My heart belongs to Raingirl

By Mir
November 19, 2004

I swear we actually had this conversation in the car this morning. It was right after I was informed that it’s time to have Chickadee tested for ADD. (I like how her therapist tried to soften the blow by pointing out that part of the testing is an IQ test, so we’ll find out “just how smart she really is,” as if confirmation on paper that she’s a genius will somehow offset the fact that the cards are stacked against her in so many other ways.) Anyway, I was deep in my own thoughts, and this was just what I needed to bring me back to a place where I can love my life for everything it is, rather than despise it for the things that it is not.

Chickadee: Mama, do bicycles have to stop at red lights?
Me: Well, yes, they’re supposed to. Bikes are supposed to obey the same traffic rules as cars.
Chickadee: That bike just went through a red light. Can he get a ticket?
Me: Well, yes, he can get a ticket, but cyclists hardly ever do, which is why many of them break the rules. It’s still illegal, though.
Chickadee: When I’m older, and don’t live with you anymore, I’m going to ride my bike through red lights.
Me: Why? I just told you it’s illegal. It’s also dangerous.
Chickadee: I don’t care. I’ll do it anyway.
Me: I see. Will you also smoke cigarettes?
Chickadee: Yes, I’ll smoke a cigarette while I’m riding my bike through a red light! Without a helmet!
Me: Oh, good! Perhaps you can have six or seven babies before you get married, too!
Chickadee: And then I can put them on my head while I ride my bike and smoke my cigarettes!
Me: Great!
Chickadee: G-R-E-A-T
Me: Oh, that reminds me. At your conference with Mrs. Unpronouncable yesterday, she told me you’re going to start having spelling tests, soon. But she showed me the words and they’re all things you can spell already, so she’s going to give you challenge words for your spelling tests, too.
Chickadee: S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G T-E-S-T
Me: You’re a nutbar.
Chickadee: N-U-T-B-A-R
Me: I don’t think nutbar is going to be on your test.
Chickadee: I D-O-N-T T-H-I-N-K N-U-T-B-A-R I-S G-O-I-N-G T-O B-E O-N Y-O-U-R T-E-S-T
Me: Thank you, Rainman.
Chickadee: T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U R-A-I-N-M-A-N. Why did you call me Rainman?
Me: Nevermind.
Chickadee: N-E-V-E-R-M-I-N-D
Me: Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious!!
Chickadee: Moooooooom!!!


  1. alektra

    Will you be my mom, too?

    Honestly, when you talk about her here, she seems really a normal bright girl going through some changes. I have ADD, and so do a bunch of people in law school (and a bunch of engineers). I promise it won’t be the end of the world and might make her less frustrated in general, which makes her happier at home and at school.

    Not a bad deal, huh?

  2. tonya

    Is it bad that I found the ending to be hilarious and was secretly happy you found something she couldn’t spell?

  3. Coleen

    I practiced for about two weeks so that I could spell “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Yes, I was a snotty, precocious child.

  4. Ben

    How cool!

    And ADD testing is just a waypoint. Your kid is the same before and after, just your awareness might change.

    Dang, she can spell, though! Get her on Wheel of Fortune already.

    Finally, thank God you posted something. My morning is now complete :)

  5. Fraulein N

    She really does seem like a very smart kid. Hee. She spelled “nutbar.”

  6. dad

    This is a child that is dangerously creative.

    I think you may be able to outsmart her till she is about nine (and you, my dear, are no slouch). After that it’s a toss up. You gotta love her!
    Give her a kiss and tell her it’s from her mentally slow grandfather. Then smile and begin building up your strength.

  7. Bad Penguin

    “Yes, I’ll smoke a cigarette while I’m riding my bike through a red light! Without a helmet!” I love that! That is one smart, funny, creative kid you’ve got there.

  8. rudolf

    Hm, a very smart wiseacre. Wonder where she would have got that from? The nutbar doesn’t fall far from the tree :-)

    Overall, though, the story is less than totally satisfying because there is no mention of Pop-Tarts.

    What color pony would that be now?

  9. Amanda

    What a smartass!! Love. Her.

  10. Oliquig

    I too spent several weeks learning how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I don’t remember why.

  11. Apercu

    Your Daughter sounds like such a wonderful girl. Smart with soo much character, most people don’t have her sense of humor. Ya’ll are 2 lucky women to have each other. Even if somedays it doesn’t seem that way.

  12. Scully

    I love a smartass!

  13. udge

    I think it’s time to start the “not everything bad is ADD” backlash.

    A child who is smarter than her teacher does not have ADD, she has a dumb teacher. The “diagnosis” of ADD often means nothing more than “I don’t have control over this child” with the implicit suffix “and it’s the kid’s fault”. There is a second explanation possible: that the teacher can’t or won’t react well to this child. Kids like Chickadee are a pain in the ass to teachers who want a quiet life and a disciplined classroom and as little extra work as possible.

    It is up to the teacher and the school to find a way and a place where that child can develop. If she is reading two levels higher than her grade, then promote her up a year!

    “No child left behind” is fine, but a little “no child held back” would be pretty good too.

  14. joshilyn

    What Udge said, and to that I add, my friend’s daughter has ADD, and they elected to treat it without medication, through behavior mod and diet, and the girl. is. thriving. It scares me, how fast doctors are to whip out the prescription pad. And it scares me how the kids most likely to get medicated are the exeptionally bright ones…because they are most likely to be the butt pains at school.

    She’s such an original, your Chick. I have a DIFFICULT ORIGINAL myself. I may strangle him one day, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world and all its pretty sparklies.

  15. lady jane

    I, on the other hand, only spent weeks LEARNING the words to Supercalifrag… yeah, that’s enough. But I will sing it to anyone, anytime!

    Chickadee is so hilarious. I hope that the testing works out for the best – whatever road you choose to go down.

  16. Trish

    The whole conversation: Just. Too. Cute! ~Trish

    P.S. While I’m a few days behind, I recently held an Un-Lurker Day to let my favorite bloggers know they’re appreciated and enjoyed. Consider yourself told :)

  17. Philip

    Very cute. I’m glad she’s keeping you sane.

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