The other day, my youngest son Nick was sitting next to me. Out of no where he said “Check it out mom! I can touch my pit with my tongue”.
So as not to entirely quash his dreams of pit licking stardom, my response was: “Nick, it’s fabulous that you can reach your armpit with your tongue. But it’s not exactly the kind of thing they’re awarding college scholarships for these days. Let’s figure out some other talent that your father and I can exploit in an effort to pay for your college education. ‘k?”.
When it comes to our kids’ talents, we have a reality check three times a year. These reality checks go by the seemingly benign sounding name parent/teacher conferences.
No worries when it comes to our oldest son Alex. As the teacher informed us, he is in advanced everything classes, is very polite and always helpful in class. Which is pretty much how he is at home — so smart(assy) about everything, displays his manners by snarking “geez, ok already” with accompanying eye roll when he’s asked to do something, and is always helpful when it comes to giving his younger brother a wedgie.
And then there’s Nick. In addition to his touch-my-pit-with-my-tongue talent, he’s apparently quite adept — according to his teacher — at thinking he’s reading a comic book on the sly while his teacher is at the board working through the lesson with the rest of the non-comic-book-reading 8 year olds. She has caught him doing this two or three times, which means his talent for covert ops is nil and he can kiss any chance at a lucrative career in that field goodbye.
In addition, his teacher let us know that he excels at social skills and communicating with everyone. Translation? Your kid won’t shut the hell up in my class and pretty much drags everyone into the conversation about Plants vs Zombies video game strategies, as opposed to the multiplication and division strategies that we are trying to teach.
Finally, we were shown a paper he had to complete called How Am I Doing in School? It’s a self-assessment. Lord knows I wish I had been forced to be that self-aware of my shortcomings at 8 years of age (not that the nuns didn’t try, mind you!).
It’s clear Nick likes math, isn’t so fond of reading (unless it’s comic books) and has big plans for changing up the learning curriculum:
Personally, I think Nick should just focus on his true talent. Dancing.