Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Peek Behind the Curtain

True confessions time!  Nothing too sordid -- don't be afraid. Well, maybe a little!  Anyway, the thing is, generally speaking I like to present a happy front here in Bloggy Land.  My life is pretty great, and everyone has problems, and why dwell on them, right?  But tonight I feel compelled to confess that my darling, Precious boy, one of the great joys of my life, has been.......  Driving my Absolutely Crazy lately!

Today he was pushing my mom/teacher buttons with exquisite skill and glorying in his game as he made me ever more frantic.  We had a good morning, but in the afternoon we did Bible study and then a very simple exercise in the poetry program we are currently going through.  All he had to do was identify similes in sentences (he could do that) and write a few.  Which should have been a no-brainer!  The kid has been doing similes for years. Without any trouble at All. But now he is thirteen and Nothing is easy.  Here are two of his "smilies"...
"A banana is like an orange."
"Katie is like a muffin."

I said, "These are no good." (I'm tactful like that.) "The point of a simile is that it illustrates some characteristic of one of the items being compared.  You need to indicate in what way a banana is like an orange, and what quality your sister shares with a muffin."

And he argued.  And argued.
According to Travis, all a simile needs is two things and the word "like" or "as."  I showed him a million examples.  He said that, logically speaking, all the examples in the world didn't prove that a simile had to indicate what quality was being compared. I don't know What I was thinking in buying that kid a Logic program.  All he ever does is throw it back in my face.

I found him descriptions of similes which talked about how the comparison should vividly illustrate some quality of the item being described.  He said fine, but none of my descriptions said that if a simile did Not do this that it was not in fact a simile.
We went round and round.  It was not pretty.  Finally he changed them.  They are still completely worthless as similes (or anything else), but I was too tired to renew the battle.

Tonight I went to my Zumba class.  It was fun, and I came back home relaxed and happy.  I said to Travis as I came in the door, "I'll just take a quick shower and then we can watch that show you got from Netflix."

... "Show?  What show?"

"You know," I said, innocently, "That movie you wanted to watch."

(Travis, voice dripping scorn) "That's not a show. A Show is a t.v. series. I got a Movie from Netflix."

The kid had clearly enjoyed our simile argument so much that he wanted to do it Again.  The same day.  I couldn't do it, though, and fled to my shower.  And later carefully referred to the dvd that came in the mail as a Movie.  This is what happens when you wait until you are old to have children.  Or maybe it is just my kid (this is the same child who, when he was four or five, used to vehemently insist that his name was "Chravis", not "Travis."  I remember having very frustrating arguments, and I Never won.).

Anyway, there it is. He is a good boy (mostly), and I love him dearly, and I've read that this argumentative thing is part of the maturation process, but I sure hope that tomorrow goes more smoothly!

(And, I have every intention that tomorrow, my strength restored, I will make him write me some Good similes. I Know he can!)


cathy said...

It has nothing to do with the age at which you had him...Chravis is just pushing your buttons because he knows he's smart. Laura is the same way with me. She corrects us in any way she can, especially word choice, grammar, and other nitpicky things. Oh, and she insists that her middle name is pronounced MadeLINE, not MadeLIN, because, you know, Mom wouldn't know what name she gave her own children! It drives me up the wall but any other way wouldn't be Laura. I guess I'm just posting to acknowledge your vent, but to let you know that you are not alone, and that, like a schoolboy, he only teases you because he loves you. :) Chin up!

Melora said...

Thanks, Cathy! Actually, it Is consoling to know that other kids his age are arguing with their parents about Absolutely Everything (and, when Absolutely Nothing is available, making stuff Up!). He Does love me, but unfortunately in the last year or so I've turned into a complete imbecile and he is Constantly having to set me straight. Such a burden for the poor boy!

Lizzie said...

Oh dear, well, someday he'll use those powers for good Melora. I have one of those too.
It's ok when it isn't all sunshine and roses. My last blog post put our recent struggles out there too and I even thought about deleting it but it is what it is.
I like posts like this, it makes me feel not so alone.

KathyJo said...

I'm a mean mom. My response to the simile thing would have been, "Fine. Your similes suck." My response to the movie thing would have been, "Fine. You watch nothing."

:-) I'll be your cheerleader if you want to give him a good swift kick to the rear. Ha!

sbrak said...

lololol! 'katie is like a muffin'. that's simply hilarious!