Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

The Funny Farm Guide to Raising a Smart Alec

Is it wrong that I want to strangle a 9-year-old? 
I mean, I know it’s normal to want to strangle my 9-year-old, but what about someone else’s 9-year-old?
Stupid, annoying, rude…bully!
Grant has had enormous trouble with bullies this year at school. He started out with one, who then proceeded to multiply his efforts by recruiting other low-self-esteem boys to do his dirty work. 
Fortunately Grant is very confident of his brilliance and the contribution his birth has made to society. How could he not be with a father like Andy?
Unfortunately, he was born with the crippling problem of not being able to recognize sarcasm. I know what you’re thinking…are you sure the hospital didn’t switch him at birth? It seems impossible that Andy and I could produce an offspring that lacks the innate ability to toss out unexpected zingers. 
It used to be sweet….until it gave the bullies more ammunition. So now I find myself teaching Grant how to be a smart alec.
It’s much more difficult than expected. Apparently sarcasm must be accompanied by brilliant timing, or you end up looking like an idiot. And laughing during your delivery is unacceptable.
Grant laughs during the delivery.
For example, I instructed him to repeat the following line after being made fun of…
“Um, wow, you have a gigantic booger hanging out of your nose.”
I demonstrated the appropriate facial expression and the quick retreat.
Grant attempted the line, then fell on the floor laughing. Did I mention Grant laughs like George W. Bush?  
Not helping. 
How does all the bully training they do at school do any good at all when the bully in question is the counselor’s son? The teachers have been no help. I actually got a note last week saying that Grant got in trouble because the bully refused to trade papers with him.
How is it my son’s fault if a child refuses to trade papers with him?
Game on!
Remember how I refuse to reign Sam in for his constant evangelical statements? Wait until I unleash a well-trained sarcasm sniper! And when the principal asks if I am going to do anything about it, I will reply…
“Um, you might want to check the mirror…”

1 Comment

  1. Heck yeah don't back down sister! Those are some great leadership skills. That counselor is like so many people I have met where they preach and preach, but never "do". I can't believe there are people out there who try to change others, but haven't even taken care of their own family.

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