I'm Not Really An Idiot, I Just Play One For My Children

by Jill Veldhouse
Originally Published: 

My kids think I’m stupid. One would think that this fact would bother me, but it does not. In fact, I encourage it.

I feel very fortunate to have married a guy who can do advanced math problems in his head and recite the periodic table of elements from memory at any given moment. Here’s why: Because when my third grader comes home with math homework that she doesn’t understand, I can simply say, “Go ask Daddy.”

Sure, he can pass as a complete ignoramus any day of the week, but that’s just his cover. A couple weekends ago, he transformed our kitchen into a scientific experiment “for the kids.” He was like a kid in a candy store sailing paper airplanes across our house with nothing more than fishing line and a balloon. There was no assignment, he was just bored and being a good dad.

Science fair projects? Off the hook. Pre-calc, algebra, trigonometry, physics…”Daddy will be home soon. Do you want to watch Mommy juggle in the meantime?” Here’s the biggest joke of all: I have a Master of Science degree and he does not. It’s funny how life works.

If Daddy’s not available, I resort to the next best thing…the internet. “Great question child… you should look that one up on the computer!”

I once read a book to my kids about the sun; you know, the big shiny thing in the sky. I thought I was doing a good thing by selecting a non-fiction book from the library to encourage my children’s learning. Instead, I had to spend days thereafter trying to answer such questions as, “So Mom, if the sun is going to burn out some day, what is going to happen to the world? Don’t people need the sun to live? When is the sun going to burn out Mom? Tomorrow?” They are terrified, and now so am I. Why? Because I don’t know when the fucking sun is going to burn out and I wish I wouldn’t have read this stupid children’s book because then I wouldn’t have been the wiser.

That is why all such questions from this point forward will be directed towards their father. If they want to know what time school starts or where their shoes are or when to use “seen” versus “saw” in a sentence, they can come find me.

Ignorance is bliss. More wine, please.

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