I used to be smart

The other night at dinner, it became apparent to me that the kids were questioning my intelligence. Not in that typical “My parents don’t know anything” way, but regarding my accumulated knowledge and how I was as a student.

They thought I was dumb.

I was baffled. I had no idea where this was coming from.

I know how to read.

Of course I grew immediately defensive. It seemed like the smart thing to do.

Me: I’m smart!

Them: {silence}

Me: Really! I’m smart!

Them: {hard stares at their food}

Me: I was in advanced English my senior year in high school!

Them: {silence}

Me: National Honor Society!

#2: How do you get in to that?

Me: Wouldn’t you like to know! If you’re so smart, you’d know!

Them: {silence}

Me: Top ten percent of my class of 750? 3.8 GPA?

They exchanged the kind of glances that their Dad and I exchange when we’re inwardly making fun of them but trying to give an outward appearance of propriety.

Finally, #5 spoke up.

#5: Then how come you can never check my math homework right?

Them: {Laughter}

Me: Shut up.

We are four and a half school days away from summer vacation. While I suspect I may grow even dumber over the break, I rest comfortably knowing they will have fewer opportunities to prove it to me.


29 thoughts on “I used to be smart

  1. I used to tell my daughter, “Why did I bother living for 24 years before you came along with all the answers? It was a total waste of my time!”
    I hate to tell you this, but you will only get dumber until they leave home, or maybe even until they have kids of their own. Good luck with that.

    1. You’re not telling tales. I got pretty damn smart once the first two moved out and into the real world. Of course I never had too many problems with my kids thinking I’m unintelligent cause I’m well read (not that you’d know it by my blog, ha…ha…), and I just throw out some fancy, long words at em, and when they’d look at me like WTF? I’d say “Ha! Who’s dumb now, Pal?” Math though, I don’t think any of us should feel bad about that one. It appears they accelerate that subject every year, and the only way to keep up would be to study it with them. No thanks! I’ve already paid what I consider my dues in school.
      I had to laugh at that first sentence in the comment , cause it reminds me exactly of what I say to my husband all the time. “Good thing you came along when you did to control my life and make decisions for what’s best for my future, cause ‘phew’ I barely made it those 41 years without you and was hanging on by my fingernails.” He hates that! 😉

  2. With 5 kids,…I have a feeling this isn’t the last time this topic will come up. But don’t feel bad, 30 % of the time I send my 8 year old back to school with a note on at least one problem that reads “What????” and shes only in second grade. The problem is “they” have taken simple math and disected it in too many ways to try and get the kids to learn it! What the heck! What was wrong with the simple number line taped to our desks!

  3. My oldest starts kinder this August, he’s already asking me math questions. But it’s my own fault for showing him how to add two numbers together, who knew he would take off with it! Guess it’s better to kick start it now than half way throught the school year and get a call from the teacher… You should tell the kids that you had to make room for new information in your brain because it was full of all the smart stuff – equivalent to deleting files from a computer to be able to download new ones 🙂

  4. Ha! This sounds a bit like my attempted spanish conversation I had with my boys last night, one of whom (who?) is in a spanish immersion program in 1st grade, the other who resists speaking spanish altogether, even though he has been taking it in school for the last 8 years. The younger one kept saying how his older brother and I need to go back to Pre-K spanish, so we could speak as well as he can, cien por ceinto, (100%)! I fear, in this area, he may be right. Smarty pants.

    1. That’s hilarious, and completely unacceptable. He should be quiet. I have a question: How come when my little guy was learning spanish through Dora and Diego it was fun, but now that it’s in school, he hates it?

  5. Yeah. Just let them watch a lot of TV this summer. They’ll totally backslide and they won’t know what hit ’em in September. How dare they question your brain power. Fascists!

  6. I think they have a different definition of smart.
    When I was growing up, my older sister always told me that she was smarter than me. Her definition of smarter was that she was older, therefore had more years of school, therefore knew more stuff, therefore was smarter. I wasn’t buying it. She might have been smarter…but she couldn’t prove it to me through that logic.

    1. Hmmm. . . I think there may be a little bit of that between some of our girls, who shall remain numberless. I’m with you; that logic doesn’t fly (I’m a younger sister too!).

  7. Well, if those kids are so smart, you can recommend each and every one of them get full-time summer jobs and run the household and pay all the bills this summer while you and their father take a 3 month vacation through Europe.

    1. That’s a fantastic idea. I like the sound of it. But we’d come back and the house would be littered with bacon wrappers, two kids would be missing, we’d be in foreclosure with all the utilities shut off, and the puggles would have tied two of the remaining children in a closet and taken the other as hostage while they joyride in my Mustang.

  8. I can answer the question about the Math homework. That is because it changes year after year after year. I never touched Algebra until I was a high school freshman. Now they start it in like 4th grade. It’s crazy.

    1. A guy I work with, his kid is in second grade and they get the math home work online. They were doing vertices! We may have hit algebra in 8th grade, but geometry was 10th grade. I can’t take it.

  9. Hehehe – so far, with a whole two weeks of step-parenthood undermy belt, I have the upper hand on smartness merely because English is something they are still coming up to speed on. I’m told a couple of them are mathmeticians like your #5, so at the point I need to assist with any of THAT homework, I’ll be in exactly your situation, I am sure!

    1. Well, at least there’s that $200 calculator, right? (BTW, you think you can pass that thing down to the next kid, but it never works out that way. They’ll both need one at the same time. Aarrrgh!)

  10. The reason we can’t help them with their math, is because they’ve changed math all around and now it doesn’t make any sense. Even my dad couldn’t understand what my son’s middle school math book was trying to ask, and Dad majored in math in college. It’s not our fault, I say. And unnecessary information disappears as we sleep, so we have room to replace it with information that is more pertinent to our life now. I heard that on NPR, so it must be true.

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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