I guess it should come as no surprise to me: my teen-aged daughter, Shannon, knows everything. I am actually very relieved to find this out, so that I cannot bothered to offer any unsolicited advice regarding boys, finances, illnesses–general life stuff. Thankfully, Shannon knows it all already!
Shannon has made it be known, in no uncertain terms, that any knowledge I may have acquired while on this planet doesn’t really equate to a hill of beans. I mean, I am ONLY a mom, and how could any life experience that I have had pertain to her and her life situations? It’s actually quite a load off my mind: I cannot be blamed for any bad choices made in her life because my recommendations were neither requested nor heeded, when given. It’s very freeing, actually, having a child who knows all.
Although I am used to the usual look of contempt I receive from Shannon whenever I deliver pertinent information to her, I was recently blindsided by her newest request:
“Mom,” she announced one afternoon, out of the blue, “I think we should take an I.Q. test.”
I was puzzled. “An I.Q. test?” I repeated. “Who should take an I.Q. test?”
“Me and you,” she responded.
“You and I,” I countered.
“What?” she answered.
“The proper form…” I began. “Forget it. Why do you want us to take an I.Q. test?”
“Because I think I am smarter than you are, ” she said, in that confident, defiant, teen-aged tone of hers. As I let it sink in for a moment, I wasn’t offended; I was intrigued. She either was so unshakable in her knowledge of well, everything, or she truly believed I am an imbecile. Instead of being insulted, I maturely recognized that her puffed-up sense of self was insecurity. Plus, I knew I could blow the doors off her in an I.Q. test.
My curiosity got the better of me: “What makes you believe you’re smarter than I am?” I queried.
“I don’t know, I just think I am,” was her intelligent reply. “And if I’m not,” she continued, “I know that Ryan is.”
Ryan, I thought to myself. If Ryan is smarter than I am, then I pray the Mayans are right and the world will end in December. God help us all.
“There’s a difference between life experience, book knowledge and common sense, you know, Shannon?” I asked her.
“Sure,” came her nonchalant reply.
While I recognize that common sense is not my strong suit (which, ironically, was a realization I acquired through life experience), I proceeded to challenge her: “So you don’t think the fact that I have been on this planet for thirty years more than you have hasn’t given me any advantage?”
“I don’t think it has,” was her smug response.
“OK then,” secure in my overall wisdom, “let’s do it. But first, Shannon, before we begin, what does I.Q. stand for?”
“I don’t know,” came her annoyed retort.
“Hmmm, it stands for ‘intelligence quotient’,” I explained, without a hint of smugness. “I guess that’s one point for Mom, and one point is all it takes, as far as I am concerned. I.Q. test concluded.”
As I weathered her protests, I consoled myself in the fact that since she already knew everything, my feeble responses would only fall on deaf ears. And, I was consoled knowing that one day, perhaps Shannon will have a teenager…