I already counted as high as I possibly could. I even used a calculator to get a higher number.
But I’m still annoyed.
And before I talk myself out of being annoyed, I wanted to put it out to those nearest and dearest to me. On the internet.
I’ve mentioned before that Young Ladrinka, my 9 year old son has some reading issues. I mean, he knows how to read, but he’s not great at retaining what he reads, figuring out what’s important in the book and filling in the gaps that the author leaves to the reader’s imagination.
This struggle has been going on for a few years and I’ve had a myriad of reactions, starting with, reading with him, reading to him, reading alongside him, discussing what we read together, banning use of the Wii and the DS and TV and possibly oxygen, and ending with a Homer-Bart desire to strangle.
If you’re going through this with your child right now, let me just give you a heads up that screaming READ, DAMN IT, I BEG OF YOU! also doesn’t work. Go figure.
Finally, the school recommended a reading tutor and I was sort of relieve because I’m always looking for new and creative ways to spend money that I don’t have.
But I was resigned to it, and then the school dropped the other shoe. No reading tutors were available because it was the middle of the school year and on Illiterate Manhattan Island a good reading tutor goes faster than something else that goes very fast in a booming economy.
We were on a waiting list. For a reading tutor.
All of this was supremely irritating to me, but I took it as a sign that God wants me to buy new shoes with the money. And maybe get some Botox. But before I could complete those purchases in fulfillment of the prophesy, I got the good news that a tutor had become available.
This was a happy day indeed. We rejoiced at our good fortune, booked an appointment and refinanced the apartment. Because, and I’m sorry if I’d been too subtle about this point, but the tutoring, it’s expensive. (Really. Give the READ, DAMN IT, I BEG YOU another shot. Maybe I gave up too soon.)
As Young Ladrinka and I walk over to the tutoring session this afternoon, I explain to him that this is a time to work, to study, and not to make small talk and make jokes. And he tells me that he’ll only make a few jokes, not too much and that most of the time will be devoted to bettering himself in the reading arts.
We meet the tutor and the two of them disappeare to remold Young Ladrinka into The Reader of the Century. I sit back with a copy of US Weekly and relax, reading about how Ethan Hawke’s new wife is pregnant with their second child. I send a lighthearted tweet out about how horrible it must be to have been married to Uma Thurman and now be married to someone who is most definitely not Uma Thurman. I am happy because I am helping Young Ladrinka.
And also because I am reading US Weekly.
After some time, Young Ladrinka and his tutor re-appear. They are smiling and talking and I can see that the session was a great hit.
“How did it go?” I ask, expecting to be lavished with praise on my excellent parenting skills to say nothing of my flawless skin.
“Really well,” she tells me, accepting the check written with my blood and tears. “We didn’t really do that much reading today, we were just chatting and getting to know each other.”
This is where the soothing music in my head stops playing and I start rummaging in my purse for Jason’s Friday the 13th mask.
“You didn’t read?” I ask, all fake smiley.
“We read a chapter, but we were establishing a rapport,” she explains. Totally failing to establish a rapport with me.
Also, for anyone out there, this is how you establish a rapport with a 9 year old boy:
Do you like Pokemon and pizza? Me, too!
When I finally came to, I managed to explain that I’d appreciate if they concentrated more on reading and less on building their relationship. She agreed, but I could tell that I had the wrong reaction. Like I was supposed to applaud this rapport building, encourage further rapport building with some bridge building thrown in for good measure.
So tell me, is it me? Is it I? Is it too much to ask that a reading tutor focus on reading? Because maybe there’s a way to build rapport while reading, no? Look at the rapport I’ve achieved through US Weekly!
I am trying to be open minded. Because this tutor came highly recommended and a 45 minute session is not too much to sacrifice if she will be able to help Young Ladrinka in the long run.
What do you think?
I can take it.
One year ago ...
- The Friendship Club - 2013