Standardized Will


Synchronicity, coincidence or just common sense; I happen to be reading “The Hunger Games” and the new “Strong Willed Child” at the same time. The first book I reserved because our library sucks and you can’t find anything worth borrowing unless you hijack it from another library. The latter literally fell into my lap when Samu crashed into the book shelf of the parenting section. Guess he just had the urge.


It’s ambitious for me to try to finish two books, when I haven’t finished a book before the due date the past five months – but that’s how our library is – all or nothing. Both books are interesting so far, and the fact that the subject is similar makes it less work for my diminishing attention span. One analyzes the strong willed child and the other tells a story of what she’s capable of doing in a fight to the death.


I told two of my friends of the books I borrowed and they simultaneously asked, “Which one is strong willed?” They both assumed it was Samu but he’s actually the compliant one. Well…to an extent. He’ll do as you say until you walk away, and then do what he wants.


I told him he couldn’t bring a toy to the doctor’s office, he obliged and put it on the coffee table. Then he suddenly said he had to go pee, grabbed the toy and stuffed it into his pants while he was in the bathroom. With Samu, I do a pat down, like a security guard, before we leave for school – especially if he puts on his shoes and coat without a fuss.


Zuki, on the other hand, smiles sweetly, shares nicely and cares sincerely – but try teaching him anything and you’ll soon feel that you’d have better results training a blind cat how to do the Boot Scootin’ Boogie. He definitely has his own way of learning things and to this day, I haven’t got a clue how his brain works.


I’ve definitely been there. I remember the lectures. The tears. The eventual awakening.


As for my husband, I don’t even have to guess if he was the same – I just have to ask if he was worse.


In a few weeks, Zuki will be taking the State standardized tests. To personalities like ours, it’s a battle of will. Not a battle of will power but whether it will conform – and what it’ll take to eventually subdue. While it’s not a fight to the death as in “The Hunger Games,” I can’t help but feel like it’s the same bloodthirsty demand to see a performance that the performers don’t get credit for in doing a good job but get penalized for doing a bad one.


For Zuki, this is only the beginning. I don’t expect his battles for ground to be less strenuous than mine or my husbands but I have confidence he’ll find his way around.


An associate at school said to me, “For some people, the more educated they are – the dumber they are.” She was talking about the administrators who manipulate our children’s education. With all their degrees, decorations and experience, they can’t figure out one simple thing – knowledge we can use.


So now they’re currently hell bent on teaching American children the metric system and I’m thinking the only way I’ll forgive that is if it solves my home brew from exploding.



Author: Namzola_Goodness

A Japanese-American who grew up in the streets of New York during the racially volatile 70's, Nami blogs with guts, heart and humor. Dysfunctional parenting, cynical citizenship of beer to wash it all down.

12 thoughts on “Standardized Will”

  1. Yeah, I’ve got a smuggler to. The old “gotta use the toilet trick” has been used numerous times in our household. He can’t out smart me!

    We’re up for one of those standardized tests in the next few weeks as well. Good luck to you!
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  2. You know, the State of Texas has moved to reduce the number of standardized tests from 15 to 5, (I think that’s right) and I’m happy about that….but they also reduced the required math and science to graduate. I’m not so sure that is a great idea. πŸ™‚ Good luck to your son! πŸ™‚
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  3. I’m all for the metric system, because duh…maybe we should so what the rest of the world does instead of being such egotistical jerks.

    Overeducated derelicts. They run the world.
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