My son just got promoted to third grade. While he’s really excited to have the summer off I realized that they sent home a packet of “prep work” for third grade which includes multiplication facts and cursive handwriting practice. My son’s print handwriting is pretty darn bad. I hear many other parents of little boys state that their child also has bad writing, but I must get some intervention this summer because in the fall he’ll learn how to slant that writing in ways that he can’t even imagine. This isn’t the first time I realized he’s growing up, but it’s one of the first times that I really remember my life at that grade.
Ah, third grade. I remember learning multiplication facts. My dad sat with me at the kitchen table and had homemade flash cards, store bought flash cards, and some 1980s pre-tablet toy.
Oh my goodness, they still sell these! Amazon has these – Small World Toys Preschool (They Keep Multiplying!) 12
I also remember reading Charlotte’s Web, my first novel, during third grade too. But the memory this post talks about – well I’m sure I’ll get paid back for this by my own children. I remember telling my third grade teacher something that my mom wishes she hadn’t said. It’s funny how kids have selective hearing.
Ms. Phillips (my teacher): Riki, remind your mother that field trip money is due tomorrow!
3rd grade Riki: OK!
At home around 8:30 at night when my mom’s on the phone talking to her best friend after I was already in bed, but got back up:
3rd grade Riki: Maaaammmmaaaaa, oh mama I just remembered Ms. Phillips said that you have to turn in the field trip money tomorrow!
My mom: Hold on, Susan – What? It’s bedtime go back to bed.
3rd grade Riki: But mama, I can’t sleep at a time like this. You have to send in the field trip money tomorrow. I just remembered and you have to do it.
My mom: You said you didn’t want to go.
3rd grade Riki: But she said that you have to turn the money in!
My mom: Fine, you don’t want to go and I’m not turning the money in tomorrow. You can skip it. You know what if Ms. Phillips wants you to go so badly she can pay the money herself, now go to bed now!
At school the next day:
Ms. Phillips: Do you have your field trip money, Riki?
3rd grade Riki: My mama said that if you want me to go so badly then you can pay the money yourself.
At some point that day before I got home:
My mom: Hello?
Ms. Phillips: Hello Riki’s mom, do you need me to pay for Riki’s field trip? Are you guys having financial troubles, because we have assistance available.
My mom: Oh I have the money, but Riki doesn’t want to go. She’s begged and pleaded to stay home. She says it’s too hot and she wants to stay home. I told her fine, I’m not paying if you don’t want to go and if Ms. Phillips wants you to go so badly she can pay the money herself,
Ms. Phillips: Well, she started to laugh. She reminded my mom that I had to do a report on the field trip, but my mom said that it’s ok that I had been before and I would get the report all written up by the due date. Then they hung up on the same page.
*When I got home I heard about it. I have heard about it a lot since then. I remembered it with 95% accuracy, but called her for the rest of the details.
So now with a kid about to be in third grade I await my horrifyingly awesome story that I can re-tell him one day. Hey we all have to have something to look forward to, right? Each age and stage of child rearing seems to have its own set of challenges and rewards. I guess I await my third grade (and first grade again) rewards coming up soon. I do not look forward to the mom of an eighth grader challenges – I don’t want to explain sexy terms like my mom had to. I am sure my kids will find their own ways to embarrass me. Actually, looking back I think I’m in for a real treat as Cheech acts so much like I did that it’s scary. So scary.