Telling time, Parking tickets, The Talk, and an Oedipal Complex

Today was a grueling homeschool day.

Boy9’s math took an hour today. He had only four problems to do.  Four.  They were all cruelly long long-division problems.  Like 585,034,753 bazillion million divided by 344,946,129 gazillion trillion.  The pencil flew across the room only once.  And that was only after I burst into uncontrolled, maniacal laughter halfway through the lesson.

Oh, don’t judge me, people.  You know you feel the same way when you help your kids with their math homework.  It’s just that our “homework” takes 5 or 6 hours every single day.  I deserve your pity, not your disdain.

Boy6’s math took half an hour.  A few days ago he begged me to teach him how to tell time.  Below is a picture from a different lesson, but is a good pictorial image of how our Time lesson went today.

Have you ever tried to teach someone to tell time?  It’s not easy folks.  Especially for me.   I didn’t learn how to tell time until I was well into my twenties.

Before I knew how to tell time, J and I were out getting our wings from Wings to Go and J parked at a metered spot.  She said, “Is it after 6:00 yet?”  (After 6 you don’t have to feed the meter.)  I looked at my (Mickey Mouse) watch and said, “Yep!  It’s 6:30!”  She said, “Are you sure?” because she knew I couldn’t tell time.  And something didn’t feel right.  Hadn’t it just been 5:15 a few minutes ago?  Did time really fly by that fast?   And instead of simply double checking my watch to be sure, I didn’t want to admit that I might be wrong, so I said, “Absolutely!” and even managed to look a little hurt.

Incidentally, if anyone says, “Absolutely” to you—they’re lying.  I used to have to sit in the sales department at my last job, and they used to say “Absolutely!” to the customers on the phone all the time and they were LYING.

We got our wings…and came back to a police officer writing out a parking ticket for J.  Because it was only 5:30.  She tried to explain that her loser friend (me) couldn’t tell time and it was an honest mistake, but he just gave her that “Sister, I’ve heard it all and I’m not impressed” cop look, and handed her the ticket without another word.  I offered to pay for the ticket, but J wouldn’t let me.  I would have felt much better if she’s just let me pay.  As it is, I have this black stain of time-telling guilt that won’t go away.  Thanks a lot, J.  Some friend you are.

The one thing that’s worse than teaching a kid how to tell time is teaching a kid how to tie his shoes.  My friend W is my inspiration.  Her son is 11 and still doesn’t know how to tie his shoes.  Who am I to say that I’m better than her?  I say, “Lead the way W!”  I’m not even going to try teaching them to tie their shoes until 11.

I mean, how much frustration can one woman handle, people?!  I already have to teach the kids how to speak Latin, how to divide numbers in the bagillion millions, and the difference between the War of the Triple Alliance versus the Crimean War.  Don’t make me teach them how to tie their shoes, too.  That’s just not fair.

(Patti, maybe next year at the co-op, one of the other mothers will agree to teach a How To Tie Your Shoes and Tell Time class.  I’ll pay double.)

I’m kind of hoping that one of their friends will teach them how to tie their shoes.  Sort of like how kids learn about …you know…from their friends at school on the playground.  Of course, when you learn it that way, there’s a lot of misinformation passed around.  So to keep up the “stuff-you-learn-on-the-sly-and-not-from-your-mother” analogy, then perhaps tying shoes ought to be something that their father sits down to teach them.

If anyone can teach the children to tie their shoes, it’s Darling Husband.  When they were babies and I’d pop out to the store to grab a gallon of milk, every time I’d come back, Darling Husband would have taught the baby it’s next milestone.  “Hey!  While you were gone, I taught Junior how to talk!”  And there’s Junior, conjugating Latin verbs, “Amair, amat, ameri.”

I don’t know what that means and I’m sure it’s spelled all wrong.  It’s just what Socrates says at the end of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  (Which was a lot more clever than it’s given credit for.)

When I saw that movie (in the theater, in 1989) I was with my then-boyfriend.  There’s a line where Sigmund Freud is psychoanalyzing Bill and says that Bill has an “Oedipal Complex.”  My then-boyfriend laughed at the line and asked me if I knew what Oedipal complex was.  The only appropriate response to such a impertinent question is, “Of course I know what an Oedipal complex is!  Like, duh!”

Of course I had no clue what it meant.

Incidentally, it was impossible to find out what Oedipal complex was in 1989 if you didn’t know how to spell it.  There was no internet and there was no spell check.  And there was no “edipal” “ettipal” “eddiple” in the dictionary.  We’ve come a long way!

The picture of the day is of a clock because of all the time-telling in this house today.  I set the camera to a 15 second shutter speed to capture 15 seconds of the second hand.  I’ve done this picture before, but last time I only captured 5 seconds.  This time, I turned out all the lights and used a flashlight to control the amount of light on the clock, so that the 15 second exposure wouldn’t overexpose.


Star Trek Quote of the Day:

Kirk, while holding a Tommy gun and wearing spats:  “Ok, Spock-O.  Cover ‘im.”

This is the Enterprise that we saw yesterday at the Air and Space museum.  They’re getting ready to move it to Washington, so there were guys there from NASA on lifts checking it:


P.S.  Popcorn and pink milk are good.


6 thoughts on “Telling time, Parking tickets, The Talk, and an Oedipal Complex

  1. Shoe tying at co-op….hmmmm. I’m certain the class will fill up in no time. May even have a waiting list. Also, have I mentioned that I really like popcorn? Don’t know that I’ve ever had it with pink milk though.

  2. Only men can teach kids to tie shoes. And ride bikes. Rob taught E to tie her shoes in about 20 minutes. I’d been trying for 2 years. This spring he’s instructed to work on the bike riding thing. Either that or I’m paying my neighbor, Lego Tony, whose 4 year old was riding like a seasoned professional last year.

    And if it’ll make you feel better, you can give me the $15 or whatever that parking ticket was. Though it really was my fault. I did know better than to trust you to read an analog watch, but I was too lazy to get a visual for myself on that clock way at the end of the block.

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