totem pole for diaper-bag-packing. I am also too under-educated to be able to complete simple math. The straight A’s I received all through school mean nothing to a 1st grader… a 1st grader that has received consecutive F’s on her timed math quizzes for the past 2 weeks.
Stupidly, I tried to offer rational thought into the mix, just for kicks and giggles. Not that I was saying she was wrong, per say, but I wanted her to be able to show me exactly how she arrived at the notion that 6 + 7 = 7… you know, just so I could learn from her brilliance and all. But that little nitwit got so defensive! How DARE I question her greatness?
“I swear, Mom! I swear that’s the answer! I know how to do math!”
Really? Your inability to do basic addition is worthy of a double-swear?
I reasonably tried to offer her an example in words that she’d understand. “Taylor, if you have 6 bracelets and I give you 7 more bracelets, you’ll have 7 bracelets in all? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Oh… well, not with bracelets. I’d have way more than that. But with math, I would only have 7.”
Well, who I am to argue with that kind of logic? After all, leaving the wipes out of the diaper bag was sheer genius.
And spelling must be the prized jewel of the school system this year, because both of my kids will argue to their death that they are spelling words correctly. I know, my spelling bee championships and medals earned mean nothing to these academic whizzes, but you’d think they’d at least throw me a bone every now and again, just to keep me feeling like I can in some way measure up to their awesomeness.
My son was utterly convinced that the word “shart” was one of his spelling words this week. Shart. (For those that don’t know what a shart is, look it up in Urban Dictionary because I won’t bother disgracing this blog with such...messiness.) After looking over his words, I noticed the words “short” and “shark” were on the list. Surely he’d made a simple mistake and combined the two words together to come up with a rather unfortunate new word. But let’s not forget, he’s now smart and I’m now dumb. I was tired of arguing and, frankly, I wanted to smack the smug look of “Duh” off his face with a shovel.
“Fine, Cameron. Spell “shart” for me.”
“No, it’s not!” This was equal parts yelled and cried.
I decided the best way to handle this was to let him play this one out…. at school, in front of his peers. And I will not feel badly when his teacher chuckles and his friends snort. Because I lack the brains to know how to feel shame, right?
I could go on. Really I could. I’ve been explained what it means to lock a door, how to fix my phone (because those who have never owned a cell phone are the new experts), how to raise children (because those who have never had children are the new experts), how to cook a good meal, and how to better manage my time. The last one really rubbed me wrong, since I not only manage my time, but the time of the ones calling my time management into question. They can’t even TELL TIME, for God’s sake! But pointing this all out is meaningless. They’re smart, I’m dumb. They’re right, I’m wrong.
Well, that’s fine by me. When I find myself wipeless, I’ll be forced to use a certain someone’s favorite shirt to tidy the baby’s bottom. And I have no problem giving out $7 instead of $13 when it’s time for the next book fair and the smart people want me to open my wallet to them. And I will no longer be ironing shirts for a particular little boy, only sharts. And since they’re so smart, I’m sure they’ll figure it all out eventually. Until then, I’ll just be sitting over there in the corner, pealing the wallpaper and trying to remember not to eat it.