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09 August 2012 @ 05:36 pm
Once again, folks: I'm Mother of the Year. Right over here. Be amazed.  
My children know most of the words to many AC/DC songs. They've a sarcastic bent that can be blamed on me. The older one has a rather dark sense of humor, and the younger one eschews the company of other people in favor of being alone.

These things are my fault. But this time, readers, this time I've gone too far.

I made my son read a book. *gasp*

He had two books that were required reading for the first week of seventh grade. (Holy cripes, folks. When did I get a 7th grader? I basically AM a seventh grader.)

Anyway, I dutifully ordered the two books for Ethan and he breezed through the first one without comment or issue. But the second one... I had to force him to sit down and read it. He told me several times, "Mom, I really don't like this book." I kept dismissing it, thinking, 'Yeah? Well I really didn't like Heart of Darkness or Moby Dick, but I had to slog through those pieces of garbage, and so do you, my boy. So do you.' I was a cheerleader. I said, "Sometimes books start slow. Give it 'til chapter four. Just give it a chance. I bet you'll love it."

My sister even read the dust jacket, and she commented that it sounded exciting. There was suspense! And drama! And my sweet sister, who incidentally is a Baptist preacher's wife, also signed off on this.

You bet, Emily. I'm dragging you down into this, too. You can be Auntie Em of the year. (You're welcome.)

About the twelve dozenth time I made Ethan sit down to read Down River, he commented, "I bet the teachers haven't even read this. There's all kinds of swear words in it."

My interest was piqued.

But I immediately defended the teachers, having once been a member of the maligned profession, myself. "Ethan, they have to read the books. It's part of their job. How will they know what to put on the exam?"

He replied, "Do you think this f-bomb is going to be on the test?"

I looked.

There it was, folks, in all it's f-bomb-y glory. And a 5 letter B word that rhymes with witch, and someone telling telling them to do something to themselves that's just anatomically impossible. So, being the good mother I am, I took the book from his little middle school hands and told him that he didn't have to read it.

He wasn't so much indignant as he was relieved.

I spoke with his Language Arts teacher this afternoon at registration, and asked her about the blue language (Carrie said, as if the words had never made it past her own lips) in Down River.

She said, "Oh, no. Not 'Down River.' You want 'Downriver.' It's about teenagers on a river rafting trip." She smiled angelically at Ethan. "You'll love it."

It was a facepalm moment for me, for sure. I'm glad I didn't storm in, slinging snot about how she'd recommended an adult book for my baby to read.

Oh, no. That was me. (And Emily Kaye. Uh huh. That's right, Em.)

You know, I'm certainly doing my part to provide therapy fodder for when my boys are older. They'll have so much to blame me for.

And sadly, it'll most likely be justified.
I feel:: busybusy
I hear:: Grimm
Elle Blessingwayelle_blessing on August 9th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)

At least you can be relieved that he told you about it instead of loving it and not saying a thing?
Carrie Leigh: Being vaguecarrie_leigh on August 9th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
True. Very true.

mollywheezy: Head Anvilmollywheezy on August 9th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Oops . . .

But seriously, if the teacher you spoke with was aware that there were books titled Down River and Downriver, she really should have pointed that out in advance to avoid confusion. *hugs*

And I didn't like Heart of Darkness or Moby Dick either. ;)
Carrie Leigh: if the kids aren't deadcarrie_leigh on August 9th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Solidarity, sister. Those books were not my fave.

And I feel like some direction from her would have saved some pain on my part, yes.
seegrim: barfing unicornseegrim on August 9th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
Awesome. I've done something similar. I feel your shame.
seegrimseegrim on August 9th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Wow. Sorry about the icon. I couldn't remember what 'barfing unicorn' was.

Carrie Leigh: reality ruins lifecarrie_leigh on August 9th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
Well, the barfing unicorn made me laugh. Out loud. For real. :)
seegrim: twirlseegrim on August 9th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Well then that's a win!
♥Ele: hello kittystaarship on August 9th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
hahahah! A complete "foot - in - mouth" moment. That is hilarious! But not in a "you're a terrible mother" kind of way... more in a .. from the outside looking in, we've all had those moments!
Carrie Leigh: pinata hatecarrie_leigh on August 9th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks. The 12 year-old doesn't seem to be irreparably damaged, so all in all, no very little harm done.
tracyj23: Assorted - OMGtracyj23 on August 10th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
I have to confess I find your story absolutely hilarious. I hope you will too ... Someday. You will, I know it. I only laugh because I've been there. Screw up mom - there aren't any of us who havent screwed up like that, most people just don't admit it. I'm proud of you. :)
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: AHS - Tate Likes Birdsjandjsalmon on August 10th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness! I giggled out loud... though I shouldn't because I'm going to be in the same boat with a middle-schooler this year... but that truly is hilarious.
Brendan: Discworld - Granny is Not Impressedbrendanm720 on August 10th, 2012 01:12 pm (UTC)
Perhaps the teacher should have been slightly more specific and accurate on the summer reading list.

[raises eyebrow]

In the computer world (which is where you ordered it from, I assume) "Down River" and "Downriver" are two very different things. (I could go into lots more detail about strings and databases and SQL searches, but I won't. Because I don't want to.)
Carmen: blackadder ~ lizziehumbuggirl on August 10th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Oops! My teachers always used to give us the ISBN codes to avoid such accidents. I believe there was history, lol.
Brendan: Music Man - Church Signbrendanm720 on August 10th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Bookstores like ISBNs. It makes the book MUCH easier to find/order.
Jessica K Malfoy: can't shine as brightjessicakmalfoy on August 12th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
this story is very fantastic :)