And it has a name. What is it, you ask?
|Mug shot of personified Mayhem|
Something tells me I'm not getting through.
It might be the smirk.
It's 1:01 p.m. on a Monday. This is a school day. The boy has completed his work in precisely three subjects - grammar, spelling, and art - and even those weren't completed without waspishness and peevishness and snarkiness and all those other -nesses that encompass raising a child who is quite sure that A) the universe revolves around him, B) he knows more than anyone ever alive ever knew, and C) he must have the last word in any and all conversations.
For example, this morning, he tried to argue that newspapers weren't descriptive. We weren't talking about newspapers, and he was supposed to have been working on his own work, but he felt the need to interject one of his Ultimate Hypotheses into M2's grammar lesson. "I think article adjectives are called that because they're the only adjectives used in newspaper articles, because newspapers aren't very descriptive."
I can't invent this stuff. Thankfully a quick reading of some articles from well-known moments in history - the Civil War, 9/11, the Kennedy assassination - showed the boy the error of his statement. Did he actually acknowledge that I still might know more than him? Of course not. He put his head down on his desk and thoroughly ignored me. Because if it can't see you, you can't see it. Mantra of all Ostrich Children.
Then there was this: I was giving him his weekly spelling pretest. We do this so that if he knows most of or all of the words on the list, we don't waste time on a useless lesson. One of the words was 'animosity.' He spelled it incorrectly - a-n-a-m-o-c-i-t-y. Not a big deal; I put a dot by it and moved on. When it came time for him to learn the correct spelling, I pointed out that he'd gotten close and gave him props for that. Was that enough? Hardly. "It sounded like you were saying anAmosity, Mom, not anImosity. So that wasn't my fault."
Argh. Animosity. Yes. How do parents survive this? Any tips? I'm going to need the village for this one.