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Tag, You’re It!

Tag, You’re It!

It came at me, hitting me hard from out of left field.

Yesterday evening I am sitting at my desk, trying to get some work done, minding my own business. I have just finished a phone call and with eleven minutes before my next one, I am trying to get some other things done.

That is when it hits me.

“Mom! I need help with my math homework,” she threatens, tears streaming down her face.

“Okay,” I say trying to be calm, mindful of the ticking clock. “Let’s take a look.”

Frustrated, she shoves this piece of paper right at my nose and starts crying these angry tears.

35y = 10y - 2a + 1/3y x 70y - 6a + 1/4 = this is impossible!

Gussie has been in an accelerated math program since she was in third grade and she left me and my ability to understand and help somewhere around—well, third grade. Auguste, however, is a little bit better at it. He can usually figure it out but not without losing some hair and weight and sanity …

Now, stressed about the time ticking off the clock and feeling completely stupid, I can feel my own angry tears forming inside my I-should-have-paid-more-attention-in-math-class brain. I suggest to Gussie that she should ask her professor (I say professor because Mr. Bengali, this manchild, is way beyond being a teacher) to spend five minutes with her after class so that he can explain the formula to her S-L-O-W-L-Y so that she can understand.

This is logical, reasonable, sage advice, right? This is what any good, completely incapable mother would do, yes?

“Mom!” she screams. “That would be so WEIRD!” and she storms out of the room.

Okay, now I am really pissed because I have got exactly one minute before I have to get on a phone call! I am desparate. I know what I have to do. He is going to have to take a hit.

“Hello,” he answers peacefully.

“Auguste! I need help with Gussie’s homework!” I threaten, tears streaming down my face.

It came at him, hitting him hard from out of left field. He was sitting at his desk, trying to get some work done, minding his own business …

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