Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Homework as an Alien Idea

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Our six-year-old had had enough. The intensity of his displeasure became more and more evident, until finally he burst into tears and yelled, “I wanna do my homework!”

Absent any other information, this declaration should prompt any or all of the following courses of action:

– Demand DNA testing to verify whether this child in fact carries my genes.
– Take child immediately to a mental health professional or medical expert.
– Explode in hopeless laughter at the irony.
– Take advantage of this suddenly diligent person in order to get other unpleasant tasks done, such as cleaning the kids’ bathroom.
– Call his teacher and interrogate her as to what the hell she did to transform this infuriatingly stubborn/delightful child into a devoted student.
– Alert the authorities and news media to the first indisputable evidence of extraterrestrial life.

Of course this episode in context only serves to underline the delightful/infuriating thing he’s got going. Mrs. Thag worked pretty hard to persuade the guy to do his homework, and he set about it. He got so caught up in it that when his brother blurted out the final answer, that threatened his sense of order. He thus objected with growing vehemence until everyone acknowledged the bitter injustice and finally calmed him down.

My wife and I did manage to suppress our laughter, with mixed success (he did not appreciate it, even after we explained to him the humor). But damn. Even accounting for the psychological factors that set him off, I would never say such a thing. In general, he needs to have things done in a specific way or order, and any change to that order meets resistance – passivity, shrugging, ignoring, hostility, anger, or whichever reaction the fates deem appropriate (read: most unmanageable) at that moment.

I do wish I could record it. Than play it back for him whenever he claims not to like homework. But that might teach the aliens to improve their cover, and how would we detect them?

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Written by Thag

October 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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