Today Sean and I are heading to a local community college so that he can take a math test which, if he passes, will allow him to do more challenging math type stuff this coming school year, which if my calculations are correct, is 4th grade. (GULP!)
The reason Sean is taking a math test at a college campus instead of an elementary school, where 4th grade is generally located, is because through a red-tape snafu accounting error — or his mom wasn’t on top of the calendar — we missed the deadline for the spring testing. And so, because we, meaning me, missed the deadline, Sean now has to take a math test in a college testing center with college people who have beards and cars, of which he has neither. And there is more good news! Sean’s mother has to pay $100 to have the test proctored instead of $18. If ever there is an opportunity to pay more money for something – sign me up!
So as you can see, Sean not only has to be super smart at math, he has to develop a lot of other skills to offset the ineptitude of his mother. But that will serve him well in life, because that’s pretty much how the world works. So there’s that.
As I’m getting ready for this big day, for some reason I’m thinking back on when Sean was like two, and I felt like I had to sign him up for activities, because all the other moms and kids did activities, and I desperately wanted to do this mothering thing right and all I really knew about mothering was that I didn’t know ANYthing about it and therefore I should see which fork the other moms used for salad and do that. But the fact of the matter was this, all we both really wanted to do was stay home and play on the floor in the den and pretend and read books.
So in an effort to do it right, I signed him up for a class at a little gym type place and I paid $100 or something ridiculous like that. And every week I would take him, and he would not want to go, and I would not want to go, but I paid $100 dangit, so we went. And he would want to play with the water fountain, but he did not want to run under the parachute that was flapping up and down and he did not want to swing from the tiny little pull up bar. And I would spend all my time trying to keep him out of the water fountain and redirecting him back to parachute (all for the low low price of $100!!). It was a great workout FOR ME.
And I was sort of blind to the fact that we were different, Sean and I. We were happy doing our own thing just the two of us and the little gym thing made us both a little cranky when we were supposed to be having an Instagram moment.
So now I’m nine years into this gig, and once again, I’ve paid $100 for him to do something and at times in the past few weeks, I’ve had to push him to prepare for this test when he’d rather play on the iPad, and I’ve wondered if maybe this is one of those “little gym” scenarios. Maybe he doesn’t want to run under the parachute, maybe it’s me who wants to run under the parachute.
I don’t think so, I think he wants this. But we’ll see. I’ll be waiting outside the testing center. Near the water fountain, just in case.