January 10, 2013

The difference between six and eight and between before and after school

“Mama,” Benjamin says at breakfast, “I love these strawberry muffins! Can you pack them in my lunch still warm?”

“No, babe. If I pack them before they cool, the steam will gather in the sealed container and make them mushy.”

“Oh. Well, when I grow up, I’m going to invent a ventilated thermos.”


The boys both come out of school in a good mood. The probability of this is a one in ninety chance, which means I’ve used up one of the two school days this year when neither boy will emerge from school screaming at me, sobbing over a broken art project, or aiming a fist at his brother. Benjamin has even changed into his boots, which means we don’t have to go back into the school before we walk home.

After he gushes on about the Wampanoag for a few minutes, Zachary’s mood sours. “I have to pretend I have a wii at school.”

“Are you lying and saying you have one?”

“No, but I’m letting them think I do. I have played the games, you know.”

I sigh. “I understand. You want a wii. But we do let you play games on the computer and iPad.”

He’s exasperated with a mother too dumb to understand what he’s saying. “Those are just games where you build or something. They’re not the games where you actually have fun.”

“Like what?”

“You know,” he mumbles.

“No, I don’t.”

“Games where you shoot.”

“Zach, games like that aren’t appropriate for an eight-year-old.”

“Your problem is you’re just so old-fashioned! You don’t like technology at all unless it’s a Kindle and that’s because that’s books.” This from the child who spends upwards of two hours a day reading.

I start to laugh. “You understand your mother very well.”

“You’re just not very modern.”

I can’t help it. I pull him into a hug, despite the rules against kissing or hugging him in public. “It’s not easy having the crazy hippie mom, is it, kiddo?”

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1 Comment

  • Reply Melanie January 10, 2013 at 1:46 am

    my mom and I were talking the other night of the challenges of raising kids in todays technology driven world. She just kept saying “Thank God we didn’t have Facebook and realistic video games and cell phones when you were teens”. My kids are 4 and 7 and I am still not sure how to navigate it all. Kids in my 7yr old’s class got their own ipads for xmas this year. My son was begging for a Huffy Green machine which at least requires a bit of exercise and the great outdoors, but how much longer do I have? A friends kiddo (almost 13) just got her first cell phone for xmas and she couldn’t even say a word to me the last time I saw her for her face was buried in the phone the whole time…. I really need a manual!

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