The Encouragement Sale


The times table – that’s what Zuki is being asked to memorize. He forgets his pencils, notebooks, homework, important notices, lunch – he can’t remember his own birth date if he has to include the year or recall names of people he’s known for YEARS…and now he’s got to memorize the times table?!


Yeah. When Geico makes commercials that have something to do with insurance. I hate that obnoxious pig. But that’s a whole other post.


Zuki’s in the third grade and naturally, the State tests are all anybody’s talking about right now. I refuse to be one of those parents who acts like this test is the SAT. If he passes – great. If he fails, I declined from planning anything for this summer in preparation for mandated Summer school anyway – so be it.


But Zuki had a surprise for me.


He said, “If you keep saying I might go to Summer school then I will go to Summer school! You have to ‘encourage’ me to pass the tests. That’s what Mukram says.”


I looked at him in disbelief. Did he just make a stand for himself?


Apparently, Zuki confided with a classmate, Mukram who told Zuki a story about his older brother for an example. Last year, the older brother wasn’t doing too great and had the same doom filled destiny of failing the State exams in the 3rd grade. But Mukram’s parents encouraged the older brother nonetheless – kept telling the older brother he’d do just fine – and “halleYUyah” (as Zuki says). The older brother passed.


Zuki requested that Daddy and I do the same for him.


“Well, I’ll be damned.” I said.


And here I thought my boy simply could not take anything seriously. Now he’s confiding with friends and taking their advice? That’s a milestone for him. Either that, or he’s had me duped all this time. Leading me to think that he was a clueless buffoon and behind my back, he’s calling me a wretched woman.


Samu calls me that to my face – among other names – like “Piss Lady.”


If Samu’s bluntness is just like Daddy’s then Zuki, the slow boiler, takes after me. The difference is, his boil overs gain him results because NONE of my blow ups ever amounted to anything. Then again, mine usually happened when I was going through PMS – so we all know how logical I must’ve come off.


As for Zuki’s request for me to be more encouraging – it’s going to be tough sell on my part because I can’t help but be cynical, but of course, I’ll do it. Even when I’m checking his homework and for the problem that asked, “Write another word for make,”  he answered, “Something else for make…” – I’ll tell him he’s going to do just fine.

Homework Hater
Homework Hater

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.

18 thoughts on “The Encouragement Sale”

  1. Piss Lady. That’s funny. 🙂
    I had no clue that kids these days had to learn all that times table crap in the 3rd grade! We didn’t learn ’til the 4th. Mrs Massey’s class. I remember she gave me a C on my first multiplication test, and I cried. I was a perfectionistic titty baby, and Mrs. Massey? She was a piss lady.

    1. State test standards are simply insane. Frankly, I don’t care if he fails – I know what he’s capable of and by the time he has to take care of a family of his own, it won’t matter whether he knew the 8 times table in the Third or the Fifth grade!

  2. Piss Lady, I think that’s a perfectly good answer to any question. That’s what he should write all over the test. Piss Lady. He should also call his teacher that, since she probably scared those kids into worrying about the stupid test anyway.
    Bridget recently posted..Job Strategies For TeenagersMy Profile

  3. Love Zuki’s shirt!
    Of course, he’s going to be just fine. He’s just a late bloomer! 🙂
    Now, Samu, on the other hand….. is might just be the opposite of late bloomer.

    With children personalities like these, who needs a daytime soap opera?
    Blogger moms rule!
    ava recently posted..Mikaela’s Pink Christmas WishlistMy Profile

Leave a Reply