This is why I never go anywhere without my trusty phone and Internet access

The 11-year-old needs help with math homework. I look over at Carl, but his excuse is already lined up. He doesn’t need to put the toddler to sleep. Can’t one of the dogs take over that duty? 

Begrudgingly, I look at the math problems and my eyes just start tearing up and the sweat forms on both brows. 

What the fuck is it that I’m looking at right now? 

I force myself to calm down as my brain focuses and realize that it’s Venn diagrams and holy shit, it’s gonna be a long night. 

Someone tell me why fifth graders need to know about Venn diagrams? No. Forget it. I don’t want to know. The truth will just make just make me feel (more) like an idiot.

The 13-year-old is looking over my shoulder and keeps making these strange, disapproving sounds. Apparently, I’ve passed down this look to her and realize I am my mother. I stare back at her and she’s got the Cheshire Cat grin of all grins going on. 

I don’t want to engage her because chaos. 

You don’t know how to do those, do you? she asks. 

The 13-year-old takes my silence as a defensive move and say hello to Pandora’s Box. 

She peppers me with a dozen questions like: how can you not understand these word problems where you use a Venn diagram to figure it out? It’s so simple, she says. It’s so surprising that you don’t love these diagrams, she says. A child can do these, she says.  

While she’s going off on tangents regarding education, I’ve got my phone out and pull up Khan Academy and answer the math homework questions.

And once again, the 11-year-old has succeeded in having someone else do his homework.

Touché, Dark Prince. Touché.





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