Archive for October 1st, 2011

After teaching my night classes on Thursday, my car wouldn’t start.  (I’m going to interject a mini-story.  My thoughtful husband put jumper cables on the floor of my passenger seat when he jumped/drove my car.  After a week, I told him that I didn’t appreciate his slovenly behavior and I fixed it myself by putting the jumper cables in the trunk.  He responded that he was concerned that my battery might be SO dead the next time that I wouldn’t be able to open my trunk using the button.  My key does not fit the trunk.  Who ever heard of such??  My key resembles the graph of f(x)=x^3  and the keyhole resembles  f(x)=-x^3.  Weird.  Anyway, I told him that the likelihood that my car wouldn’t even have enough juice to pop the trunk with the button was slim.  Well, it was SO dead that it lacked the energy to pop the trunk with the button.  He is completely authorized to say, “I told you so.”  I had jumper cables…but I couldn’t get to them.)

From the outside of the building, I called to the custodian in the third floor of the breezeway (the doors were already locked to all of the entrances) that my car wouldn’t start and would he radio security for me.  He tried.  Security was not available.  He came down stairs, got some cables from another custodian (with the warning that they may not be functional), and drove over to my car.  He started his engine and attached the cables to his battery.  He couldn’t make the two free ends spark (actually, I assume that’s what he was doing).  He said, “It’s not working.”  He pondered.  He took the cables off his battery.

THEN, he unstrapped his battery while his car was running, flipped it over, pressed it against my battery, and told me to start my car!  It worked!  Not only was I humbled by his concern for my safety, but that was a cool trick!  It’s logical that it would work, but the execution was very impressive.

My children resist me.  They reject my maternal wisdom (insistence).  Why?  Supposedly, I’m requiring them to alter their behavior exclusively for my own benefit.  Allow me to explain some things to them.

1)      Rehearsing a spelling list while meandering through the neighborhood for an hour and forty-five minutes is not for my benefit.  I would much rather be alone and have time to process the thoughts inside my mind than to have to deal with your attitude (Yes, we’re all aware that this has much more to do with your attitude than your aptitude.).  After that alone time, I intend to sit on your father.  Furthermore, insisting that you correctly practice whatever you do not know is not for my benefit.  Really, I get no pleasure from this.  Also, it’s not too much to ask to expect you to remember WHICH word you intend to spell.  My claim that you aren’t even respecting my time by paying attention is warranted.

2)      Signing you into computer time that will lock you out after one mere hour is not for my benefit.  Frankly, the one hour that you get is heavenly for me.  It means that I have intermittent interruption instead of the normal constant interruption.  I know you’re not sneaking off into another room to destroy the property of another family member because for that one blessed hour, you glue yourself to the multimedia apparatus.  Then, the bliss ends and I have to spend the majority of my day preventing the demolition of my home.

3)      Insisting that you clean up your messes is also not for my benefit.  I can do it faster.  I have to take the time to teach you that it’s disrespectful to your space to make messes and leave them.  Here’s the scenario that would be the most to my benefit: I have a pause button for all of you (so you don’t create further destruction while I’m busy) and I can clean it myself in a fraction of the time.  I may keep you all paused for a little bit so that I can enjoy the fruit of my labor.  I’ll use the play button when it’s time to do something fun.  I don’t think you realize how much more time we would have for fun if you would agree to the cleanliness I expect of you.

Taking the time to help you develop the habits of scholarship, cleanliness, and a positive attitude (Follow my lead in the first two.  Emulate your father’s pleasant disposition.) is not doing me any favors for the time being.  Requiring these behaviors from the three of you gives me no immediate gratification.  As aforementioned, I’d rather be sitting on your father.  Comply.  When you’re older, maybe you will be better equipped to achieve your life’s calling because you are not held back by the frustrations of substandard academics, orderliness, or a negative outlook.  I will sit on your father then.  Maybe by then, you will have children who will not allow you to sit on your respective spouses.