Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stuff My Kid Says - An Occasional Series

I am in the process of painting a hallway, and on a whim I painted the wall at the end of the hall (situated just outside of Connor’s room) with magnetic paint prior to topping it with two coats of my go-to Benjamin Moore “Mink.” (Remember the old Coke ad? “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect har-mo-ny”? Well, here’s how I sing it: “I’d like to paint the world deep brown, the color of Her-shey’s.”) The magnetic paint totally worked as advertised, and as soon as the trimwork dries, and I score another couple of packages of my favorite magnets (stainless steel, shaped like pushpins, and very strong), I plan to start tacking up the kid art. Like any good museum curator, I intend to assemble a strong permanent collection while featuring a rotating calendar of “special exhibitions” (Halloween art in October, etc.). So I’m going through the kids’ files and sorting stuff into piles.

Interspersed with the art projects I found several other items of interest, all penned (penciled, actually) by one Mr. Connor:

A note to his parents: Most likely, this was taped to our bedroom door or to the master bathroom mirror. Connor really likes to leave notes. At his peak, he left us notes maybe four or five times per week. It is an effective form of communication, as the child’s internal clock tends to go off around 5 am. His parents’ internal clocks – not so much.

This particular note reads as follows:

Parker does not feel well.

P.S. He does not want to go to school.

P.P.S. He is eating cheese for breakfast.

This is representative of most of Connor’s missives. Aren’t we just so lucky?

A sheet of paper with the computer-generated words, “My punishment is not negotiable, especially when I am whining”: Below this, Connor has copied the phrase in his handwriting, 9 ½ times. This has the hallmarks of Dad all over it – both in terms of the form of punishment and the fact that, apparently, there was very little follow-through, since the phrase is written 9 ½ times.

A piece of paper titled “Inventory – Magic Supplies”: Yeah, if the engineering thing doesn’t work out for him, Connor has magic as a fallback. And, in the interim, he’s available for parties. Seriously – he has said on several occasions that “kids’ party magician” is on his short list of acceptable part-time jobs.

Samples of items from the list:

1 rising wand
1 stiff rope
1 light-up wand
2 light-up thums [sic]
2 wizard hats
1 wizard cape
4 red balls – 1 box

A school assignment dated September 3, 2008, titled “Healthy Food”: Evidently, the students in Connor’s third-grade class were asked to describe a balanced meal that they would be willing to eat. Connor wrote:

5 white meat [chicken] tenders
1 glass of milk
1 glass of water
2 ½ cups of corn
1 apple
1 cookie

His teacher responded: “Wonderful meal. You must love corn.”

(For the record: He does. 2 ½ cups of corn at one sitting is not outside of the realm of possibility.)

A reading comprehension assignment about Herbert Hoover: I believe that this one dates to third grade as well. Topping the page is a “news story” about a December 24, 1930 fire at the White House, reading in relevant part:

The White House is the home of the President of the United States. President Hoover and his wife were having a party. It was Christmas Eve.

The children at the party were having a good time. They were eating cake. Mr. Hoover came by and talked to them.

All at once, a guard came along and whispered in Mr. Hoover’s ear. They both left the room.

Soon the children heard fire engines. Were they surprised! The White House was on fire.

Before long, the fire was out. The President, Mrs. Hoover, and the children were never in danger.

Following the comprehension piece – a series of “who/what/when/where/why” questions, beginning with “Who lives in the White House?”

Connor’s answer:

The president, Herbert Hoover, his wife, and possibly their children. *

* I could not tell if the kids were the president’s.

So, smart money is still on “future engineer,” followed by “working magician,” followed by “third generation attorney” . . . .

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