From the beginning of time, children have been returning home from their day of learning and telling their parents they did nothing. I did it to my parents. My brothers did too. My parents did it to my grandparents.
When the Spartans sent Leonidas out into the wilderness and he returned alive, his parents asked him how it went. “Meh,” said Leonidas. “Didn’t you learn anything?” asked his mother. “Not really,” he replied and went off to his chamber to listen to sullen lute music. It wasn’t until many years later that they found out he was attacked by and slew a giant wolf.
Thus, I cannot say I am surprised when I ask the same of my sons and I get a limited answer. I fully anticipate that Darth Vader could enter their classroom, force-choke their teacher and promoted one of my sons to the position of class admiral without them bothering to mention a word of it.
“Anything interesting happen in school today?”
“No.” This response is given without looking up from the comic book they instantly picked up or the DS. Sometimes I think I ought to actually check if the DS is on or if they are just holding it in front of their faces in order to avoid talking to me.
While their silence regarding school is mildly frustrating on its own, it is made worse by the fact that they are constantly trying to tell me about something they saw on YouTube or a cartoon they watched the other day.
“Dad! Want to know what was on this one YouTube video yesterday?”
“Dad! Can I tell you what Spongebob did in this one episode?”
“Dad! Want to know what happened on this one Mario video on YouTube?”
My response to these questions usually mirrors their response to mine. “Hmm,” I say without stopping what I’m doing. They take this as the affirmative and commence relating the events of the particular video or carton in detail, taking longer than it would have taken to actually watch the video. It’s great that they want to tell me about something that excites them, but it started to wear on my patience.
So, the other day, when my eight-year-old said, “Dad! Want to know what happened on…” I interrupted him.
“I don’t want to know what happened on Spongebob or Adventure Time or any stupid YouTube videos,” I yelled. “I’d like to hear about your day in school!”
“Oh, ok,” he said sheepishly. “I was going to tell you about an episode of Gumball.” By this he meant the new cartoon The Amazing World of Gumball.
“Jeez!” I shouted. “I can’t believe you watched a new episode without me. Don’t tell me. I want to watch it myself.”
I was so mad. It’s a hilarious cartoon. Especially this one episode where…