Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Who's Child Is This?

So I asked The Child about the cooler full of provisions.

"Oh. That."

When she came home sick on Monday I had just stripped her bed prepatory to a good laundering. So she was insconced in our room with television and chicken noodle soup. Once I got her bed back together she was going to decamp to her own space and do homework. (Oh, and the "illness" was just a touch of the over-doing it with junky food during all her weekend festivities - The Boy's birthday party and then a movie date/Johnny Rockets fandango with The Spouse and The Boy).

So her story, and she's sticking to it, is that she prepared this little feast so that she could eat if she was hungry without bothering me.

"That's very considerate," said I. "But it's my job to bring you food when you're sick in bed. Don't worry about it. Plus, mommy doesn't want ants and things in your room. That's why I only want you eating in there if you are in fact sick in bed".

"Oh. Ok".

So there you go. Nothing nefarious or even mildly creative. Nothing like the time when Dame Judi was cleaning out my brother's room and found a drawer full of garden dirt.

"Why do you have a drawer full of dirt?" she asked, as would anyone.

"Well, sometimes I like to make projects and I don't always want to go all the way out to the garden".

Kids.

Meanwhile, The Child has been on some sort of mission. She brought up her science and religion grades, which was superfantastic. But she got an F in math. Yes. An F. No drama club for her this spring. But the cool thing was that for the first time ever, she really cared.

"You know, mom, I've realized that I really have to knuckle down. I mean, this is serious. I'm in middle school and high school is coming up. I have to do better. I even asked Mr. D to move me to a new desk because P is always turning to me and saying things like, 'What's the square root of a picon?' and I don't even know what that is and I tell him, 'Hey, P, I'm trying to work here'".

So she has this whole plan, which she is fully implementing, to get as much of her work done at school as possible and to spend more time at home reviewing and studying. To that end, she has also decided that for 15 minutes every day she's going to teach me the math she's working on. Which is a good strategy because teaching someone else is a very good way to learn yourself.

Yesterday she came home with an entire worksheet that she'd created, something with tables and logic questions that, frankly, kicked my butt. I'm happy to say that with her instruction I was able to score 24 out of 26 on my "pop quiz". Math and I haven't been on a first name basis since 4th grade but if it helps her feel more confident about what she's learning then I'm all for it.

But that's not all. This morning she got up and dressed in record time. I called her for breakfast and she was a little late to the table. "I'll be right there, I just have to make my bed". Cool. She comes out and eats and then, without being told, picks up her dishes and...wait for it....loads them into the dishwasher. Then she wiped the counter.

"Uh, I'm sorry, what did you do with my kid?" I demanded. She grinned. Then she asked if I'd like a tour of her room. (Been there, bought the snow globe, but sure). She takes me in to reveal that she had not only made her bed, arranging the pillows and stuffed creatures as if for a photo shoot, but had also picked up her floor, tidied her desk and straightened her shelves.

Times like this you can't help but think, "Hey, maybe we've got a potentially productive member of society on our hands after all".

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17 Comments:

Blogger greeny opined...

She rocks! What else can I say? I love the idea she had of teaching you her math, too. Brilliant!

April 04, 2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger gina opined...

Okay, I am convinced that you are a family of aliens. I know you generally only report when YOU are behaving your best, and you've alluded to the occasional parental miscue, but still.... and now The Child does this. Seriously. Aliens. This upcoming birthday party ought to be REALLY interesting, what with the Mother Ship hanging out to give us all rides across the galaxy.

BTW, my totally slobby daughter, the one who would put her clean clothes back in the laundry so she wouldn't have to put them away until I started TAKING them and not giving them back, makes Martha Stewart look like Pigpen of Charlie Brown fame. I am the slob now. There is hope, and you've just gotten a glimmer of what is to come. :)

April 04, 2007 11:28 AM  
Blogger Jon opined...

I love hearing about your brother...

April 04, 2007 11:49 AM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

I hope she got her prayer partner letter... :)

April 04, 2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

Im going to say congrats first. Ok, just to let you know if this happened in my home... it would mean that the sheriff is comming to the door with papers because one of the kids did something really bad.

April 04, 2007 12:40 PM  
Anonymous stacy opined...

not that i dont root for your child and all the productiveness, maybe she's just cleaning because she got an F? if in 2 weeks she still randomly does it, then huzzah!
... also, your comment on iwanskis blog made me spit water all over my work computer. you crack me up.

April 04, 2007 2:37 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Yeah, Greeny, this week she's rocking big time.

Right, Gina. We're cylons.

Jon, Stop it.

She did, SCG, and she cried and cried and after she read it to me she decided it should go in the Jar O' Wisdom "'cause this is a really good letter, mommy'". Your husband rocks.

Thanks, Mouse, and trust me, I'm watching for tell-tale signs of sneakery. But I think she's legit.

April 04, 2007 2:38 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Could be, Stacy. I like to think it's because she's realized that it's really cool to be able to find your stuff when it isn't buried under a mountain of clothes and cheese. Hope you didn't electrocute yourself!

April 04, 2007 2:50 PM  
Blogger barista brat opined...

the math teaching thing is genius.
i'm going to remember that for when i have kids.

April 04, 2007 3:06 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

I thought I trained her to be more subtle. Making the bed was fine but arranging those animals and picking up the floor is a dead giveaway.

April 04, 2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Hey Brat...yeah, I thought it was a pretty creative idea, too.

JP, You obviously have a lot more work left to do.

April 04, 2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger Molly opined...

nice job, dylan... I am very proud. Math isn't on first name basis with ANYONE in the whole Davis clan except for maybe your man friend and Emma's... But Michael isn't part of our clan yet.

April 04, 2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous MHP :) opined...

Lorraine,

I just love hearing stories about your daughter! Your writing is very real-to-life, and I really enjoy reading about your personal experiences.

Just remember, someday way WAY off in the future, I will likely be coming to you for advice on raising teenagers!! *smiles*

-MHP :)

April 04, 2007 7:09 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Mols, Remind me to have a talk with Em.

MHP: Honey, you know I'll be here for you. Unless, of course, as already stated, The Child turns out to be an axe murderer or something. In which case I'll refer you to Dame Judi and Sean because, while in that instance they would in fact have raised someone who raised an axe murderer, none of their actual children were, in fact, axe murderers themselves.

April 04, 2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Yet.

April 04, 2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Kendall opined...

I have had the 14 yr old nephew visiting all week... you parents really have your hands full!

April 05, 2007 5:24 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

My kids lived in hamster cages....I eventually just closed the doors. I once discovered my daughter had painted her room dark blue while I was ignoring the filth...my concern? Where did she get the money to buy the paint. Math is a four letter word.

April 05, 2007 9:27 AM  

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