A Letter from my Daughter

This afternoon, I left my home office and rushed to the elementary school to meet my bride, who had been at a meeting about Frederic’s (11) teacher (more about that in another post…it’ll be juicy). I left behind a gaggle of kids, with at least three friends who had walked home from school with them. More kids could have been in the house, but they had probably hidden themselves until they smelled dinner, leaving me to incredulously field frantic texts from their parents. Sometimes, having six kids with multiple layers of friends, each, has it downsides.

I arrived at the school, made an appearance so the new principal would know I was only a sort of absentee father (more on that later), shot off a couple of jokes, then drove home.

We were met with the following letter, hanging at the door by a long strand of Scotch tape, written by our eldest, who is 13:

Mommy and Daddy read this!!

I really really wish this family was nicer to each other, but that’s not my biggest wish. My biggest wish is that Mommy and Daddy spend more time with us. I know the reason why when Daddy asks us kids what we like about him the best, we always say something about him spending money. They only say that because Daddy and Mommy don’t play with us.

Everything felt perfect when Daddy was playing a game called “4 Corners” with us. I have never felt happier, not even when I found out I was going to Horse Camp.

When us kids ask you guys to go on the trampoline with us, you make up some excuse. Daddy always says he has to work, and Mommy says she can’t because of her incision, which makes sense. That also includes when we want to play games. And Mommy, I love it when I’m crying and you come and hug me, but it has not happened in a long time. I understand if it takes you a while to improve this, but could you at least try?

I have been trying to change some things about myself. I try and stop singing when you ask me to. I love you both very much! I’m not making you change this part of you, I’m asking. So please try. I love you guys.

With lots of love,

Your daughter

Hot damn. I have some work to do.

The kids, playing in the rain

IMG_2719It rained and they decided to go outside. Fuck homework.  I’m happy. And my eldest got a damn iPhone 6S, which is better than mine. So I’m pissed off.

Here was our iMessages conversation after she left the Verizon store:

Her (13): “Hi!!!!!!!!!!!”

Me (35, nearly 36): “I [redacted] hate you.”

“I know you do!”

“You got a 6S. That’s better than mine.”

“I know!!!!”

“Go to hell.”

Now she’s behind my chair, gloating and laughing at me. She’s enjoying this. I need a Johnny Walker Platinum with an orange rind in the glass.

Wow…thank you for your comments

My last post, titled, “I just want to play and build games all day,” was a simple plea to get some other ideas on how to be a better dad to my son, Frederic. I figured you all would take a passing glance, shrug, and move on. But…

…damn.

Thank you for your comments. I’ve been reading them all day and sharing them with my bride. In turn, she’s been telling me to leave her alone at work. But we’re going to be talking about many of your ideas tonight, including possibly sending Frederic to a Waldorf-esque un-school. That sounds expensive, though.

Anyway, thank you so much for this engagement. I look forward to your comments as I write more.

 

“I just want to play and build games all day!”

My son, Frederic, is in 5th grade. He’s struggling in school, as he always has been. He has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism, but I attribute every one of his struggles to my utter ineptitude at parenting. After wallowing for a decade in the bowels of religious instruction on how to be a godly dad, which led to complacency in shittiness, being I had the rule book at my fingertips whenever I needed to crack open the Holy Bible, I finally decided to step outside of myself and learn a few things from good people, lacking dogma.

Yesterday, Juaca Baby (Fred) brought home a grammar test for his parents to sign. We were expected to sign the thing because he got 32 out of 32 wrong. It quickly became obvious that he randomly selected the multiple choice answers. After all, a line of symmetry is most definitely not a three-sided shape.

I soon found out that this was actually the sixth time he had taken this exact same test. The students were expected to get 100% before they could stop taking it. It was direct preparation for what would be in the state-mandated testing material.

Needless to say, I was beyond frustrated. Worse, Fred didn’t want to talk about it, no matter how excitable my pleadings to the value of education were.

Enter my bride.

She got The Boy to talk and soon discovered that he was indifferent, nay, antagonistic toward his education.

“Fred, do you feel math will help you get a job?”

“No.”

“Science?”

“No.”

“Reading and writing?”

“No.”

“What do you want to do for a career when you grow up?”

“I just want to play and build games all day!”

Then, my wife went into how getting a good job, these days, especially in the field of computer science, nearly always requires a Bachelor’s degree, which includes science, mathematics, and plenty of reading and writing, even if the job duties don’t require a substantial knowledge in some of those disciplines.

She did well, yet, in my estimation, Frederic shrugged off the logic.

Anyone else have a better suggestion on how to excite him? Quite frankly, his teacher sucks this year, seemingly hell bent on humiliation and intimidation – two things Fred does not respond to well.