My husband went to a parent-teacher conference regarding our son yesterday. It was the required middle of the year meeting where they tell you how well/badly your child is doing and whether or not they are ‘on track’ with the state standards.

First let me tell you that I felt like my husband was filling in for me by going to this conference. I felt like I was supposed to be there, not him; like it was my duty as a mom to be the one who went to these things. How sexist is that? Then I had to reconcile those feelings with the whole equal parenting thing and get over it. Besides, I think he is much better at these sorts of things that I am. I am more prone to sit and nod my head, barely asking any questions. Then I’ll go home and think about what was said and then have a billion questions. He can think of the questions right then and there (which is one of the reasons why I like him so much – he’s a quick thinker.)

Our son is doing well in school. (In case you were wondering.) Sometimes we feel like he is so far behind. And it’s not that we think he’s not smart, it’s just that we don’t have anything to gauge him by. Being the first born is hard – we gauge his level by his sister, comparing what she is doing now to what he was capable of doing when he was her age. And she’s, number one, a girl and girls are usually ahead of boys at this age, and, number two, frickin‘ smart. But our boy, he is smart too! His teacher said he is ahead a grade level in his math. His reading, on the other hand, is just a smidge behind. It’s his reading comprehension that needs a little work. In other words, he can read you the story but the words all mean nothing to him when he’s done. And I know why. He’s too busy thinking about the battle on Hoth he’s going to wage once he is done reading and can go play a little Xbox.

Him being good at math and not as good at reading is very strange to me. Everyone always says how much like me he is, what with his little quirks and his fastidiousness about things. But I’m a math – well, how should I put this – retard. And a reading genius. (Well, not so much genius, but a good reader nonetheless.) When I went to college I had to take remedial math (for zero credits, I might add) in order to even get myself up to college level. But I entered college in a sophomore English Lit. class because I received college credits in English while I was still in high school. When I correct his math homework, he can come up with the answer quicker than I can. And he’s in first grade, folks. I’m the lady who is counting on her fingers while she tries to add up her bank deposit. Also, I chronically over-tip because I can’t do the whole 15% thing. But I read like a mofo, often going through a book a day. I remember being little and my dad telling me I read differently than others because I didn’t look at the single words, but looked at the whole sentence at once. And that was when I was young. So the boy is the total opposite of me.

I’m going to have to cajole him into reading me more books. And the I’ll have to worm a synopsis out of him too. Wish me luck, guys, because he’s going to fight me the whole way. Maybe if I promise him he can add up my bank deposit for me…


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