My Kids Made Me Smarter

The stack of books that represent my smartness

The stack of books that represent my smartness

Last Wednesday night, I engaged in some very risky online behavior. I don’t know, maybe it was because I knew that Thursday morning would not bring my usual 5:15 a.m. wake-up call for the gym or that I just got a wild hair and had a momentary lapse in judgment. At any rate, I threw caution to the wind and with utter abandon, logged onto and stayed up late perusing and ordering books. Hey, spending money on books that I will likely not have time to read is very risky for me.

I purchased the cart load of books and waited for my beautiful package to arrive. It is beautiful because it’s contents mostly belong to me. It is beautiful because I didn’t have to load and unload two unwilling children into the car to go to a bookstore where I will never even see my section of the store and then end up with one book a piece and multiple tantrums by the little one because I am the mean mommy who will not buy her daughter twelve character plush dolls regardless of how loud and embarrassing the screaming has become. It is beautiful because of a gift card that made most of the what was inside free. I am now thinking that maybe this is what the Christina Aguilerra song was about…but maybe not.

Now, the trouble with me and books is that I like to apply most of what I read to my actual life. This is usually a good thing, because the stuff I choose rarely has adverse side effects, but it can also be a bad thing because there are times when I have about fifteen “theories” running and I can’t tell which one is for helping my toddler sleep or which one is for helping my kindergartner with his handwriting. It can be difficult for a five year-old to practice his handwriting while I am singing lullabies and sh-sh-sh-ing just as it can be very distracting to try to get my toddler in bed while having her practice picking up lentils with a pair of tweezers. And yet…I continue to get books and read. Usually one at a time.

Now that my kids are a bit older (by bit I mean that they didn’t just come out, but they are still young enough to require my entire span of attention all day, everyday, everywhere I go), I have discovered an amazing new talent. I can read multiple books at a time! Um, hello this so would have come in handy in Grad school – but then again so would the knowledge of the fact that I would never really put that graduate degree to use saving me a ton of money. This is a very recent and very new talent and I am not quite sure how someone as linear as myself could possibly pull off such a tremendous feat. I mean, I eat the same breakfast everyday because it’s part of my routine. I do things in order from one to ten not stopping in between because oh my gosh I will have to start over if I get off track. I reload the dishwasher if my husband accidentally puts a cup in the spot where a bowl goes and if two people are talking at the same time it is literally system overload. I know my mouth is agape and my eyes have glazed over, but I wonder if people can actually see it. Hmmm…

So, here’s what my new talent looks like: I read a few chapters from the Jim Gaffigan “Dad is Fat” book and laugh my head off, intersperse a chapter or two of the Rich Froning book, “First,” and immediately make my son move cinder blocks across the back yard and then back again (joking!), toss in a chapter of “Manic” by Terri Cheney to satisfy the dormant yet still very accessible graduate psychology degree knowledge and I’m good to go. All in a couple days work and all the while still unloading laundry, chopping up bits of turkey meat, packing lunches, getting kids from here to there and there to here and everything else that happens in between. I know, right? Talent.

I happened to mention this great new thing to a friend today – who happened to be a teacher so it really counts – and she said, and I quote, that I was “gifted.” Then she went on to say “that’s what smart people do.” Now, I’m no Rhodes Scholar or anything (never even been to England), but if I didn’t use to be able to do something before I had children and now I can do it and have never even practiced it, I might deduce that my children have indeed made me smarter.

Or maybe they made me crazy, but I like the word smarter much better.

I’m sticking with that.


Categories: All The Rest

2 replies

  1. That’s excellent. I like your deductive reasoning.

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