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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


It's Different For Girls

When my son was in first grade, there was a mom in the class who was one of those moms. PTA President, uber-volunteer, head of every committee, cupcake baker extraordinaire... I started calling her "Super Mom" (not to her face, mind you), and then noticed that there was another mom who was always by her side, tagging along and helping out. Of course, she had to be "Super Mom's Sidekick"... And that's what I called them for a year, never even bothering to learn their names. They were just "Super Mom" and "Super Mom's Sidekick."

These two women had perfect kids, perfect husbands, shiny SUVs, and hair that always looked like they just came out of the beauty parlor. I don't know how they did it. Must be some kind of mommy voodoo.

Anyway, the spell was broken last month when I ran into "Super Mom" at the store and she recognized me. I asked how her perfect kids were, and it turns out they're not so perfect. One of her kids is flunking out, another is depressed. She doesn't volunteer much anymore. I guess things were not what they seemed.

But it was meeting up with "Super Mom's Sidekick" the other day that really made me rethink my judgements. Her son was enrolling in the same homeschool gym class as my son. Huh? Homeschooling for the perfect public school kids? I had to find out what the deal was, so I introduced myself.

I was shocked to learn that her three boys had never been in public school. She had been homeschooling them all since kindergarten. But why was she running around the school as "Super Mom's Sidekick"?? She explained that her daughter has always been in public school, and is now in 6th grade where she's very happy.

I must've had a confused look on my face. She left me with this cryptic comment before gathering her boys and packing them into her shiny SUV: "It's different for girls."

I'm still confused.


Blogger Katrina said...

Yeah, I guess I can see where she's coming from. It is a little different for girls. It's as if, along with math, reading, and science, girls are taking an extra course in school. The textbook is every person the girl knows, and there are chapters called Friendship, Intuition, Loyalty, Betrayal, Encouragement, Group Dynamics, and Self-respect. Of course, boys learn these subjects, too, but they're generally happy to take the survey course, where most girls go on to get their PhD.

Just a guess, from my own experience. ;)

10:44 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I guess I'm confused too.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Public school education is predicated on managing large groups of children through praise for sitting quietly and attentively over long periods of time. Not since the days of corporal punishment has a boy, let alone a group of boys, come close to mastering that skill. It's different for girls.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous brettdl said...

There is an assumption that boys are unable to learn and the pendulumn has swung against them in some ways in schools today. Note that more females are going to college nowadays than males.

10:52 AM  
Blogger HLiza said...

Yeah..I'm confused too. What's so different?

2:31 PM  
Blogger Mommy Dearest said...

Super Mom and Super Mom Sidekick. I love it. But I'm confused, too. Maybe I'll get it when The Goo's a little older.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

If I see her again, I will definitely ask her what's so different about her daughter that the public school won out over homeschooling.

9:31 PM  
Blogger G is... said...

Add me to the list of confused. I wonder if she was making the point that girls somehow need the structure of public education more than boys OR that boys need more attention from their parents...OR...?

8:00 AM  
Anonymous HoorayForSaturday said...

Dare I say, I'm mystified.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Bay Views said...

Huh? Could it be that Sidekick is living her daughter's life through her and doesn't relate to her Son?

6:54 PM  
Blogger Hann said...

What the?
Count me in for being confused!

4:28 AM  

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