Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bad parenting (continues, never ends)

Been having a bit of a headache over my elder son O's latest obsession.

Two months ago he couldn't work out 15+3 without counting his fingers, and now, thanks to Kjartin Poskitt's "Murderous Maths" books (and website - a very good one too), maths is the ONLY thing he is interested in these days.

(How bad is it? Example. He got interested in this thing called Penrose chickens, and started reading Godel, Escher, Bach for goodness sakes!)

Of course I should be happy that he is so blessed with this curiosity and thirst for knowledge what not et cetera et cetera. If the child belongs to someone else, I could say "Wow oh my GOSH! How clever! You are SOOOO lucky to have such a smart kid!" and five minutes later said to my spouse "Could you believe that? What bloody show offs. I bet they work that poor kid like a donkey. Bet they FORCE him to read that big book."

The worst bit about all this is that O is constantly bombarding us with new stuff he's learnt - stuff which, sadly, I do not have the inclination nor capability to know about.

Imagine the guilt! Oh! Have pity on me!

Hey! Guess what! (big grin, all excited)

Hmm? (Oh no not AGAIN)

Did you know that something something something is the same as something something something if you multiply something something with the square root of something something something?

No. I did not know that. (eyes glued to TV, mutter to self MUST NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT)

Hey, want me to show you? (Very excited - pen and paper ready)

Uh.... not really. But thanks for asking. (managed a weak smile)

Here, let me show you, it is brilliant! First, you write down the something something, here, and then you....

Darling, not now. I'm watching America's Next Top Model.

Oh..... Hey, want me to show you a trick? Think of any number between 2 and 33. Don't tell me though.

(Goddam it!) Okay.

Now, multiply it by seven, then add five, then subtract ten, and add the digits together.

.... Jeez... darling, I can't work that out in my head. Get me a calculator. No, wait. Actually, you can work that out with a calculator right? My number is three.

But I need to guess your number!

Will you just go away? How many times have I told you! I AM WATCHING TV!

Dear... it is bad, innit. Help me, dear God.

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