Sometimes, I look at Ottawacker Jr. and wonder how he manages to put his legs into the correct side of his trousers of a morning. Indeed, sometimes he doesn’t, although I suspect that is his way of taking the piss out of me, having overheard a story I told at a dinner party he once attended.
But then, at other times, I marvel at his ingenuity and smarts. Actually, that is most of the time, but there is no way I could manage to convince anyone to read any of these blips if that were all I wrote about. This time, however, he blew me away twice in the space of an hour.
Today was an exercise in managing our time and technology so his teachers could touch base with him. This they do on an amazingly frequent basis – and I am absolutely impressed with their dedication and professionalism. When I was 7, most of my classmates were still chewing the milk cartons we were given, until Thatcher came and snatched them away (what, you thought I could go a whole blip without getting political? Ha! Ye hardly know me!) So the fact that his teachers Skype and ZOOM and hangout with him – and all his classmates – and they know how to operate the technology and talk in a reasonable tone just fills me with hope.
My generation, well, we were given the Internet by Tim Berners-Lee and we spend it surfing porn, posting photos of LEGO, and looking at cat videos (allegedly). But these guys, they may actually make it work properly. We’ll be looked at in history as that retarded generation who were given the keys to Eden and managed to choke the snake instead. (Where the frig am I going with this?) Oooh, I know.
So, first jaw drop: Ottawacker Jr. was in the middle of a Maths (or math if you are North American) class with his teacher and 2 other pupils, when his father walks into the room, ostensibly watering plants but really checking out if there was anything I didn’t understand. The class is dealing with representations of numbers: 12, in this case. So they go through the usual 6+6=12, 8+4=12, 14-2=12, etc., drawing 12 dots in a square, etc. etc. I reach the Christmas cactus with the watering can. The next thing I know, I hear Ottawacker Jr. chiming in with C - LXXXVIII = XII…. Silence. To anyone who doubts the value of literature to STEM subjects, move to one side. Ottawacker Jr. is in the house.
Second jaw drop: the same Maths class had introduced the concept of symmetry and as part of his daily homework, Ottawacker Jr. had to build or draw something symmetrical. This could be a picture of a two-headed teacher, a couple of tennis balls, or anything. Ottawacker Jr. asks if he can use LEGO. I check my watch and realize I have lunch to cook, so I answer “sure”. Thirty minutes later, when I check back in, he has built the image in today’s blip/
My comment – as I believe most parents’ comment might well be in this situation was “WTF have you been doing? You were supposed to build a brick or something.”
“It’s the Eiffel Tower,” he said. (We watch far too much Rick Steeves.) “But,” he added. “It’s symmetrical.”
I looked. It was.
“And guess what,” added Ottawacker Jr. “When you turn it around the other way, it’s symmetrical too.”
I looked. It was.
It’s not that I doubted that my son had inherited his brains from his mother, I just hoped some of his characteristics might come from me. It hardly seems fair.