The great thing about having two kids is that each of them gives me different reasons to shake my head and wonder when I learned to speak a foreign language. Although they can’t agree on much, they seem to be in harmony with one point: they are smarter than me. Well, I’m smart enough to know I should let them believe that…for now, at least.
Exhibit A: I don’t know how to cook for the family
My efforts to vary our meals are not appreciated by the young men in my house. Every afternoon, the kids ask me what is for dinner. For the last two weeks, if my response is anything other than “chicken nuggets” (for my younger son) or “nachos” (for my older son), the response is a less-than-enthusiastic, “oh.”
You’d think I just told them we were having paper paste for dinner.
If meal planning were left up to them, all of the grocery shopping would be done in one aisle: the candy aisle.
Exhibit B: I have no memory and don’t know what I’m talking about
I’ve noticed this about both of my kids: when they like something, they whole-heartedly like it with all of their being…until they can’t stand it anymore. It goes for food, their favorite color, favorite TV show, new toys, friends, etc. It seems I’m constantly two steps behind. Here’s an example:
Me: “What do you mean orange isn’t your favorite color? I bought three orange shirts you picked out when school started.”
Older son: “Ugh,” he says with an eye roll, “blue has been my favorite color forever.”
Me: “Forever as in since yesterday, or last month?”
Older son: Shakes his head in disgust and walks away.
We’ve had similar identical discussions about his best friends. I’m amused that he thinks I’m such an idiot. In my defense, I have a grasp on the factual definition of ‘forever’. I haven’t figured out if there is a standard conversion for what ‘forever’ means to someone under the age of say, ten (kind of like 1 dog/cat year = 7 human years,) or if it loosely translates to anything over five minutes ago.
The dream of an underestimated parent:
If I crack the “forever” code, I think I could sell it to parents everywhere and make a fortune…which I would then invest in other child-to-parent translation projects. I would revolutionize parent-child communication and might even get my own Wikipedia page. With all this notoriety, I’d have literary agents begging me to let them represent me.
“Hell-o…what’s with you?” My older son asks, interrupting my daydream.
I smile. “World domination.”
He scrunches his face into a confused look, but decides against asking any other questions. Instead, he leaves the room again.
My cover isn’t blown…he still thinks I’m an idiot.