Tag Archives: school

Parenthood as a Constant Variable


Photo is a courtesy of my 9 year old son

Monday, 5:35 pm, driving home from Aquatic Center

As usual, I am asking my son about his day, his swim practice, the homework that needs to be done, and the upcoming tests.  “We have a quiz on Wednesday – either Science or Italian, I don’t remember which one,” –he tells me.   He is great in Science, but not so much in Italian.  I vowed to take his Italian under control, since another bad grade would screw up his average.   After a heated discussion about his foreign language abilities or the lack of thereof, he reluctantly agreed to me checking him on the new vocabulary words (I can’t really do anything else, since I don’t know the language).   This approach has already yield some positive results, since he got the highest grade in class on his last test.  “But it is a fluke, not a progress”, he claimed. “If it is not a progress, we will turn it into progress,” I replied.

Monday, 7:30 pm, home

“Did you check what quiz you are having?  Are you sure it’s not Italian?” I am asking him for the fifth or sixth time (I’ve lost count at that point).  “I’ve told you –Science!” he yells.

“Can we spend a few minutes to review new words, just in case?”

“What case?  I told you I am having Science, not Italian!”

Wednesday, 5:35 pm, driving home from Aquatic Center

“Mom, everything is good.  And, oh, I had a quiz in Italian.”

“What?!  You told me you were having Science! You told me you were absolutely sure”.

“That’s what I thought. I have Science tomorrow. I didn’t say “absolutely sure”.

“But you did not even look at the new words once.  This is really bad.”

“OK.  You know what?  This is completely unacceptable.  If you get less than 80, than for the next two weeks, you are not using your laptop.”

“Scratch that.  It doesn’t matter what you get.  You are punished not for your grades, but for your ignorance.  No matter what you get -two weeks without electronics. Then, you would start paying attention.”

“Yes, mam”

“So, how is it going to work? Are you going to take away the batteries or what? And how am I supposed to do my homework?”

(Great! Now we are going into semantics.)

“I am not taking away anything.  You can use your computer for homework, but if I see you use it for something else, than another two weeks without electronics.”

“Yes, mam”

Wednesday, 8:00 pm, home

“Are you done with your homework?”

“I did not start yet.  I am reading my book.”

“Can you start working on your homework?”

“I can’t.  You don’t let me go on electronics, so I have no choice, but to read my book.  The story just reached its climax; I can’t put it down now.  I need to know what happened.”

Thursday, dinner time, home

“I got my grades back.  Italian is 88, other tests in mid to high 90th.”

“How could you get 88, if you did not know one word?”

“A lot of the words, apparently, were the ones we’ve studied before.  Plus, I told you I would get at least 30.  By the way, it was the highest grade in class.”

Saturday, 2:00 pm, driving home from the dentist

“Mom, I would like to submit a formal request.  Since I’ve got 88 in Italian and others in high 90th, and I’ve already served 4 days without electronics, I would like to request to lift the rest of the punishment.”

“OK.  You will receive the formal response to your formal request within the 72 hours of submission.”

“What?! Why 72 hours?”

“Based on the family policy, this is the timeframe needed to review the formal requests.”

“Who established this policy?!”

“I did.”

“OK.  Then I would like to withdraw my formal request.”

“You will receive the formal decision on whether your withdrawal is accepted within 72 hours.”

“Why 72 hours?!”

“Because based on the family policy, it is time needed to check it for the conflict of interests.”

“But we all have one interest – for me to do well in school!  I’ve learned my lesson.  Can we just talk like mature adults?”

“Now we are talking.  I will think about it.”

Saturday, 3:00 pm, home

“Mom, are you done thinking?  Can we talk like adults? Can we make an amendment?”

“OK, I agree to lift the punishment, but only after you fill in your application for Advanced Research Program, including essays, do all your homework, and get ready for Science midterm.”

“But I need to relax.  I just came from the (swim) meet.  Seriously!”

“Well, you can have electronics for one hour, but then you work on your stuff.”

“Yes, mam”

Saturday, 8:00 pm, home, watching Penny confessing to Leonard’s mother about her childhood rocky relationship with her dad (Big Bang Theory)

“Mom, can we amend the previous amendment? It is already 8:00 and I am too tired to do the homework?  Can I do it tomorrow?”

To be continued … Or will it ever end?