A few years ago I was a teacher at a small, religious school.
Fortunately for me, the head of the school was unshakably convinced of my secret identity as The Spawn Of The Devil, or else it would’ve been really easy for me to get the big head.
Because what I didn’t know, having no children of my own, is that kids? Are really easily impressed.
For example, one day I was teaching my third graders, and while I was talking to them I was writing on the board without looking at what my hand was doing!
And dude, once I revealed my magical super hero power of Doing Two Different Things At The Same Time, I totally owned the third grade.
So it’s lucky that I live with three cats, cats who are totally shameless and amoral, cats who condescendingly tolerate our presence in their home because we are the only two beings with opposable thumbs who can open the tub of cat food, cats who pee on every single square inch of the bathroom floor EXCEPT the very expensive, state-of-the-art, self-cleaning litter box we purchased especially for them, because it helps keep me humble and grounded.
And I need that kind of real life reality check to balance out days like yesterday, where I once again used my Magical Superhero Powers Of Awesomeness to outwit The 12-Year-Old Boy Who Is Laboring Heavily Under The Delusion That He Can Totally Play Me.
We were once again forced to confront his evil nemesis-Spanish vocabulary words, and once again he decided that the session would yield much better results for him if he could trick me into telling him the answers, rather than looking the words up himself.
We’ve been on the same chapter with the same vocabulary words for an entire month. We’ve had tests and quizzes and homework assignments on all the words related to clothing, and yesterday he still did not know the Spanish word for “clothes” (did I mention that it’s been a month?!), a fact which did not at all make me feel like a failure as a Spanish tutor, or heavily tempt me to become A Person Who Drinks.
So of course, I told him to look it up in the dictionary, and of course he used his super-keen spidey senses to hone in on my super hero weakness by saying, “Why-don’t you know the answer?” (accompanied by a disgusted head shake and heavy exhale) “Yeah, I bet you don’t even know the answer.”
Do you have any idea how hard it was not to smite him with the razor-sharp edge of my sarcasm? Really. f*&#ing. hard.
But I’m happy to say that I was able to restrain myself, and instead decided to use my powers for good, limiting myself only to saying, “That doesn’t work on girls.”
He was quite surprised to be let in on that little secret of the universe, telling me that, “If I’d said that to a guy, he would’ve told me the answer.”
Well, little one, welcome to my world.