In my never-ending quest to become “Mother of the Year,” I try to keep my kids scholastically engaged on weekends, over the summer and any other time I have Catholic guilt about letting them play Minecraft for an hour. Or five.
I honestly don’t know why I even try. There are oh so many reasons why I am not a teacher, and frankly the children of the world should be grateful.
How are teachers superior to me? Let me count the ways.
1. Even when I am right, I am wrong. I tried to help my son with a math packet he has to complete before school starts. He was having a problem, and I, being ever so helpful, tried to explain it to him. His response? “You don’t know how it’s done! And now, it will be wrong! And I’ll never get the right answer!” Yes, I meant to ruin your academic career, tiny human.
2. Embarrassment means my kid will never read. Ever. I try to help my daughter with her sight words. She likes to do them all on her own, and if you correct her, kiss your ass goodbye because she will take that shit off with her teeth. Then she is pouting while you are sitting there ass-less, pleading with the 5-year-old to sound out the word, “what.”
3. I do not know this newfangled crap. Have you guys had to deal with phonics? There are words with hoops, swoops and umlauts all over the place. I don’t get it; at least my kid does because I have no clue what any of it means. Does that word need a slash? An accent aigu? Who the fuck knows. And this leads to…
4. I cannot think fast enough to answer their endless questions. While I am an intelligent woman, when my kids ask me anything too quickly, the hamster that runs the wheel of my brain dies. “Mommy, why doesn’t Daddy have boobies like you do?” “Did Grandma go to school with Thomas Jefferson since she knows so much about him?” “Are girl lions less cool because they don’t have manes?” Yes, I have answers for this, but when I stumble over them, I look like an idiot. And it all ends with, “I thought mommies knew everything.” Well, I don’t. Learn it now and maybe it won’t hurt so much when you get older.
5. Why do they run away after 5 minutes? My daughter wants to be a Daisy Scout, so over the summer we work on little projects to get her to cookie selling glory in the fall. You’d think she would be ever so excited to complete the Daisy packets, but my tiny ray of sunshine leaps up to check on her brother, drag the dog around by her collar, get a snack, and pretty much do anything other than work on her project. You know what she has to do? Color flowers, draw pictures of her summer, and talk about how to be a better scout. She has some serious first-world problems and they are driving me insane.
6. Painting is messy. I usually don’t mind art projects; in fact I encourage them. But when my kids, especially The Girl, want to paint, I lose my mind. I lay out the newspaper, but then somehow, gnomes end up putting the paint all over my wood table. While I am cleaning up the splotchy mess, the kids are either watching endless amounts of TV (parenting FAIL) or they are painting the dogs. Seriously, the schnauzer had blue ears until I could figure out how to wash dog ears.
I don’t know what the moral of this story is, but I know that I will never be able to compete with the teachers of America. The next time you see one, throw yourself at them, squeeze them with all of your might, and whisper “Thank you” in their ear.
I’m sure they’ll thank you for it. Before they call the cops.