In the proper ‘not quite parenting’ style I embrace I was informed over toast there was Year 7 Readers Cup at Sippy Downs that very evening.
“And?” I said, taking a nibble.
I was informed I would be leaving home around 5pm to drive to it.
I was informed if I didn’t know which of my kids was in grade 7 I’d reached a new low.
I actually really enjoy taking my kids to these things. Not the event itself so much as the drive. One-on-one with any of my kids is rare enough it needs to be cherished.
“So tell me all about it,” I suggested to Miss12 later as we took off down the highway.
I was informed she’d been telling me all about ‘it’ for about a month now. Most notably every night when I’d walk into her room well after lights out to find her with her head in a book and snap at her to go to bloody sleep.
Seems the idea is students read six books which the organisers set and then they sit in rooms being tested on their knowledge of each with the winning team going on to the next level.
“Sounds like fun,” I said, hoping we weren’t going to be going on to the next level. One-on-one’s are great but if Miss12 got two in quick succession they all might insist on the same, and ain’t nobody got time for dat. “So how many times have you read each book?”
Wrong question. It should have been ‘how many of them have you read?’
“What do you mean you haven’t even finished them all!?” I gaped.
“It’s okay, Dad,” said Miss12, brushing my misgivings aside even as I suggested we do a u-turn and return home. “Everyone on the team has read a couple. We’re specialising.”
I relaxed a little. That sounded like it might just work.
Until, that was, she pulled out one of the books: Emily Rodda’s His Name Was Walter.
“We all loved this book,” she said.
“You all….” I started. A deep breath gave me time to collect my thoughts, review them, reassess, recalculate and, finally, tear them into confetti sized pieces to toss into the air in frustration. “Didn’t you say there were three kids on your team!?” Couple still means two these days, yeah? Six books in a team of three where they’ve all specialised, reading two each. “By my calculations you’re going to be at least two book specialists short.”
I was so close.
Turns out, unbeknownst to them, the book list had changed some time in the past month, so three of the books they’d read were dropped & replaced with three others whose covers weren’t ringing any iPhones.
Which is where I found myself tapping away at a screen while the official opening speeches were being made, trying to at least come up with back cover blurbs for the team to read.
But I seemed to be the only one panicking.
“I’m mainly here for the KFC on the way home,” Miss12 whispered to me when I tried to make her read my screen.
Another good thing about these one-on-one trips is we can afford to splurge a little.
Best of all, they totally won!
Well, by my calculations.
On the way home I threw it out there if they could only answer the questions on half the books it totally follows they should be allowed to double their score, right?
I was informed I should shut up and just enjoy my wicked wing.
Raising a family on little more than laughs