Published Date: February 26th, 2010
Category: Weekly Thought

‘I’m clearly NOT gifted’

is all I could think as I drove around in circles looking for the testing center for G’s big “Gifted and Enrichment Testing” that occurred yesterday. For those of you who do NOT have a 5-year-old living in the city of Chicago let me enlighten you about what I am talking about.

Because applying to and understanding the Chicago Public School system is not difficult enough, they also give you the option to have your child tested to see if he or she is smart enough to go into one of the eight or nine “gifted schools” that are located around the city of Chicago.

That’s right—G was testing for one of maybe 200 spots. We’re not counting on much.

Regardless, I was stressed out about it. Not about the actual test, but about HOW TO GET THERE.

For some reason, the test is at the Illinois Institute of Technology. And for some reason, that campus utterly confuses me. It didn’t help that my Google map instructions actually instructed me to do a U-turn on South State Street.


I therefore made us leave ridiculously early. And got us there in plenty of time. To not understand how to pay for parking.

Why, you wonder? Because I have become so accustomed to the new parking meters that I couldn’t figure out to use a parking meter that wouldn’t nicely let me put in my credit card.

Again, good thing I was not getting tested on how to properly get my possibly gifted child to his testing session.

Amazingly enough, we finally got there (after I quickly wrote a sad note on my parking receipt as to why I couldn’t figure out how to buy more parking so please, please don’t give me a ticket) and automatically, I found myself switching to “testing mode.” How or why this happened, I don’t know. I just found myself standing straighter, pasting a fake smile on my face, and PUSHING G towards the helpful greeter man. Who asked G for his name and birthday (which G miraculously told him in a loud, clear voice) and then I realized G had mustard all over his face from his hastily-eaten lunch in the car. I pushed G behind me (and proceeded to notice the Chiquita banana sticker on his butt) and asked helpful man where the restroom was to which he replied,

“Well, the ladies’ restroom is down the hall and to the left. But if G is MORE INDEPENDENT, the men’s’ restroom is down the hall and around the corner.”

More independent? Is he? And I panicked. Will we get marked down if G is NOT independent enough to go to a dirty, scary bathroom all on his own? Or, do I look like an irresponsible mother if I let him go by himself?

Please—can’t someone just TELL ME how he should go to the bathroom?

And that’s when I realized I had momentarily become one of those “flashcard parents.” One of those parents who sits in their car before the special gifted testing session and makes their child go through flashcards of words and numbers and who knows, capitals of countries to insure they have prepped their child enough for this test.

I promptly thanked helpful man, grabbed G by the hand, and took him into the women’s’ restroom. And turns out it’s a good thing I did, as G almost didn’t make it in time to the restroom and let’s just say, I don’t think they let kids into the gifted program with wet, spotty pants.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 11:30 am and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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