Thursday, June 3, 2010

Edumacting The Child

So, the other day I give the kid a big mom-lecture for being a dandelion-brain and being more interested in brainless TV and video games than in at least watching something "interesting" (translated from mom-speak - "educational"). The kid listens to me all forlornly, knowing he's trapped. Oh, he triiies to divert my attention with cunning 12-year-old tricks, such as randomly asking, "sooo, what are we gonna do now?" but it's just not working. I know. I'm like a ninja or something to see past these crafty diversions.

Anyway, eventually, we strike a compromise in which I get to shut up and we get to watch something on Discovery Channel. Discovery does not seem to have anything interesting, but hey, History Channel does! It's a "BC Battles" about Hannibal. And it's even something violent! (another point of contention, but I decide to let that go for now).

The show was actually pretty interesting and informative in a easy-to-swallow way. That is, of course, if you actually pay attention to the, uh, what are they called? Oh, yes, the WORDS! Though my kid's brains apparently have been fried from all the Disney and Nickolodeon, so while I'm being all impressed that Hannibal was but a baby (well, a 25-year-old baby, but still) when he started kicking Roman butts, my kid makes remarks like, "Oooh, look, a smiley face!" That's in response to them showing the formations of the Roman army vs. Hannibal's and yes, if you are REALLY bored, it may potentially look like a smiling robot or a 7-eyed alien, but seriously? I mean, really?

The show is all talking about how Hannibal tried to deal with Gauls and they were all, "Oooh, sure, let us show you the way through these mountain passes," and then turn around and ambush Hannibal (and his army, of course). And then his army would be like, "Oh, WTF, not again?!" and annihilate that particular tribe of Gauls. Eventually, of course, Hannibal got Gauls to be on his side using such incentives as "Yo, I got elephants!" and Gauls were all, "What's elephants, precious?" And Hannibal is all, "See that mountain? See it move? That's elephant." And Gauls were all like, "OMG, wow." So they joined Hannibal in his fight against Rome, especially after some of them got stepped on. By the elephants.

The kid is sitting there going, "Wow, did he just get wounded? I think he just got wounded!" That's because History Channel is trying to be cool and to not just have a bunch of white old men sit and explain about history with ancient ruins in the background. Now that we've got CGG, we can shoot a whole buncha guys in costumes waving swords and spears against a green screen and show THEM with ancient ruins in the background, so it looks like they're there. It does look cool, but apparently, my kid has trouble paying attention to those things, forgot again - oh yes, WORDS, when there are bloody (literally) pictures flashing right in front of him.

I am not sure if it's the end of the school year that's got him fried, or maybe he's starting on the whole teenager testosterone thing, but I'm not digging it. But, I guess, this is in the parental contract. Must be somewhere in the fine print, because nobody ever sees those things coming. And then you sit there and go, "Wow, I never realized I'd be required to remind my child to remember to take his hat off before getting into the shower!" I mean, we all know that at some point, we'll have a child come up to us and say, "Mom? I've got a project due tomorrow (that we had 2 weeks to work on), and I'll need 3 thousand different bits of supplies and also extensive internet research, and do you think we could perhaps start now?" And it's like 10 pm and all office supply stores are closed. We know that will come. But these things? Man, I shoulda read the fine print.

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