There’s a special kind of magic in homeschooling your kids. The closeness you feel as you sit side-by-side reading, the glee that bubbles over along with the lava that pours out from the homemade volcano, the omifuckinggod what was I thinking that goes along with trying to teach anything that isn’t 100% logic-based and static to a skinny bundle of autistic genius… oh yeah. There is that.
Thing one was working in his language arts book the other day. Most of the time, I pretty much leave him alone when it comes to schooling, because he kind of just soaks everything up on his own, figures out math through logic, and remembers everyfreakingthing, including and not limited to that time five years ago when his brother ate all the French fries from McDonald’s and I NEVER GOT MY POTATO FRIES! HE OWES ME POTATO FRIES! Still, there are things he needs to learn, and autistic or not, I refuse to have a kid who doesn’t have a basic grasp of grammar, so after some cajoling and grumbling and threatening to take away the video games on my part, thing one installed himself on the couch with his book and his scowl and his pencil and got to work.
And then the fun began.
“I already know what a prepositional phrase is. Why do I have to do this?”
“Because you do,” I tell him. “That’s your assignment. You need to practice, keep it fresh in your mind.”
Thing one heaves an exaggerated sigh. “Fine,” he says, which translates into, “I can’t believe you’re making me do this, but if I ever want to lay my hands on an Xbox controller again, I might as well get to work… I can’t wait till I’m the boss of the world. Then we’ll see who’s studying prepositional phrases. Mmmm-hmmm.” I know how the kid thinks. Trust me.
A few minutes later: “This doesn’t make sense. It says to add a prepositional phrase to the end of each sentence.”
“Okay, so add a prepositional phrase to the end of each sentence.” Sometimes the Obvious Fairy needs to visit thing one.
Another exaggerated sigh. He hates when I can’t read his mind. “It says ‘Lisa pulled over her car.'”
“Okay, so what’s the problem? Just write down where she pulled over.”
“I don’t know this Lisa person.”
“Do you know anybody named Lisa?” he asks.
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Would you let me go in the car with a stranger?”
“Of course not.”
“Well then,” he says, “how the heck am I supposed to know where this Lisa person pulled her car over?”
“She’s hypothetical, thing one.”
“Okay, if she’s hypothetical, I can technically deny her existence, and unless someone proves to me that she does exist, I don’t have to write this down, and if they do prove it, they can tell me where she pulled over.”
I’m terrified of the rematch.