Remember the good old days of yore (otherwise known in this case as "last week") when I recounted how Derek was showing signs of reasserting his levelheaded, reliable, pre-teenage self? He even finished his week on a strongly positive note, reporting that he had already tackled some of his Summer Math Packet during school hours, when he had a bit of free time to use. It was a shining moment of parental pride...and hope..annnndddd, that didn't last very long. The facade started to crack on Saturday, when the following conversation took place:
Me (making a perfectly reasonable statement): "I'm probably going to pick you up early from the party, since I don't really want to drive home from Rockville at 11 p.m., and you don't need to be up until midnight anyway."
Derek (with an expression of indignation, and an incoherent noise of disgust): "But, but, I'm not a KID!"
Me (amused and skeptical): "Oh, realllllyyyy?"
Derek (vehemently): "Yeah, I'm 12!"
Me (gaping at him incredulously): ???
Derek (sputtering): "Um, I'm 13...whatever...I'm BIG!"
Huh, with a well-planned and convincingly-presented argument like that, how could you go wrong? However, things started looking a bit more promising again when he came home from school and gleefully announced that he'd completely finished the aforementioned Summer Math Homework. I barely had a chance to congratulate him, though, before I commenced my daily rifling through his backpack, identifying and removing any important papers (that he's absolutely certain NOT to give me, hence the TSA-style security check). And what turned up in today's routine search, tucked in behind a sheaf of graded Science assignments? An innocuous little half-sheet of paper, easy to miss, sentencing Derek to Afterschool Detention for the first time in his life. First thought: "Dude! You couldn't make it through FOUR MORE DAYS until you were sprung from 7th grade? What the heck? Then I went and found him, waved it in his face, and demanded to know what he had done to earn his incarceration. "Well, after the Science test, I had time left in class to work on stuff." (Hmm, nothing wrong with that...) "So I turned to my friend and said, 'Hey, I finished my Math!' And I got in trouble for talking..." (Sighhhhh....)
Thus he gets to spend an extra hour in schoolville on the second-to-last day of the year. Oh, and after praising him for being on top of his Summer work, I took a quick peek at it and noticed that they were only required to do the ODD numbered problems. I informed him that--rather than tucking it away and attempting to avoid even the thought of equations and variables for the entire vacation--he would in fact be completing the rest of the problems at some point as well. (You can imagine the reaction, right? Something along the lines of "What? Are you serious?" Why yes, yes I am. Mwah hah hah!) Say it with me: four more days...four more days...