I walked into his bedroom and found Seth positioned between his desk and his bed in his computer chair. His room was dimly lit with the light of a green-tinted incandescent light bulb and the glow of the laptop he stole from me about half a year ago now. He was listening to Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band; "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was playing. Surely, this was my son. His 3-ring binder was opened up on his lap, along with a pile of index cards and a pen. He appeared to be studying. However, one hand was on the keyboard of the laptop.
I asked Seth what he was doing. (I knew what he was supposed to be doing...)
Remember the cover of Highlights magazine you read at the pediatric office as a kid? It always
"It doesn't look like you are studying."
"What does it look like I'm doing?"
"It looks like you're listening to the Beatles, fiddling around with your computer, and I don't know what else? But I don't see how you can call that studying..."
"Mom! I'm multi-tasking! I'm a great multi-tasker! Look at this! I'm studying, I'm looking up something on Wikipedia, and I'm IM'ing someone all at the same time!"
had the 'What's wrong with this picture?' on the front cover and you had to find and count a half dozen things wrong with the picture...
I stood in the doorway staring at him with the serious Mom stare I pull out sometimes when I want to make him squirm a bit with discomfort. I find it very effective. It often helps to elicit information that I wasn't actually looking for in the first place.
"Go ahead! Quiz me!"Seth exasperatedly handed me a pile of flash cards of Spanish vocabulary terms he had made.
lámparaWe went back and forth like this, English to Spanish, Spanish to English. I hoped some of this might sink into my own head. Overall, he did well. But he still missed a few.
"Probably not the best way to study," I said.I mussed up his hair and handed him back his index cards, and we went downstairs for a late night snack.