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Erin Spatz: Out-lectured

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Updated Tuesday, October 9, 2012 7:23 pm

It is a sad day when you are out-lectured by your eight-year-old.

I knew early on in motherhood that menacing faces were not my gift.
Once while trying to give a “mean” face to Dylan, my sister looked at me and said “You know that’s not a scary face, right? You look constipated.”
But surely I would be gifted at the lecture.

When I give a lecture about “bad behavior,” I feel like I tend to stay on point and keep it short.
Unlike some people in my life who shall remain nameless, but let’s just say I call him “Dad.”
My kids also have someone in their lives who does the same thing, whose code name is also “Dad.”

I must be so effective in my lecture giving that I have trained Autumn to give lectures. Good ones!

The other day I picked Autumn and Denver up from school.
We were having the usual “on the way home from school” conversations.
How was your day?
Who’d you play with?
Do you have any homework? Typically the answer to the homework question is no, since they switched schools there has been almost no homework.
On this day however, Denver said he had some spelling words to learn.
But, that he didn’t want to do it.

I opened my mouth to say something, and I’m not even sure when Autumn began her lecture.

Autumn said “Denver, seriously? It is only first grade homework and if you don’t do it you won’t go to second grade. And if you don’t go to second grade, you won’t get into college. If you don’t get into a good college, you will become homeless, and do you want to be a hobo for the rest of your life? Do you? Huh, do you?”

I look in the rearview mirror and Denver has his mouth open, and a kind of surprised mixed with blank look on his face.
All I can do is kind of laugh, because that was a quality lecture.
She managed to go straight from the importance of six spelling words to how not doing them will ruin your life.
All without breathing.

That takes skill.

I calmly (while trying not to laugh) say “Autumn, thank you for telling Denver how important homework is, but I’ll take care of it.”  
She sighs a big sigh and says “Okay.”

Denver then asks “Mom, what’s a Hobo?” I quickly said “Ask your sister.”

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