“But I want DADDY to help me study for my test tomorrow!”
Yeah, me too, I think.
“Daddy always helps me study! We do it together!”
“I know,” I say, my brain threatening to shut down. “Daddy has to work late tonight. So I’m studying with you now and he’ll go over your words again tomorrow before the test.”
Stomping, flailing and overall disapproval ensues. Like this is secretly fun for me. Because on top of everything else I’m trying to get done at this very moment-dinner and dogs and dishes-I like to wrangle tantrums into spelling submission. Especially when I’m out of Cadbury Mini Eggs. Fun, I tell you. Fun.
I grab her word study notebook and look down at the next thirty minutes of my life. Categories: OR, ORE, OAR, W+OR. What happened to plain lists of words? I clear my throat and speak over her.
STORM. A category two tantrum threw herself around the kitchen. The first STORM of the evening. STORM.
“Ha ha. Very funny,” she says.
FORK. It got so loud that her mother wanted to poke her own eyes out with a FORK.
She hands me a pretend fork. Ahhhh, second grade. The birth of musical independence and sarcasm.
WORLD. When her mother could not make her father appear in time for word study, her WORLD ended. Things would never be the same.
The storm continued to ROAR about the house, tossing things that used to be important all over the FLOOR, which her mother will not be picking up, by the way. Watch out for the puppy. ROAR and FLOOR.
In her fury, she TORE at her pajamas until she went HOARSE. Her mother approved of the HOARSE part. Not the tearing of the clothes. She was kidding about that part. Put them back on, please.
Her loud sadness WORE her POOR mother out. WORE and POOR.
I ponder the word list as she spells, feeling incredibly close to whomever compiled it. It must’ve been a mother, trying to squeeze five minutes of work into the moments while her kids were upstairs, fighting over who used more toothpaste and who’s hogging the floss that only gets yanked out of the dispenser and thrown into the trash anyway. The trash. Who am I kidding? Dropped on the FLOOR…
SOAR. If only she had wings she could SOAR into bed. SOA–
“That doesn’t make sense,” my ace speller interrupted. “Oh wait, you’re talking about YOU. Okay, it definitely makes sense. S-O-A-R. But you’re not going to bed.”
So what the house is messy? The puppy’s barking, the old dog’s growling, the 5YO’s singing at full volume because she thinks no one is paying attention to her, the dishes mock me, dinner’s not making itself, and daddy won’t be home for another two hours? It could be WORSE.
“You’re right!” she giggles. “We could be working on my diorama.”
Ugh. The diorama.
I think Daddy would love to WORK on your diorama with you this weekend. WORK.
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