“What’s up, buddy? You look upset,” I said to my son Tommy the other night. He had a homework page in front of him and he was thumping his pencil against it angrily.
“I don’t understand this,” he whined, pushing the paper away.
I went over to look at the page and saw it was about Fact and Opinion. On the top part you had to circle if the statement was fact or opinion. And then you had to write your own fact and opinion.
“So you don’t know the difference?” I wondered as my husband Tom walked in and peered down at the paper.
“Oh, that’s easy! For your fact, write “My Mom buys too many clothes for me!” Tom said cheerfully as he took a big bite from an apple.
I was not amused.
“Excuse me? I don’t think the kids have too much. That would be an opinion,” I said, folding my arms over my chest.
“It’s a fact. I can prove it. Come on,” Tom said and started heading up the stairs.
Tommy and I exchanged a glance but then followed him. Tom was standing in front of Tommy’s closet and he threw it open and gestured with his free hand. “Wa-lah! Too much!”
Tommy’s brows furrowed.
I waved a hand in the air. “I disagree. That’s an opinion. This is probably nothing compared to rich people. They probably have walk in closets for their kids. This closet is tiny.” I stared at Tommy. “So this would be an opinion.”
Tommy’s nose wrinkled.
“But…here’s a fact for you: You can write ‘My Daddy is a slob,’” I added with a sharp nod.
Now it was Tom’s turn to make a face. “Excuse me? I just did the dishes last night,” he argued.
“Come with me, Tommy,” I said and headed for our bedroom.
Both boys followed at my heels. I pointed to a pair of Tom’s underwear and socks that were thrown right BESIDE the laundry basket. I’ve never understood this. Why can’t he take the extra time and throw them IN the laundry basket? Why are things always BESIDE the laundry basket?
“So you can write, ‘My Daddy is a slob,’ because this is proof,” I said, shoving Tom’s disgusting sock with my toe.
“I disagree! This is an opinion. All wives aren’t anal like you are and wouldn’t mind scooping their husband’s clothes up after he’s had a long day at work,” Tom said, sticking his tongue out at me. There were apple bits on it. Gross.
“Tommy, you can also write, “My Daddy has bad manners,’” I suggested.
Tommy looked at Tom, then at me, and then back to Tom. “I’m confused,” he admitted.
“Write, ‘My Mommy goes shopping too much!’” Tom shouted right as I yelled, “Write ‘My Daddy is a slob!’”
Tom and I were so busy bickering that we didn’t even realize that Tommy had left.
“Where did he go?” I asked Tom.
He shrugged and finished up his apple. “I don’t know.”
We headed downstairs and found Tommy at the table.
“I’m going to write, ‘My Mommy and Daddy confuse me,’” he told us.