Inspired by the, “what we are learning,” newsletter from the new school. What we are learning:
Girl one is learning to make a roux and a white sauce. The goal is homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch so she will know how to make a favourite dish. She is also learning by default the pleasure of not being the one assigned to the hard lessons. (Thanks to me, her father also had reason to revisit this pleasant educational state.)
Girl two is learning that no one finds it funny when you take a sharp metal object and scratch large designs on the piano bench. In fact, they are still mad at you every time they walk by. She is also learning how to fake sincere apologies by closing her eyes, and nodding her head with her lips squished together.
Boy one is learning to clean a toilet properly. He has also had his first run at final exams and the concept of extensive studying. Results still to come, he is sure he did brilliantly. He has not yet learned how to fake sincere apologies. We look forward with longing to the day he decides to try.
Boy two is learning that when you fake being sick because you want the a day off to read (while your father is very sick with the stomach flu) your mother does not forgive you for a tiny apology and an offer of $10. A compliment from another adult that would have melted her a week ago (you’re doing well with your French) fails to impress. Maternal ears appear immune to your sweetness, and most uninterested in compliments of any kind in reference to you.
My lesson plans were as follows:
First, when my husband missed the bus that boy one takes to school (because he stopped for gas before dropping him off) the obvious lesson was that late people merit frustrating outcomes. I can’t remember if I shared my insights. Probably not. The lesson was too self evident.
It turns out the lesson was actually that it would happen to me too (undeserving and timely, though I am) if I similarly stop for gas before dropping off. For reasons that are dull (no cell phone, faker sick boy, real sick husband, etc.) my little failure to get the lesson when someone else was learning it cost me the better part of an hour and a half to get everyone to where they needed to be. Husband was empathetic, and warmed to the cockles of his toes.
I also learned about metal cans. I.e. cutting yourself on metal can lids is not hard to do. Even though I cut myself badly on a peach can lid two years ago and swore to never to make that mistake again. In fact, while fighting with a useless can opener, it was possible to cut with even more gusto, deeper and longer on the edge of a massive ketchup can lid.