And, no, I don’t mean the time of Peace and Goodwill towards men (or women, if they mattered.)
No, the time of the year I refer to is the semi-annual appearance of my TigerMom doppelganger. Without being too Three Faces of Eve about it, I must admit that occasionally I suffer from a sort of evil possession that turns me into the Type A person I was raised to be, before extensive therapy made me almost suitable for human contact.
At those times I become like River, from Serenity, except not adorable or waifish and without a supportive brother. Lethal, crazy, and not all there.
The most recent occasion was our run-up to Standardized Testing. The 2 high-schoolers are taking the ACT in December. So we’re doing pre-tests, and writing exercises, and, in general, turning our curriculum upside-down to give the kids an opportunity to experience success in what I believe to be a stupid exercise. See? I’m conflicted.
Because, while part of me wants to walk away from the whole pointless business
( because a three hour test that assesses, what? Your “academic potential?” Writing an essay on “What personal character trait has the potential to be most negative?” in 25 minutes tells us something important about how someone will manage themselves in college?}
the other part of me wants the Payoff. I was a class A, named, lab rat in the school system. I KNOW what’s on the other side of that maze. Goodies. Lots of easy goodies. So, let me show you about that maze….
Internal Conflicts like this are the sort of opening TigerMom loves. While I’m in a schitzophrenic Quaker meeting, trying to assemble a consensus, she starts whacking grammar books on the desk and hollering, “WRITE THE ESSAY! JUST WRITE IT! NO ONE HAS A BLADDER THAT SMALL! YOU CAN HOLD IT!”
Ah, yes. Not pretty.
I’m just betting on the notion that a young adult without any major parental conflicts to complain about will be mocked and derided by his or her peers. :p