Widgets Magazine

May 3, 2011


When I was a kid, I was what you might call a super-over-achiever. I was compelled by something in my brain to try to be perfect at everything I did. It made for a very difficult time growing up. I was 100% stressed all the time, but I was a straight A student and I always had about 30 things going on at any given time. I actually thrived on the stress. Maybe that’s why I love having a big family. I love being the conductor of this huge group. When I say jump, they jump! (OK, that’s not exactly true, but in the perfect world it could be true.) 

 So when Princess asked me to help her with her math assignment the other day, I should have been perfectly capable of assisting with 8th grade Geometry. She would have been better off calling a math tutor! I have a severe mental block against math in general and Geometry in particular. I’m pretty sure I mentioned before that I grew up in a small town. That meant my whole high school (with four grades in it) had less than 400 students. Such a small school didn’t need dozens of teachers and at our school we only had four who taught math, and of those four, only one taught Geometry. That one happened to be my dad.

My dad and I were not the best of friends while I was in high school, but that didn’t matter. If I wanted to complete the math series, I had to put up with him for a year, but more importantly, he had to put up with me. I was a handful! My favorite thing to do was put my head down on my desk and literally sleep in his class. I remember one particular time he got so angry with me he made the entire class stand at attention until I was sufficiently awake enough to join the discussion. 

I only received a couple of A- grades during high school, and you guessed it, they came from my dad. This disgrace put a huge mental block up for me, so when Princess showed up and asked me about slopes and isosceles triangles, my whole brain shut down immediately. I was so gone I couldn’t even cook supper! (OK, it was just a good excuse to NOT cook supper.) The sad part about all this is that my beautiful Princess has been cursed with the same curse as me. She is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to all things academic. 
She has all A grades and all H citizenship grades. She doesn’t allow herself to perform at less than 100% in any class. She doesn’t want just an A, she wants 100 percent or MORE! I’m not sure what she thought as I babbled incoherently after she asked me the hard math questions. I do know it took her about 30 seconds before she said, "Never mind, Mom, I figured it out." 
Okay Bossy that is just mean.

The other class I was absolutely forced to take from my dad was Drivers Ed. I almost didn’t learn how to drive! We managed to make it through the class part OK, aside from my sleeping, but the time on the road was nearly unbearable. I remember trying to parallel park. After over an hour of frustration for both of us, he climbed out of the car, slammed the door, and said, "Have your mother teach you." I still can’t parallel park…maybe it’s something to do with Geometry…something about a triangle?? 


PRINCESS said...

Just saying mom, I really did figure it out, math is easy for me. I did CRT's today and I'm pretty sure I A'sd it. :) Couldn't have done it without my little stubbornness in my blood, thanks for giving me the stressing gene, mom. It's pretty darn helpful.

Dreaming Beneath the Spires said...

Hi Sandy, Yeah, no one but an over-achiever would even THINK of having 12 kids.
Are you a Mormon, by the way? I guess so being in Utah.
There should be a prize for the most-organized mum in the world. You would win. Fancy blogging with such a full house!
All best,

Mom said...

We are Mormons! But as far as the most-organized mum...I could only wish...It's crazy around here and one of the reasons I took up blogging is because I was sitting around all the time nursing my grumpy little Baby Doll and I really wanted to do something productive. Now look at all my new friends! You guys are great!


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