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I’m Really More of a Figurehead

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On Friday afternoon, Connor said, “can I do a worksheet, so I can earn a trip to McDonald’s, I only need one more sticker?”

Then two things happened.  The first was that I jumped up and sprinted across the room to get a worksheet so fast, that I almost sprained my ankle.  When a request like that happens, there’s no time to dilly-dally in meeting it, lest the momentum be lost.  So I limped over and found a spelling worksheet, and got Connor set up at the table.

The other thing that happened was that I was overcome with a feeling of triumph and superiority, because my cleverly devised plan of setting up a rewards chart was working so well that my child was asking to do a worksheet.  Oh yeah, I totally rock at this parenting thing.

My clever friends will see that this feeling of accomplishment and mastery was both foolhardy and premature.  But that kind of parenting high is so rare, that I let myself indulge and bask in the warm glow of satisfaction.

I left Connor at the table to do his worksheet,and went into the other room to fold laundry, all the while feeling smug in my clearly superior parenting ability.

A couple of minutes went by and I returned to the kitchen in time to see Connor walking across the room with something being held behind his back.  “What have you got behind your back”, I asked.

“Just scissors.”

“Oh”, I said.  “Well put them away, you don’t need scissors unless you’re working on crafts.”

My thinking was obviously clouded by my newfound feeling of awesomeness, because I totally didn’t even wonder why he had his scissors out.

He told me he was finished with his worksheet, so I came over to check his answers.

They looked pretty good.  But something didn’t seem quite right.


Huh, weird.   There’s no space for the last two answers.  Maybe I should just compare the paper to the rest of the workbook.



Crafty little shit, isn’t he??  It’s called “shortened assignment, accommodations.”


At least it was decorative cutting.

So now that I came crashing back to earth with a thud and long, painful skid, it was safe to go back to being pissy mom.  So I made him write the answers anyway, in the space above the  question.

I really should have known better than to let the moment go to my head.  For several years, in the game of Mom vs. Connor, I’ve been outmatched nearly every step of the way.

So screw it, I took him to McD’s anyway.  I figure he earned a reward for his clever problem-solving skills.



About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

15 responses »

  1. I think that was very clever…and he did ask to do a worksheet and he has problem solving skills to shorten them and he absolutely deserved his prize.
    You deserve to bask in the some satisfaction sun.

  2. Connor is awesome!! I love when they try so hard to outsmart us (technically I think this goes on all the time and I only catch 60% of it on a good day). I have to wonder if he really believed you would not notice the artsy edge or the now 8×8 square of paper! Too funny! Oh the crimes some Mickey D fries will make us commit! 😉

  3. I agree, that was a great solution (from his point of view) and very clever. My son likes to say, “I did it, I get a chocolate!” (his default reward) at random moments, to see if I am paying attention. What he has done, he refuses to say. 🙂 The fact that he uses a full, relevant, coherent sentence might just be enough to get that reward anyway, given that Mom is a total pushover for that kind of stuff.

  4. Oh, your son is a little scammer just like mine! Points for ingenuity (sp? I’m too lazy to look it up). I hope they gave Connor a boy toy in his Happy Meal because last week they screwed up and gave my son a GIRL toy, and the way he carried on you would have thought they had given him smallpox instead.

  5. I hope mom gave herself a reward as well. A hot fudge sundae or fruity yogurt parfait, perhaps? Mmmmmm hot fudge sundae……………..

  6. I’m sorry Flan but I was laughing my ass off from the get go. And I was totally thinking you were screwed. Connor is smart. Bloody smart. Get ready girl, I see you spending a hella lot of time at the Mouse House…….

  7. karacteristic

    Yep. Those charts and rewards are amazing! I’m giving out all kinds of prizes for shit not being done. Cause I’m all kinds of awesome without the hassle of working. I should remember that line if I ever need a resume.

  8. I’m totally inspired by the whole chart thing! And, he definitely deserved a trip to Mickey D;s after all that!

  9. Ha! He’s awesome! Also, I love that your reward chart is working!!

  10. Oh, but ten points for being clever! Yeah, I like to bask in those smug feelings in those rare moments they pop up too.

  11. Loved this whole post. The hidden scissors thing is so deja vu.

  12. That’s awesome. I love when my daughter does something clever like that even if it is sneaky and ridiculous. He definitely gets bonus points for creative problem solving!

  13. I LOVE this post!! It made me laugh out loud. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes me love my job as a behavior therapist! These kids really crack me up. Connor seems like a smart little guy! =) which in my experience can be a blessing AND a curse! haha

    • What’s funny is he is so smart in a devious way, but when it comes to academics, he struggles and loses interest quickly. I’m prepping him for a career in politics.

      • haha good for you! play up to his strengths ;). You should check out my blog, I am new to blogging so its a little rough around the edges but it is all about moments just like this one where you really can’t help but just laugh :). I would love to hear more of Connors stories like this one!


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