My family got a new puppy this summer. She’s a rescue from North Carolina- a one-year-old chocolate lab named Abby. We’re still getting used to her (and she to us), but mostly it’s going along swimmingly. She’s responding well to training and she’s mostly eager to please- or as eager to please as a one-year-old anything can be.
You can imagine my surprise this morning when I heard my son talking very seriously with her while while I was finishing up my morning chores. The (somewhat one-sided) conversation went like this:
“Abby, there’s something very important that we need to do. We’ve been working very very hard on teaching you how to sit and stay and fetch and shake. Now it’s time to see how well we’ve been doing at that teaching. It’s time for your standardized tests. We’re going to start them next week, so this week we’re going to spend time doing test prep.”
You can imagine the look on my face at that point. He’s starting NECAP testing this week, so it’s obvious where this idea came from, but I wanted more information. I called him over and asked, in my most serious tone, what he knows about test prep.
“Everyone knows about test prep mama. It’s what we do before NECAPs so our teachers won’t lose their jobs because NECAPs tell us how well the teachers are doing. We’re lucky we live where we do because in other states teachers can get FIRED if the kids don’t do their very, very best.”
Shocked silence on my end.
“It’s no big deal mama. It’s just part of school these days,” he added, patting me on the shoulder consolingly. “I’m sure Abby will do fine- though I may have to make modifications for her on the ‘shake’ section.”
We would all be wiser if we took the time to see the world through the eyes of a child each day. It is the clearest, most honest view of the details we as busy adults miss because of the” grown-up issues” that fill our day. I learned this early as a parent and have always cherished the moments when my children shared their insights with me.