|Cranky fortune, August 2011.|
Sadly, expectations for parents and children are different in the 21st century. By the time MC has returned home from a dental appointment with Cranky #1, she has received email, voice mail, and text notification that her child has missed part of a school day from Purplish High. Really? Could administration officials not read the form where MC signed her out after showing a photo ID? Inventory control isn't MC's strong suit, so she appreciates that other want to keep count of their units. Still. Imagine this attention to detail applied to homework. Which brings MC to the mythical Table of Learning.
In MC's rich fantasy life, small children gather around the Table of Learning, beckoned by a homey lamp purchased from the Vermont Country Store, and then quietly, earnestly complete their daily studies using parchment and quills. In her dreams, MC plays Marmee, while the smaller Crankies take turns portraying the various March sisters. No wait, let's just go with Meg, the industrious Little Women character who doesn't bother being colorful. In actual practice, Cranky #1 heroically plows through her mountain of work, stopping occasionally to emit factoids about insulin resistance or to produce reams of papers to be signed, notarized, and monetized. Cranky #2 produces equally complicated paperwork, as well as spelling word lists and math problems graded by an inscrutable four-point system. When MC's dinner prep requires engagement with gelatinous meat products or complicated measurements, C2 emits a piteous plea for help, followed by a wracking sob of frustration. Not until MC puts down the task at hand will C2's message morph into: "Nevermind!" Every. Single. Time.
The Crankies' Table of Learning regularly sports a German dictionary and innumerable variations of number sentences. Eff Yu's table holds braised lamb shanks and grilled branzino. We're all getting an education.