When it comes to telling me about her day at school, Thing 1 stays fairly tight-lipped because, as dictated by Angst and the Art of Pre-Teen Disgruntlement, that’s the proven way to produce a grunting sound most appropriate to respond to any inquiries by a parental unit.
“Thing 2 one came into my classroom today,” she said between handfuls of lime-flavored tortilla chips. “His teacher had to come get him out. He started crying. Is he in trouble? You should punish him. Now. Chop chop.”
In the basement, Thing 2 lay sprawled on the couch, thumbs spastically waging another violent Pokémon overthrow on his Nintendo DS.
“So, Thing 2, son,” I said as I tried not to inhale the stench rising from the dirt-encrusted shreddings masquerading as his socks. “What were you doing over in your sister’s classroom today.”
“We were doing math and I got all the answers right, so Ms. Kowalsky said I was so smart I should skip the next grade and go right to fourth.”
“And that’s what you did. You walked out of your second grade class and went down the hall to Thing 1’s class.”
“Yeeeees,” he said over the beeps, blips and electronic death wails.
This was a serious step up. During our parent-teacher conference in March, his teacher told me she usually only told him to “get out of here and go right to third grade.”
Which, of course, he also would do.
“You know, dude, she’s kidding you, right? It’s a joke.”
“No. It’s NOT!” He lowered the DS and made … eye contact.
“Yes, it is. C’mon, why would you want to skip all the way up to fourth grade aside from the fact you’d finally be among kids closer to your own gargantuan height.”
“Because I already know everything,” he said before setting his jaw and roaring with a steam engine’s force of conviction, “and I WANT TO MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE!”
Son, my, son. So big of body, big of brain and short of patience. Some day, you’ll want to reverse all the clocks whose hands you have whirled forward with childish haste, but you won’t be able to.
If you’re lucky, though, you may be able to slow them down just a tick or two.
In the meantime, I hope what I can teach you about long division and complex fractions will do the trick.