Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Saturday Songs


The trouble with me is that I don’t finish the posts I start writing, and then when I come back to them, they no longer feel so urgent.  For example, I began a nice, fretful rant about the NYC public schools G&T test, the asinine idea of testing four-year-olds in the first place, the way one feels, sitting in an auditorium of similarly waiting parents, that if one is going to engage in such an asinine, classist, generally racist (in its effects, anyway) system, then perhaps it is the height of naïveté not to have gone whole-hog on the project and done some real test prep, etc. — and then he emerged, life carried on, and here we are, weeks later.  

I did dream the other night that everyone we knew had gotten their children’s test results, which were all very high, and they all magically got in to the citywide school in Brooklyn and were deliriously happy.  I was still patiently waiting for our results, which eventually arrived, late because what does it matter how timely the results arrive if the score is 18th percentile?  One part of this dream is ridiculous — the citywide gifted schools technically take 97th%ile and above, but what with sibling priority, one recent year it was more like 1/4 of the 99th.  No way did they all get in.  I admit I think it unlikely that the Bean would score quite that low (thanks to selection bias and possibly other things, a huge percentage of the kids who take the test score in the 90s), but it’s hardly impossible: testing four-year-olds is asinine.  (Did I mention that it’s asinine?) A few days later I had some kind of nightmare involving excessive use of screens in a kindergarten classroom.  Moving to a cabin in the woods and homeschooling looks better all the time.
…And now it is tomorrow, and we are driving back east after a visit to Sugar’s parents.  (New York schools get a week off in February to save the cost of heating the buildings.)  Sugar prefers to drive (read: is convinced I will drive off the side of a mountain, because this is what happens when you are raised in a place with only the dinkiest of hills) while I snack on tepid McNuggets.  The Bean is playing Monument Valley and parcelling out single goldfish to Jackalope, while they both sing snatches of familiar and invented songs, most recently “Poopyhead, Poopyhead turn around” and “I’ve been working on the potty on the railroad.”  (“Poopy is a good song!” enthuses Jackalope.) 

Jackalope has been cycling through “ABC,” “Twinkle Twinkle,” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” in a way that suggests she’s onto their tune-sharing game, if not their precise lyrics.  “Baa, baa, black sheep, funny funny wool.”  The Bean has mashed up the two great songs of canid mysteries, “What a Does The Fox Say” and “Who Let The Dogs Out:” “WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? RUFF. RUFF. RUFF RUFF.” (“And the cat say meow,” adds Jackalope, helpfully.) 

Oh, hey, look, it’s Tuesday now, and we are back in Brooklyn. Thanks to a cascading series of plan failures, I am currently in the IKEA parking lot, in the rain (and a car, thank heavens). Jackalope is asleep in the back.  Insert arty rain picture. 

What I wanted to say before is that…actually I don’t remember.  Here is a video of Jackalope playing a ukulele and singing Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train.”

3 thoughts on “Saturday Songs

  1. I think the real question raised by this post is why do Virginia schools hate the earth so much?

  2. A little sad to miss out on the G&T (if only that were gin and tonic…) rant, but also perhaps best to not have to think about it. Your children clearly exceptional…I hope you get through this kindergarten bullshit with a relatively calm mind. Seems like having a car is really working out for y’all, if only as a place to hide in the rain.

  3. That’s…. not how percentiles work? I mean, whatever, it’s all ridiculous. Move here! There is ONE elementary school! You can take it or homeschool!

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