Life Skills 101: Juggling Flaming Bags of Poo

Waaaay back when I was a young thing in a “Frankie Say Relax” t-shirt and neon jelly shoes, we had to take Home Ec in school. One semester we took sewing, and then cooking, and the last was something whose name escapes me: Family Arts? Domestic Bliss? I guess it’s telling that I can’t remember.

I strongly feel Home Ec should make a comeback. Someone in this house, other than me, needs to learn how to cook (Banker Boy made me a bagel once, when I’d returned from having our child surgically removed from my abdomen). And someone should be preparing us critical life skills, like budgeting, career planning, and how to juggle all the shit life throws your way when you’re a reluctant member of the Sandwich Generation.

Let me introduce you to my son. He knows I write about him, but to maintain some modicum of privacy, I’ll call him Puck. That’s a name that captures both his love of hockey, and his resemblance to a mischievous and funny character from my favourite Shakespeare play.

Puck is eleven. He’s always been a funny kid, curious about the world around him. He loves hockey, animals, and airplanes. He wants to be a pilot. He loves to make people laugh, and is very concerned about the well-being of others.

Puck’s problems in school started almost immediately, and got increasingly worse through Grade Two. He’d rip up his work. Knock over chairs. Yell at the teacher, and cry inconsolably. That was not the same kind, funny child we saw at home. We had no clue what to do. We’d get phone calls from the school to come get him, as he was disrupting the class and upsetting the other children. I overheard other parents talking about Puck as a problem who needed to be dealt with. It broke my heart.Read More »