Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Funny Shit My Kid Says (Slightly Ominous Edition)

So the Boy is sitting watching television the other evening in a classic young-adolescent-boy pose; scrunched down with his bare legs thrown over the side of the armchair.

I don't recall what the hell he was watching (which reminds me that I need to really do a Kid Vid update with the latest kiddo faves) but it was probably something loud and irritating like Spongebob or the even-more-loathsome "Uncle Grandpa".

Anyway, I'm over working at the laptop about five feet away, so when he talks I can just barely hear him over the ruckus of the damn boob-tube, but he says almost to himself:

"A 15 millimeter sniper rifle is the intercessional tool of my life."

Yeah, I had to look it up, too;

in·ter·ces·sion [in-ter-sesh-uhn] noun
1. an act or instance of interceding.
2. an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person.
3. a prayer to God on behalf of another.
4. (Roman History) the interposing of a veto, as by a tribune.

I'm not sure what the Boy meant and I'm not really sure I want to know, either.

Meanwhile, Fifth Grade is becoming something of a struggle.

The Boy has always been a sort of slap-dash kind of kid. He'd rather do something, anything, really, half-assed and quickly rather than spend any sort of time on it and do it well. He's managed to slide through the first four grades on pure smarts, - because he IS a smart kid - and charm, the goodwill of his teachers. And because the first five grades in Portland Public Schools don't get A-F marks for their work.

But in Sixth Grade all that nonsense stops. And this year he's got a teacher that has been pounding on his tendency to turn work in late, or not at all, and half-ass his way through what he does turn in because she's telling him that next year he's going to get pasted with F's for that.

The Bride and I are trying to hammer it into his hard little head - because he's ALSO a hardheaded little bastard - that, in the immortal words of Dean Wormer, "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son..." And that he will soon find out that you tend to get out in grades what you put into your schoolwork in intelligent effort.

Right now, things aren't looking good. He's fighting this hard. He doesn't WANT to work, and for some reason seems to believe that some kid magic will see him safely through.

I hate seeing this, because this was me forty years ago. I took damn near a quarter-century to get my shit together and on the way took some damn hard hits, some of which are still with me, limiting my options and choices to this very moment.

I don't want to see my own son repeat my mistakes - real intelligence is learning from the mistakes of others - but I have yet to figure out how to convince him of this, and I'm not sure he will be convinced short of some teacher's intercessional tool putting one right in his ten-ring.


Syrbal/Labrys said...

Good luck. Our youngest sort of took that route..and then dropped out and ran away at age 14/15. Now, this year he turns 30 -- in the military prepping for a medical discharge and suddenly realizing he needs to study and work to make himself a life.

He followed his father's example and some bad advice. Both of us greatly regret that we couldn't turn him around.

georgefox said...

You can't do it, but try and arrange his peer group where everyone else does it.

School is a crappy place cause all the bright kids can slide right through because they are brighter than the median. So find a place where the bright kids hang out and then he will need to work harder to keep up with his peers.

Band programs and Cadet programs are where I encouraged my kids to engage. Look at his (or your) peer group and think where they will be in five years. That is exactly where he (you) will be in five years.

Big Daddy said...

The good news is that screwing up in 6th grade doesn't have the same long term effects as screwing up in High School. Number one son was several kinds of hell in 6th and 7th grade with school work but he finally got a clue and his 9th and 10th grade homework and grades have been much better.
All I can suggest is that some nasty grades can be the wake up call that he actually does have to do homework. Having a goal that requires education, helps, my son wants to be an engineer and he has grasped that he needs to do some school work to get there.

Podunk Paul said...

There’s probably only one way to influence people without nasty side effects – that is, by example. If your kid sees you dedicated to your professional duties, loving to your family, considerate to plants, animals, Republicans and other lower life forms, then, chances are, he or she will replicate your behavior as an adult. But there’s no guarantee.

pellegrinch said...

I have struggled with two who look at school a lot differently than I did. Neither seems to see the benefit of working any harder than you absolutely have to, no matter what I have done to try to convince them. Unless it hurts them enough to make the effort, I think there's only so much we can do and they will only work harder when they want to. Dire warnings of consequences down the road just don't get through to someone whose brain can't handle the concept and they will have to learn the hard way.

BigFred said...

Nothing but Prayers, Chief.

(Charge 4, Green bag!)

Ael said...

Does he ever ask how long you can tread water?

Sorry to be so flip, but I wondered if you heard about the above and wanted to somewhat keep the comment on topic.