Monday, June 23, 2008

Standardized Parenting

By Margy McCarthy

For 19+ years now, Sparky and I have been aware that our primary objective as parents is to raise intelligent, productive, functional members of society and send them out into the world.

So far, so good. But that’s not to say that either one of our children is ready to own their independence yet. While all the normal indicators- physical, academic, and social- point to an eventual realization of this goal, there have been a few too many head-scratching moments of doubt where their common sense is concerned to release these creatures into the wild quite yet.

Someone would send them back.

This is not a risk we’re willing to take.

With this in mind, I have constructed a quick assessment to help parents everywhere determine the real-world readiness of their teens. Feel free to print a copy and administer this to your own offspring as often as necessary. The test should not be timed, and percentage required to pass can be adjusted as you see fit.

1. How many light bulbs should be burning in an unoccupied room?

A) All of the above
B) None of the above
C) All of the light bulbs- above and below
D) What do you mean, “burning?” I don’t see a fire.

2. If Tom drinks two cans of pop in fifteen minutes, and Mary drinks half each of four separate cans of pop over the course of a day; how many cans will Daddy find behind the TV the next time he searches for the remote?

A) 86
B) 59
C) 47
D) Why bother? I took the batteries from the remote for my Xbox controllers.

3. A refrigerator contains large bowls of the following leftovers: Penne pasta salad with albacore tuna and chopped vegetables; Homemade vegetable beef and barley soup; Chunked summer fruits with melon; Old-fashioned Nilla-wafer banana pudding.

After staring at the interior of said appliance with the door open, calculate the time differential (in nanoseconds) between that required to loudly announce: “There’s nothing to eat around here,” and the mayonnaise turning green.

Show your work.

4. Shards of pottery often provide historians with important clues about the rituals, traditions, and everyday lives of ancient peoples. 1000 years from now, which of the following would be the most logical area of our home for a successful archaeological dig?

A) Under your bed
B) Between the couch cushions
C) On the counter right next to the dishwasher
D) All of the above

5. If Jenny has a MySpace, and Johnny is on Facebook, which of the two will get an “A” tomorrow on the book report assigned three weeks ago?

A) None of the above
D) Oh, crap. BRB. I have to Google Spark Notes.

6. Using context clues, choose the best definition of the word “socks” in the following sentence:

“Can someone explain to me why there are seventeen socks in the knee-hole of the computer desk?” demanded Mom.

A) Insidious vermin that procreate with reckless abandon under furniture and in dark corners of the home.
B) Snowy white protective footwear worn inside shoes in matching sets of two.
C) Wrinkled household items, virtually invisible to teens, that get grayer every second.
D) Hmm. I think the answer is “C”-- No, wait! I’m supposed to find the definition of the word “socks,” not the word “Mom.”


Kalynne Pudner said...

Hahaa! Half-full coke cans behind the TV, socks under the computer desk! I'm so relieved to find that these characteristics entitle me to send them away -- er, out into the world! (I am scoring the test correctly, aren't I?)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hey, you cheated . . . when did you install video cameras at my house?

Great post, Miss Margy!

HRH said...

hahaha. very cute.

Threeundertwo said...

Loved the last one - definition of mom. Very funny stuff!

MargyWrites said...

Kalynne- yes, yes, of course! *ahem* The more cans and socks, the better prepared the little darlings are! *ahem*

Darn it, Judy- you always catch me. It must be tough to have you for a mom.

Thanks, hrh-glad to provide a Monday morning laugh.

And thank you, too, TUT; The similarities I share with dirty socks increase all the time.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I am going to send this blog link to my friend Angie Ledbetter...!

MargyWrites said...

Hi, Kat! Great to see you here!

Yes- please do! We love to link!

(I have officially reached my exclamation mark quota for the day.)

Anonymous said...

yes, but does this standardization address NCLB?? or should that be no sock/coke can left behind?

Great work maam!!

(I have now also reached my quota)

MargyWrites said...

Personally, I think a No-Sock-Left-Behind law might be the only thing you-know-who could do to redeem himself in my eyes before the end of his term...

You crack me up. Missy Anonymous. Thanks for visiting.

amy said...

Oh my...number 5 made me laugh and laugh! I would guess: 1/2 nanosecond on number 3, but it says "Show your work," and when I do math I never, ever show my work. Mostly because, when I do math, I pretty much pull answers out of my butt. Just ask any one of my 1st graders. They will tell you: "Ms. S pulls math answers out of her butt." We all know it, and I'm no longer in the closet about it.

I may have to send this around to my work friends who are suffering through teenage-hood (actually, their children are suffering through teenage-hood, not them)(but it does seem to appear that teenage-hood's motto is: If *I* have to suffer, EVERYBODY has to suffer).

I, of course, was perfect as a teenager. PERFECT.


MargyWrites said...

I think 1/2 nanosecond might be a little high, Amy. You haven't seen how long my son can stare blankly into a full refrigerator.

You are so smart reading this stuff before you have any kids. Think how brilliantly the Erma channelers will have prepared you by the time yours is a teen! You'll thank us one day.

Really. You will.

Polina said...

I do love your sense of humor:)))
My own child is too young for the moment to get tested... But if my parents would see the test at my twenties, I bet, I'd stay locked at home till this very moment:)

vicki said...

You rock Missy!! Love your stuff and now it's in two

MargyWrites said...

Polina- I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog. You might want to keep a copy on file for when your little one gets older.

And Vicki- Good to see you here! Come around more often- we're full of fabulous wisdom!

devilish southern belle said...

Oh wow. I can sooooo relate to #3. If it involves heating up, or spreading onto bread (in other words, even the tiniest bit of effort), the teens will try not to eat it.


MargyWrites said...

That is so true- except for peanut butter and jelly. Somehow they can always manage that. But then the lids are off and the sticky knife left to adhere permanently to the countertop, and the bread sack left open to begin again the recipe for slice-sized croutons...

shobhana said...

Hi Margy,
I happened to see your blog.Very shortly I will also be going thro this phase as my son is now twelve.It just gives me jitters even to think about this and I wonder how am I going to manage.It will definitely be a tight rope walk.