The other day, we were working through multiplication tables, the Girl and I. I joked with her that if she didn’t get a correct answer, she would have to do that number of push-ups (later, reasonably, downgraded to jumping jacks). She giggled, and said okay.
“7 x 6!” I gave her. “C’mon, quick, gimme an answer.”
“Um, er,” she hesitated (she’s like me—doesn’t work well under pressure), and gave a quick answer: “41.”
“Nope. 42. Gimme 42 now.”
Now, lest you think I’m a cruel teacher, I did say to the Girl, “I’m just joking; you don’t really have to do it.” “No, I want to, she replied, and with a smile on her face, started on her 42. I joined her for the last 30, so she wouldn’t feel alone.
The thing I’ve always noticed about my Girl, and loved so much about her, is that she never complains about schoolwork. Anything we give her as schoolwork, she does willingly, even when you can tell that she’d rather do something else. Conjugate this verb. Write a movie review. Fractions workshop. Done, done, and done. I have no doubt that if she were in the school system, she’d be the teacher’s pet. I’m glad, though, that she isn’t, because she’s the best student I’ve ever had.