I’m Incompetent And So Are You!

Music class is an interesting study. For example, we’ve all been seated next to a mom or a dad who simply, painfully, can’t carry a tune.  You know those people – the ones whose voices are so offensive that you actually consider changing your class time so you don’t have to listen to them.  They have spent their entire lives keeping the solos strictly to the shower and they have gotten by just fine.  Until now!

Parenting basically boils down to educating your child; especially in the early years. In this effort, the skills that I have failed to master in my lifetime, all of those little inadequacies, rear their ugly heads.  For instance, just the other day I was sitting on the couch with Man at 5:15AM when he turned to me and asked if I could draw him a baboon.  Now, I can’t even draw a stick figure at my best hour, let alone a baboon at 5AM.  I struggled and every attempt just looked like one of those green pigs from Angry Birds.  He was frustrated, I was frustrated; it was ugly.  He just couldn’t understand that I was unable to produce a baboon with pencil and paper.

“Daddy doooes it!!  Daddy doooes it!” He yelled over and over.

“Yes, because daddy knows how to draw and mommy doesn’t,” I kept trying to explain as I haphazardly scratched out another ugly pig and tried to suck down some coffee.

This, I was told, was not an adequate answer.

It was then; at about 5:30AM on a Sunday, that I realized I’m never going to be able to draw with my kids, magically perform the origami that is covering their school books with a paper bag, or do any type of school assignments that involve dioramas.  I just have no skills in those areas. Until now, it hadn’t mattered. I had survived just fine without creating a planetary scene with a shoe box and some Styrofoam balls.

I was in the 5th grade when I failed my math mid-term.  I remember crying when I saw the big red 57 circled at the top of the paper.  I was so scared to show my parents; I had never failed before.  Later in life the only D I ever got in college was Math 101.

Now, I might not remember exactly why the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but I am certain that after reading a high school science book I will be able to provide a reasonable explanation to my child. I will NEVER be able to help with math.  I still use my fingers for counting; it takes me an inordinate amount of time to do basic addition in my head, and no, I will never know which train will reach the station first.

Driving will be another challenge.  Besides the fact that I drive like a woman (I can admit this fact), I still don’t really know my left from my right.  You can often find me making an “L” with my fingers just to double check sometimes.  I can see it now:

“Sorry, officer, no, no, I’m not calling you a loser, I was just making an “L” to figure out which direction to go in next.”

Spelling and grammar, another challenge.  When I initially met my husband, he once asked if I understood the gravity of my spelling and grammar deficiencies.  He just couldn’t understand how someone who was otherwise seemingly intelligent could not place a comma in its proper place.  He just assumed intelligence and the ability to correctly use “their, there, or they’re” were synonymous.  Even today, he noticed that I had spelled Styrofoam so completely wrong that spell check could not even provide me with a list of corrected suggestions.

So, parents, just in case you thought you had survived all of your childhood shortcomings, you haven’t!!  Only now they are magnified, as you try to explain to your wanting toddler that you’re not sure if he wants desert or dessert.

Please, share your incompetencies!

My baboons

My baboons

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