Semantics – Wherein all of my children get sent to the principal’s office

Soon we will all embark on the strangest year of school in recent history. Some kids are going to school at school, some kids are going to school in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and some kids are going to school via an Internet connection. And some kids? Some kids are being homeschooled by their parents who never once in their lives imagined a scenario in which they would homeschool their children. 2020 has caused us all to make some strange choices.

We’re going to be the school-via-the-Internet camp. I considered homeschooling my kids for one brief moment, then thought better of it. There are myriad reasons why I’m not homeschooling. Near the top of that list is that, turns out, my kids have absolutely zero respect for their teacher-mommy.

For example, here’s a little science experiment David conducted:

We’re all sitting on the couch when David starts squeezing my arm.
Me: David, what are you doing?
David: I was just seeing if your arm was rippling because of muscles or because of fat. Turns out it’s —
Me: Stop. Just stop right there.


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I try to do is ask the kids simple math questions throughout the day to try to review their math skills. Stuff like, if we have four kids and eight pieces of pizza, how many pieces does everyone get? Stuff like that.

One day, I asked the kids, “Hey, can anyone tell me what 6×7 is?”

Mary answered, “Don’t worry, Mom. I can run upstairs and ask Daddy for you.”


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While I was watching the kids swim one afternoon, Thomas swam over and asked me:

Thomas: Mom, what kind of animal eats the most food?
Me, considering for a while. Is it the elephant? Some energy-hungry carnivore? Perhaps an insect I haven’t thought about? Then I come up with the most educated response I can think of without Googling:
I think it’s the blue whale, Thomas.
Thomas: Nope. It’s Garfield.


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My sister gave this book to Anna on our trip to Vancouver. We were reading it one morning, and as we read through it, she asked me what the animals say. The animals aren’t your typical barnyard animals (there’s an orca, red herring eggs, and sea otter, for example) so I have to get creative.

Anna, pointing to the Glaucous-Winged gull chickWhat’s that one say?
Me: It says CAW! CAW! CAW!
Anna, pointing to the baby seagull: What’s that one say?
Me: It say cheep! Cheep! Cheep!
Anna: No it not! It say, “Mama! Mama! Mama!”




  1. Ally August 10, 2020

    So glad to see that you’re back with silly stories to share! You’ll look back on theses semantics posts one day and laugh.

    • amandakrieger August 11, 2020

      things got a little heavy there for a bit, didn’t they!? silly stories are my favorite, too.


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