Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Work

Jordan's school assigns homework over the weekends. He comes home on Friday with a backpack loaded with phonics and math workbooks. Since January, they've been giving him 1st grade workbook assignments. Much to my distress, Jordan has repeatedly mentioned his dislike of math.

I can distinctly remember the point in my life when I realized I hated math. It was sixth grade. I hated my 6th grade math teacher, hated the repetitiveness of the math drills, could not focus my attention on the overhead projector where he would insist on doing assignments. I do remember sitting behind this very nice girl, who was part of the super-cool-popular 6th grade crowd. And once she invited me to her birthday party, suddenly I started making all kinds of new friends. Of course that all changed the next year when I went into a new junior high and hit my instant ugly puberty phase. But, I digress.

My hatred of math continued through junior high, high school, college and beyond. I could never explain why I was taking advanced placement and college courses in high school, but failing math. I really hope Jordan isn't cursed with this disability, because it sucks. For one thing, whenever I go out to eat with friends, I have to duck for cover when the bill comes. It's not because I don't want to pay - it's because God forbid someone ask me to calculate how much everyone owes. And sometimes, if I go out in a large group, and we pass the check along and everyone has to chip in what they owe on good faith, I really freak out. Inevitably, I overpay because I can't figure out what the right amount of money should be based on food, beverage, tax and tip.

Par for the course, this weekend, when forced to do homework, Jordan opted for "phonics" first. Like mother like son. I've always been good with words too. It was my saving grace on the SAT's and LSAT's. But for them I'd probably never have gotten into college.

But, eventually, we had to get to the math, and I could feel little peices of my soul start to wither. I felt my brain start to shut down, even as I looked at the simple problems there on the page. Straightforward addition, plus matching the answer to a letter in a code. The letters would make an answer to a silly pun. Double the work, in other words.

We barely got through the first row of sums, when Jordan started balking. I couldn't blame him, I was barely concealing my yawns. But I really wanted Jordan to learn to sit still long enough to do tedious things like math, because hell, that's what he's going to have to do for the next gazillion years while he's in school. The day before, Jordan, Mina and I stumbled on a yard sale in our neighborhood. The kids picked up a kiddie cash register which also doubles as a calculator. I pulled it out for Jordan to do the math sums on, and it worked. For a few pages anyway.

Nothing is ever simple when you have two of them close in age. When Jordan does homework, Mina insists I give her homework too. So, at some point I picked up a kindergarten workbook from Barnes and Noble, and I make her do a few pages each weekend. Believe me, I don't think this is necessary. I'm a big fan of letting kids just play and goof around until they're older and then they can do some homework. Not a lot. Just a bit, to keep them thinking.

But, once Mina finished her homework, she decided I needed some too. Math. Again. I have no clue what the purpose of this assignment was. She wanted me to circle some numbers to signify something. It's a good thing she told me which numbers to circle.

Jeff was busy doing other things. He was fixing the steps to the deck. The steps he put in last year. Oops - turns out the ones he put in last year were indoor steps. Oh well, all have our limitations. Doesn't he look cute with the little work gloves?

After all this hard work, we ventured out later to our town's fair. The perfect opportunity to eat junk food - like blue ice.

Me and my smurfs.

I pigged out too. On Saturday, Jeff and I went into the city for a mini college reunion. Afterwords, we had a late dinner at a restaurant called, "Mad for Chicken." They are known for their Korean chicken wings. OMG. Those wings are so ridiculously good. But they're evil. And each one is worth another pound on the scale. I'm not kidding.

I passed on the wings, thinking I'd get something light - like sushi. Behold. Sushi overload. This is ONE ROLL!?!!?

Dammit!! Sometimes it seems like the universe wants to keep me pudgy.
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