They call him "The Laywer" but I dare say they all have it wrong. I don't know what career tag I'd replace 'lawyer' with but though his numerous questions may be the bane of my existence, there is so much more than meets the eye going on here. I'll give an example. Our church conference is having its annual quiz and spelling B, which, up until this year, I managed to keep Shakir out of. It wasn't that I didn't want him to participate, but rather that I dreaded the preparation that had to go into getting him ready. And then, you know what gets me? After all his grief shatters my patience and very nearly takes my life, I will her people patting him on the back for good work or congratulating themselves on getting him ready. Mind you, I don't see any of these people early in the morning or late at night when this boy taking me through the ringer.
To get down to specifics, I asked him to spell the word 'garbage' - easy enough, right? I sat in silence as he, with halting eloquence, spelt G A R B I G E. "That's incorrect," I said. I told myself it was a simple pronunciation problem and I slowly enunciated so he would clearly hear each letter. Again, he spelt: G A R B I G E. Still patient, I advised him that it was incorrect and urged him to try again. This time, I repeated the word twice. You know the boy spelt it the same way again and then had the heart to look at me and say that his spelling was right and I was being difficult???!!! I don't think its necessary to mention that I blew my cool. If I were an animation, my head would have been on fire and ready to erupt like a volcano. #slowdeepbreaths I gave him the sheet with the words and told him that he was to go over the words properly to ensure that he knew them, just like my mother used to do when I was his age. I remember how annoyed I used to be about it, but I appreciate that it forced me to really learn the words. I looked over and saw him lying on his back, covered in the sheets with no sign of the word list at all. This was when I decided that I would give him a surprise quiz in the morning.
I sometimes think of myself as a gluten for punishment. I seriously couldn't be right in my head trying to get ready while I encouraged him to spell words, but as any real super mom, I was unfazed, or just stupidly oblivious or something. With each word I called, my child had to utter an annoyed string of complaints, which I desperately tried to ignore. I asked him to spell music, deciding to start with a simple word I was sure he knew how to spell. "M A S I C" he recited and I swear I could feel my blood bubbling. I've been a mother long enough to recognize when he doesn't want to do any work and he has made up his mind to give me a hard time. Some will think I'm kidding but believe me its easy to think that I'm exaggerating here when you (a) have no kids, or (b) have never met my Shakir. So anyway, I told him his spelling was wrong. He sat there muttering softly and I could hear him correcting the 'A' with the 'U", but when he became loud enough for me to hear, he said M A S I C. "No," I said. Now, let me say here that I don't think patience is one of my virtues - I used to think so before the kids, but now I've been enlightened - but when dealing with my boys, I honestly suck in a big breath and as I slowly let it out, I try my damnest to look calm. Maybe I stink at poker. I don't know. But the next thing I knew his little face crumpled and he began to tell me how I was trying to trick him that he was spelling the word wrong. He spelled it again - correctly this time - and then insisted he had been spelling it that way all along. #trialsandtribulations
Determined to use the super mom power of ignore, I continued firing words at him - minister, blessing, pasture, computer, etc. Each of these he was able to spell quite well with just minor grumbling in between. I imagine it was because he felt that I had no business making him spell words so early in the morning when he was just waking up and was still tired/groggy, but his early morning sluggishness wouldn't have fazed him one bit if I had turned the TV on or told him he could play a while. NOOOO! So just when I figured we were making real progress and things couldn't get any better, the devil decided to rear his ugly head in the form of my child. He stood up there arguing with me in a high-pitched, irritating, grating voice, his face folded like a balled up fist - Look, I can't even remember what he was saying, he had me so mad. And hear Jaheim in the background repeating the word I'd given Shakir loud and slow like it was so simple, even he could spell it... My hand stretched high to deliver that backhand lash stopped in midair as my alter ego took over and decided that Shakir should kneel as punishment instead. And on Saturday, after all this drama, he will go to the spelling B and spell these same words like they are as easy as pie and he will do it with a smile and no one will ever know of the secret havoc and misery I endured. So tell me people - still a lawyer?
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.