Bad Words

It sort of crept up on me; I didn’t see it coming this time.

I’d been through this all with my son and yet somehow? I thought it wouldn’t happen again.

So I sailed through my daughter’s late elementary school years, feeling pretty smug.

Sixth grade?

Still quite smug, thank you very much.

But with the start of seventh grade this year, it began. She started using it around the house. Dropped it into conversations here and there.

My skin prickles when she says it. Cold beads of sweat begin forming on my neck and I suddenly lose my appetite. I know I need to deal with it, and quickly.

The “A” Word.

You know the one I mean.

Algebra.

It’s finally happened; the homework has once again surpassed what I remember from school. The furthest reaches of my brain cannot return any of the Algebra I learned back in the day. And I can’t just wing it like I could in her younger days.

Science questions? I’ve got Google on my side.

Honey, the sky is blue because….oh, look! The ice cream man’s out front! Let’s talk about it when you come back inside….

You can’t just Google Algebra. You still have to understand it.

I miss multiplication tables.

Exponent? Oh, I know that one! But what the heck is a quadratic equation and why do I need to graph it?

It turns out, I don’t speak Math. When my son’s math homework started getting hard to follow, I actually thought I was re-learning it, storing it in memory, and this problem would never happen again.

Apparently I was wrong.

And anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to just have the high school son help his younger sister with her math homework has quite obviously never had siblings.

Short of shadowing her to class (embarrassing) or enrolling in the Algebra class at the community college (boring), my only option is to try and keep up by following her lessons in the book.

I have to admit, it makes me feel pretty incompetent as a parent.

I mean, I have a college degree! I was an Accounting major! I can balance checkbooks, figure out tips, estimate taxes, and tell you how much that cute hoodie on the 40% off rack will cost.

Just don’t ask me to do seventh grade again.

This may quite possibly be why we stopped at two kids.
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