Friday, September 18, 2009

Stupid is as....

In thrilling news, I attended the SF School middle school back to school night last evening. The head of the middle school gave an informative and humorous opening talk about the mental and social state of your basic middle schooler. And while I appreciated all her stats and figures, all the research in the world wasn't necessary to remind me that yes... middle schoolers are a special kind of nuts.

Presently, I am trying to get a grip on the difference between female middle-schooler (for which I have experience, e.g. Shannon) and male middle-schooler (for which I have no experience, e.g. George the Younger). Females: lots of intense verbiage, overt stressing over things like friends, clothes, who-say-what-to-whom-when-and-how-did-this-effect-my-social-life, cute boys, non-cute boys, lots of tears, some screaming, and early PMS. Boys (so far in my experience): Increased non-verbiage, lowering of voice, realizing that there are "cool" and "not cool" guys at school and wanting to be one of the cool ones, clothes, more frequent use of hair gel and the absolute inability to remember anything that went on during the entire school day.

I can confidently say that there is at least one commonality between the two - - a ramped up snarkiness in every day tone of voice. In some respects, this surliness makes the whining that they did as toddlers pale in comparison. That is because it is this particular tone of voice that is the clear and unequivocal sign to all parents that, in the minds of our own children, we are relentlessly becoming more stupid and obtuse as the sun sets on each day.

If you could see your head the way your middle-schooler sees your head it would look like your face, but it would be eerily surrounded by a fizzy little cloud of brain information that is leeching out of both ears and nostrils in equal and unceasing amounts. They can see this like a good psychic can see your glowing aura. We, as parents, can not see this as we are neither mediums nor middle-schoolers. By the time these kids get to high school, they are confounded as to how we lucky we are that our heads have not collapsed from the increased pressure on the outside pushing against the vacuum left behind on the inside. Their befuddlement is augmented in later years as by this time they have been studying at least basic physics. Shouldn't our heads have deflated?? It's against the laws of nature and yet - we still carry those empty orbs around making their lives a living hell as if by sheer will and magic.

So, as our children become "smarter" and crazier, we become "dumber" and crazier. Now there's a combination that makes the teenage years an interesting conundrum and challenging period. I'm so looking forward to it!

But, for now - - middle-years: here we are!! May the best man win. I've got my money on me. Brain or no.

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