Today Baby Snarky was avoiding his math homework. Now, Baby Snarky actually enjoys math. He loves to count and discuss mathematical concepts. What Baby Snarky does not love is worksheets. I can’t say that I really blame him. While I do have children who adore math worksheets (those children may not actually be related to me) I don’t mind teaching without worksheets. There are lots of other options that are fun and highly educational. Worksheets are sometimes necessary, though. I need a hard copy to keep track of what the children have learned.
To avoid working on his worksheet, Baby Snarky was drawing a picture. The picture consisted of two curved lines with a number at the end of each. One line had the number 200 at the end. The other line had the number 1,000 at the end. He then looked at me and said “Momma, if you were out for a walk, and there were two paths, one had two hundred dollars at the end, and the other had a thousand dollars at the end, which path would you take?”
“Um, I would take the thousand dollar path!” I said pretty quickly.
“But Momma, why did you decide to become a teacher if you like money?” He asked.
I’ll wait while you stop giggling at my son’s grasp of economics which is already far superior to mine.
My seven year old then began to explain how the world works to me. A discussion I really probably should have had before I chose college majors like Art and Education.
“Momma, you need to know that jobs that pay a lot of money are usually called high risk jobs. High risk jobs pay more money because they are dangerous. Teaching kids is not dangerous.”
I disagree. Teaching is very dangerous. Anyone who has ever survived “indoor recess” in a public school will back me up here. I kept my mouth shut, though, because I was dying to see where this would go.
“If you want to make a lot of money, it helps to work at a more dangerous job.” He explained as if he were the expert and I was some idiot. “A dangerous job would be being an astronaut and going into space. That could make you a lot of money. BUT if you wanted to make a lot MORE money you could get an even MORE dangerous job. Like fixing the sun.”
“Hold the phone there, buddy. Fixing the sun is a job?” I interrupted. You see, I am a very good worrier. I started worrying about aging when I was six years old. Shortly after that I added nuclear war to my worries. I would spend hours watching the sky for rockets. From that point on, I have successfully added thousands of things to my worry list. Needing to fix the sun has not been on my list. Yet.
“Mom,” He said, as if he was trying to get the attention of a small, easily distracted child, “if the sun ever gets broken, people will need to fix it. People are not going to do that job for fifteen dollars. You see, the sun is very very hot.”
“Yes, I know the sun is hot.” I said, trying to assure him that I did have some level of competency. He wasn’t buying it.
“No, Momma, I don’t think you understand how hot the sun actually is. I don’t even understand how hot the sun is. It is a very high risk job. You could be melted while fixing the sun. You would need a lot of money to do that job.”
“So, how do you think someone would fix the sun, if, you know, they needed to do that job?” I asked. Up until this point the boy seemed to have a lot of good information. I was thinking about having him make more of my life choices.
“Mom. Your boss teaches you all about it on your first day of work. I’ve never had that job so I don’t know how to do it.
Now, I’ve decided to have two jobs. One that is high risk and makes a lot of money so I can buy an Xbox One and another job that I do because it’s just so awesome and needs to be done.”
“Oh! Tell me about your future jobs!” I said.
“Well, my high risk job will be a marine biologist. It is a high risk job because while you are looking at otters or cool fish, you could be eaten by a shark. Also octopuses are cool, but kind of scary too, so they probably pay you a lot to train them.”
“Octopi.” I corrected, always the grammar nerd. I was about to ask more about the need for trained octopi when he started in again.
“I will probably be a marine biologist until I have earned enough money to buy an Xbox One. Then I will be able to do the job I really want. It’s such a fun job, I can hardly wait to do it!”
“What is it?” I asked, excitedly. What type of philanthropy would this wise soul choose? Doctors Without Borders? Teaching in a third world country? Counseling troubled youth?
“I just can’t wait to be the guy who rolls the toilet paper on the hot tar when they fix the cracks in the streets!” He announced, proudly. “How long do you think I’ll need to go to college for that?”
I may still be in the market for someone to make all of my life choices.