Seriously? You’re GIFTED?

Before you leave ugly comments, I love my children. Really. More than air. But…wow…

CHILD: “I had an English test today. I made an 85.”

ME: “An 85? C’mon sweetie, you speak English!”

CHILD: “Well, it wasn’t a test on talking! It was a test on grammar, and no one cares about that.”

ME: “No, no one at all. Especially not English teachers who are right this very minute driving your skinny butt around a blind curve overlooking a 30-foot drop into a dried up river bed below you and could easily fling the car with enough force so that your door flies open.”

CHILD: “Whatever.”

ME: “Where did the test fall apart for you?”

CHILD: “It was all about apostrophes, and nobody’s gonna use those.”

ME: “Really? Think very carefully about your last sentence and see if apostrophes aren’t important.”

CHILD: “Well, they’re not important to me. I’m not gonna use them ever.”

ME: “Try again. Think about what you JUST said. Think about it sloooooowly.”

CHILD: “What? I told you, I don’t use apostrophes!”

ME: “You’re sure about that?”

CHILD: “I’m positive!”

ME: “Never?”

CHILD: “I’m 100% sure!”

ME: “Let me ask you this: Do you know what an apostrophe is?”

CHILD: (sighing…eye rolling) “Of course I know what it is!”

ME: “And you still think you don’t need them?”

CHILD: “I said I’m sure!”

ME: “Go ahead and describe an apostrophe to me, just to be safe.”

CHILD: “Mooooooooom! That’s dumb. Everybody knows what they look like. They’re this little squiggle thing.”

ME: “To be fair, you did just describe pretty much ALL punctuation with that statement.”

CHILD: “I just don’t see why we have to take a whole test on something that we’re never gonna use.”

ME: “And you do realize that almost every sentence you’ve spoken since getting in this car has contained at least one apostrophe? Sometimes two?”

CHILD: (blink)

ME: “That’s what I was afraid of.”

Just to keep the Apostrophe Awareness going, I really need for all of you to click on this article and read about one man’s successful crusade to save the apostrophe. As much as I am a fan of accurate grammar and I do despise sloppy gone-by-the-wayside attitudes towards grammar convention, I acknowledge that this man MIGHT have taken things a little too far.

Bounce Your Cares Away

We bought a trampoline for the express purpose of saving money. Yes, a $300 play thing for the yard was an investment because it’s my sincere hope that our youngest child will get some of her energy out by bouncing up and down on the second most dangerous childhood toy after lawn jarts. If this works the way I plan, we can stop spending $800 a year on generic Ritalin from a Canadian online pharmacy.

But since we’ve always known she’s autistic and not stupid, the trampoline hasn’t worked out exactly as I planned. She’s learned that she can just lie down on the trampoline and coerce other people into bouncing on it for it. She gets launched in the air by their efforts and doesn’t have to do a lick of work.

My husband is her typical victim. He walks in the door after a long day at work, loosens his tie, and is pounced upon. She smiles sweetly, bats her eyelashes, and says, “Daddy, would you come outside and be my friend?” He falls for it every single time because he’s a good man.

Here’s the problem: Our back yard faces a rather busy highway and we have a wooden privacy fence around the property, so all the people traveling that highway are treated to a daily carnival side show act of a 250-pound middle-aged man going to town on a trampoline. He’s putting so much effort into propelling our daughter in weightless oblivion, but he ends up looking like the saddest recruit ever to audition for Cirque du Soleil. The motorists can’t see the little kid sprawled on the trampoline, they just see my husband. Enjoying his toy.

Enjoy the show as much as I do.