Are you smarter than a 5th grader? I'm not...


Did you ever (or are you currently) reading books or playing classical music to your protruding belly because you heard that it would make your fetus smarter? Did you (or are you currently) playing Baby Einstein and Baby Mozart on continuous loop in hopes that your offspring have an off-the-charts I.Q? Have you watched that commercial where the infants are reading words like "hippopotamus" off of flash cards while sitting in their highchair eating Cheerios, and thought "I should do that?". Well, you are not alone. I did all of the above. I even spoke spanish to my oldest when he was an infant with the thought that his little sponge-like brain would soak up all of that knowledge and make him smarter than me. And dammit. It f-ing worked. The little bugger is smarter than I am. Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Well, shit. I am not. It was confirmed today.

I was "helping" (insert the word "attempted" here instead if you prefer not to read between the lines) him with his homework. And I was stumped. I had to cheat and look in the back of the book because I looked at the algorithms and went all "deer in the headlights" on him. Oh, please. You don't know what an algorithm is? Well, me neither. And even worse, I just had to spell-check it too. So luckily during this homework session, I was pumping him full of Kool-Aid and at the moment his 5th grade work-book stumped me, his bladder kicked in. So when he was in the bathroom (with the door open so he could still talk to me - he is SO his father) I peeked in the back for the answer. And luckily the answer sparked my memory (vaguely) of how I was supposed to derive the answer. So when I tried explaining it, he said "Mom, I think it would actually be easier if you did it THIS way." And I looked at him, looked at his computation, looked at him again, and he said "I don't think I need your help. I pretty much get it." I think that was his nice way of saying "Thank GOD I got your looks and dad's math skills." Wow, he even knows how to let a girl down easy...or so I thought. So as I am digging through the fridge trying to think of something creative for dinner (by the way, I am very RIGHT brain...that is creativity and spatial reasoning, and a sharp eye for fashion...) the brainiac asks me "Hey, what are we having for dinner?". And since my RIGHT brain was obviously suffering from sympathy shock imposed on the LEFT brain from the math lesson, rendering all creativity gone, I simply answered "Leftovers". That was met with a disapproving grunt. I said "What is wrong with leftovers?" Then he drives the dagger in. As if HIM teaching ME how to do his remedial math wasn't bad enough he states matter of factly "Well, if the food had been so good the first time, there wouldn't be any leftover."

Wow. I mean, wow. And he said it with a tone that made me know that he KNEW he was stating a fact, with a little bit of smartass flair to it. Ok, he may have gotten mad math skills from his dad, but the smart-ass attitude he got from me. Then at the super non-gourmet dinner, he throws another stunner my way "Mom, have you ever thought about Canada bumping into Asia? I mean, it could happen. Another Pangaea is very likely. But not in our lifetime." And just when I want to throw an elbow to his temple, he redeems himself and says "Can I have Lucky Charms instead so I can get outside and play baseball right away?" Thank the heavens. He is normal...whatever that means. But I feel better (maybe that is not an appropriate word here...and keep reading and you will see what I mean) because I did all of the above "Baby Einstein" business with the 2nd child as well. And after I discuss the possibilities of tectonic plates sliding and shifting whole continents with the 11 year old, I look at the 7 year old who is literally licking the remains of the leftovers off of his plate and exclaims "That was awesome. How come you have never made that before"? Dude, seriously. They are LEFTOVERS. Which means in most tupperware-safe terms that I just served this meal no more than three days prior. I guess maybe Baby Einstein has a delayed effect? Or at least I am hoping. Or am I? Do I want two, possibly three children that are smarter than me? I guess I would rather have that, but I was hoping that I could answer a resounding and non-hesitant YES when asked the question, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"...at least for a little bit longer. As time wreaks havoc and motherhood takes its toll on my brain, will I be able to answer "yes" to "Are you smarter than a common earthworm?" Oh, GOD...there are days when I wonder.

9 comments:

Anne said...
March 25, 2010 at 8:18 AM

I can totally hear both boys saying all of the above...Will has always been too smart for his own good!

DeeDee said...
March 25, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Oh my God! Another LOL funny! Good thing no one is here in the AM when I'm reading this! They would really think I'm off my rocker! And I always thought that you were one of my smart kids! You all were years ahead of me in math skills! You definitely got Dad's genes in that category, but give me a column of #s or the multiplication tables and I was your 'go to' gal! I'll never forget when Charlie came home from school(he was in 4th grade) and was so excited about what he had learned in Sr. Eunice's class that day and sat down and gave ME a lesson on palindromes!!! I knew then that I was in big trouble! Funny how it didn't take any of you long to figure out that you 'go to Dad for math and Mom for English'! Nice writing style, by the way!

Debbe said...
March 25, 2010 at 10:18 AM

"Well, if the food had been so good the first time, there wouldn't be any leftover."
The honesty of children. Had I said that to my mother I would have been knocked into next week before I could blink.

Amy Lee said...
March 25, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Hahahahahaha...I love it! Your kids are great! And no, I am not smarter then a 5th grader. I'm not smarter then my 3rd or 1st graders either. I swear every time they cut the cord I lost brain cells. Good thing I can't have anymore kids, I'd be brain dead....

steph-an-ie said...
March 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I love it, I look forward to waking up just to read your blog! I do wish you posted on the weekends though. Thanks for the laughs! :)

Alicia*** said...
March 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I know--I am so scared that when my kids are school age they will have completely changed everything I have ever known about anything!

a.rungee said...
March 25, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Love reading the blog being a first time mom I like to see what real mothers go through not the let's pretend to be perfect in public kind. I am slightly worried what math will be like when my daughter gets to that age. I am slowly learning that's something I'll have her father help her with. Thanks for sharing the funny moments that will have either gone through or will go through as moms.

Anonymous said...
March 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Carrie...super funny of course...weekend posts would be great...actually perhaps a "morning one" and an "evening one" PLUS weekends. You could just send it in via your iPhone...haha!
Hope you are well my dear.

redfraggle37 said...
March 26, 2010 at 12:45 AM

my first stole a little of my brain that I never got back. I hate to see what the next one does...I better hurry up and finish my PhD before I do that.

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