My Family (Mom, Grandmother, Husband) are always telling me, that my son should see me as smart, that I shouldn't let him think otherwise, (because he makes fun of me). I don't know how in the world I could ever pull that off? One day while I was making dinner, he decided to ask me dates concerning Christopher Columbus. I said I don't know, something about rhyming with blue. I always say things to him like," hey lets look it up in the dictionary, google it, wikipedia it!". I used to keep a dictionary in the car for just such occasions. He loved to ask me questions while I drove him to school in the morning, questions about lead and steel, and iron, and what is made out of what and what is harder. Asking about protons and electrons, and different kinds of rays. I don't know!! Saddly, now his thoughts are so full of video games, he no longer torments me with questions I don't know the answers to, now he just lists all the different types of this and that there are (pinatas, pokeman, versions of sonic) , and how many different ways you can get to all the different levels, and how you do this, and how you do that, and this evolves into that, and this costs that much. It is really rather sad, he would have done so well with smart parents.
About two years back he came home from school and was quizing me about parallelagrams (sp? I have no idea), and would define them and then ask me to say the name.( ???) He would give me clues, with his help I did manage to get some of them ( he thought it was all so funny) finally he is doing the last one, and he is doing charades to help me, sounds like- running in place, then he is a plane to another country (Run- Rome)- then he is on a bus, so I scream out "Busrom!" Peels of laughter ensued "Rombus! Mom, rombus". I don't think I ever heard of it (seriously he could make stuff up and I wouldn't know the difference). This child, I couldn't possibly convince this child I was smart, this child who hearing my frustration that when I type buddism it keeps getting underlined for being spelled wrong, says "mom you need an h in there, it isn't flowers".
I tried to explain something to him in math ( I usally don't because I usually can't, but this I actually knew) and he burst into tears, saying "I have never been so insulted never in all my life, that you, you would think that you could actually help me, you must really think I am an idiot. You're calling me an idiot". (no, I thought, you are calling me an idiot. And I would have liked to retaliate, but he was just bawling so much, what could I say but, "no, dear I'm not").
I can at times be helpful in reading and english. Why just last night I was going over something he had written, and I found an error with the word youre. I said to him, "it is you are, it is missing something, you know one of those things, you know...., a comma in the sky". Laughter met me again "An apostrophe, Mom, do you mean an apostrophe? Ha ha ha, Mom, you really can't remember what anything is called can you?". No, not so much.
It has become a bit of a joke that I can't remember things. How could I keep him from knowing I can't remember things? He knows allright, all I can do is make light of it, and then he makes sport of it. Which brings us to brain hamsters. Several years back, I found it necessary to explain to my son, that I am not dumb, no, and all that information, is most likely still in my head, somewhere, it is just that I don't have access to it. My brian, I said is like a great big warehouse, with lots of filing cabinets, and the whole thing is run by hamsters. The information is all in there but it is hard to retrieve it, the hamsters just aren't that reliabe. Say, I want to know what something is called, the request goes up, and echoes through that expansive warehouse, and then the hamsters respond, one of the hamsters is very sleepy, and usually sleeps right through the request "what? ooh, zzz", another one is very lazy and grumpy and doesn't see why this bit of information is necessary "who cares, whatever, you don't need to know" "why can't one of the other two go get it, why is it always me?", the third hamster's name is Tippy, Tippy is hyper, and nervous, and not so bright, Tippy "I'll get it, I'll get it. Is it up here? Under here? (lifts up own foot to look under it) Is that my tail, or your tale? Do you hear music?". Tippy spends a lot of time running around in circles, gets easily distracted "what is this? what is that? where am I going? Did you say it was Tuesday?" and Tippy chews on the files, and bits of information is lost, crumpled, full of holes. Tippy puts things in the wrong drawers, and I often get a bit of this mixed up with that. So now when I can't think of something, I don't wait for what Tippy is going to bring me, after a seconds thought with nothing if it is a word I can't remember I just describe it (a comma in the sky) (I use the word thingy a lot), and if it is other information I just say I have no idea. Eventually, usually the next day while I am doing something entirely different, the word will come to me, either the lazy hamster finally got up and ever so slowly walked back to look for the information, or he poked the sleepy hamster with a stick till sleepy got up and found it (but sometimes sleepy carries the info back in her cheek pouches and falling half-asleep on the way back forgets what is in there, and why, and just eats it (bringing me nothing back but an innocent clueless smile). Dates, numbers, all kinds of stuff, are in deep storage, it must be dark back there, and they must be afraid of the dark (does it smell like cats?), because they pretty much never go there. So, I am not dumb, it is just you know, I have to work with these hamsters. How would you like it if you asked yourself a question, something you know you covered in school and once knew, and all that came back to you were three little smiling hamster faces, and blank blank blank on the information?
I admit it used to depress me, frustrate me, I used to get upset, I used to try and learn it, only to forget it again the next day, or several days later, now I am just like well this is the way it is, having a nervous breakdown over it, wont help. I don't help my son with his math anymore, the husband does that. And I weigh new information carefully before trying to learn it, wondering what old information will be dumped out of storage or moved to deep storage to make room for something knew.