How you know she’s my daughter:
Math question: Jamie had 2 video games. He got 2 more video games for his birthday. How many video games does he have now?
Flora’s answer: Well, Jamie is a nerd so he has four video games. If he lived in our house, Mom would make him give away the first two video games when he got two new ones, so he would still only have two. And he’d only get one new video game for his birthday, because how could he play two video games at the same time.
Math question: Yesterday, Claire found six pennies laying on the ground. Today, she found one penny. How many pennies did she find altogether?
Flora’s answer: Why were the pennies laying on the ground? Who put them there? Was today’s penny in exactly the same spot? And, the real question: how many pennies will there be on the ground tomorrow?
Um. So. I need to ask…
Jane: Flora? Why did you just write “She found seven pennies”?
Flora: It said to answer in full sentences. See?
How you know he’s my son:
Jane: My sweet, I know that you know the answer as soon as you look at these two ridiculously large numbers. But for these questions, you need to break it down into the steps you’d use to find the answer. Can’t you just pretend you don’t know the answer right away and work it out like this…
Cinder: I don’t want to jump through these idiotic hoops! I want to get this crap done as quickly as possible so I can go do something interesting!
I know, beloved, I know. I wish I could tell you that one day life runs out of idiotic hoops. Still. I think we do get better at avoiding the most onerous of them, with practice. So. Yeah. Go on to something more interesting.
How they know they’re the children of a writer:
Jane: OK, guys, here’s the sich. As you know, I lost a week of work and consciousness because of the Plague, and I have three massive deadlines this week. So here’s what’s going to happen. Today, I’m doing research and scheduling interviews. Tomorrow, I’ll be stressed, frustrated and panicking because no one is returning my emails and probably unproductive as a result, so we might as well take a field trip. Let’s go to Banff—Cinder, you’re in charge of finding the swim stuff. It might be molding in the basement from the last time we went swimming. Wednesday, I absolutely need to write because one of the stories is due Thursday morning, so don’t talk to me: Daddy is the only parent alive as far as you’re concerned. Thursday is going to be hell, because Daddy has a shoot, and that’s when I’ll be doing the interviews for the story due Friday… You can basically watch movies all day and night until you pass out. Um, Friday… Friday, Daddy’s home and I need to write.. don’t talk to me. But Saturday, Saturday I’ll probably make supper.
Cinder: You’re not going to feed us until Saturday?
Jane: I’m also not doing any laundry this week. So either do your own or ration your underwear.
Cinder: I don’t think this happens in other people’s houses.
Flora: No, I’ve conducted surveys. She’s extra weird. And look. Now she’s texting and dancing!*
Jane: Yes! New plan! The Friday story is now due Monday. The good news is, I will now make you supper on Thursday. The bad news is, I’m going to be stressed and bitchy all weekend.
Flora: It’s ok, Mom. We’re used to it.
*I was actually emailing and dancing. But, same diff.
I’m on deadline. So I’m not really here. I was never here. You never saw me. Shhhhh.