My children are smarter than me

Originally Published: 
A small boy with glasses sitting with a stack of books in front of him and a green wall behind him

In so many ways, I try really hard not to be “that” mom. The helicopter mom, the just-rolled-out-of-bed-sweatpants mom, the licking my thumb and wiping dried toothpaste off the corner of my kids mouth mom.

I try.

And I try super-extra hard not to be the “my child is brilliant mom”.

The mom who when you ask her on the playground, “How you doing?” you learn that little Madison was deemed too smart for the talented and gifted program and likes to read the dictionary everyday FOR FUN.

As parents, we’re aware of our kids’ strengths and abilities and we’re proud of them, right? But as with politics and religion I don’t really feel the need to talk about it.

Of course I think my boys, ages five and eight, are each smart in their own ways.

And like many siblings they couldn’t be more opposite – the older one is a mini scientist/mathematician and the small one is ready to make his stage debut performing with The Groundlings next Friday night. They rarely agree on anything, but they sure can agree on one important fact:

They are waaay smarter than me, and they will take every opportunity possible to let me know this. Sometimes I think they are right and it simultaneously excites me and scares the shit out of me…

1. They are better at everything electronic. I still don’t know how to get the Netflix menu up on my television screen or how to record (or “tape” as I like to say) a program with the DVR, but both boys sure do. They can also explain the latest iPhone updates to me in a language I can understand, change the screensaver on the computer and my older son did something in my mother-in-laws PT Cruiser that made her backseat windows go up and down again. It’s sad when I have to call them in from doing their homework so they can put the next episode of Orange is the New Black on for me.

2. They speak another language. Sending my kids to an immersion school seemed like a good idea. Why wouldn’t I want them to learn another language? Their brains soak up everything like a sponge right now – and not like a little kitchen sponge, more like a giant washing your car in the front yard sponge. They each spend half their day in English class and half their day in Japanese class. When people ask me,” Why Japanese?” I say why not? Truly I have no answer, I’m Italian. So when we sit down to do homework I look at their Hiragana and Katakana letters I smile and nod nervously as they recite and write things. I have no clue what they are saying or doing, but hey, they’re saying doing it.

3. They know how much sugar is in everything. My mother-in-law and my husband do a lot of label reading on snacks, drinks and food packaging. For them this is fun and interesting. I have heard the story of “the time I took my son off sugar” from my mother-in-law approximately 967 times. I however, grew up eating Cookie Crisp for breakfast, Nutella or marshmallow fluff sandwiches for lunch and pancakes drowned in syrup for dinner. I don’t think my parents ever read or thought about how many grams of anything was going into me. Today, if I say no when the boys ask for a granola bar no matter what the reason they will say something to the effect of “It’s because it has too much sugar. Granola bars have 29 grams of sugar. That’s a lot, right Mom?” “RIGHT!” I answer, when the real reason actually is that I am comfy in this blankie on the couch and don’t want to get up from this Orange is the New Black episode you just put on for me.

4. They know more about Godzilla. A direct quote from the older one just a few minutes ago after I questioned the amount of heads a certain movie character has:

“Mom. Ghidorah has three heads. It’s like the most obvious thing ever. Everybody knows that.”

Does everybody know that? Who the f*ck is Ghidorah? What is wrong with me?!?

5. They know where the car is. Thank God for this one. I’m kind of scared to go to the mall without them. I should rent them out to people like me who will spend a half hour after a shopping trip wandering aimlessly through a parking garage with bag handles forming permanent marks into their skin. I could make a killing during the holiday season! Without them I will mutter and swear like an old lady trying to recall if I’m on 3G or G3. With them I will mutter and swear, but at least we will find the car and make it home before dinnertime.

So yes, I admit it boys, you are smart.

You are waaay smarter than I am, just like I said. And even though I said I would not speak of it – these things that you do make me smile.

And laugh.

And annoy the crap out of me.

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