An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bad, Bad Nonna

Yesterday morning my mom calls me to tell me she has a new haircut.

"Why don't you come over and show me?" I suggested. "We can have a cappuccino while Timothy finishes up his summer work."

Now, before I proceed let me just say that right now we have a good thing going with the whole Mommy Summer School thing: morning work (worksheets on different subjects), reading quietly for 30-minutes every afternoon, and in the evening we sit on the back deck in our jammies and together read aloud The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. That's it. Just a little structure into a day that is mostly about playing outside and bugging his brothers. Most importantly, he hasn't complained.

But when Nonna entered the kitchen and saw Timothy (peacefully) going through some math worksheets ...

"Timothy! Oh you poor baby!" she says. "You don't need school work; you're already smart!"

Timothy looks up at Nonna-the-Savior and smiles. He has found an ally.

"Look, I'll show you how smart he is," Nonna announces to me. She turns to Timothy. "Who came first, Napoleon or Hitler?"

"Napoleon," says Timothy.

(This is an unfair question because everyone in the family knows how Napoleon once slept in the house in which Nonna was born, so in Nonna's world all roads lead back to Napoleon.)

"Yes!" says Nonna, who gives me a very pointed look. "See? He knows history. Okay, now geography. What's the capital of England?"

(Again, unfair because we're reading the Chronicles of Narnia and on the very first night we discussed how the children left London to escape the air raids.)

"London," says Timothy, who is beginning to like this game.

"Correct! Geography is done. Let's try Religion," she says. "What does the Assumption of Mary mean?"

"When Mary is taken up into heaven," responded Timothy, who (truthfully) looks a little relieved because religion isn't always his strong point.

"Yes! Can you name the states of water?" asked Nonna.

"Solid, liquid, gas!" says Timothy triumphantly. He's on a roll.

"Bravissimo!" yells Nonna. "History, geography, religion, science ... you know it all! You don't need to study!"

And just like that ... poof! One little boy disappears, leaving behind scattered worksheets, a pencil with a broken point, and a Nonna sipping her cappuccino looking inordinately proud of herself.

Nonna and Timothy in a poppy field.
Naples, Italy 2010


Do Not Be Anxious said...

Nonna missed biology: "At what age does a man stop learning?" Answer: Never. Get back to work.

mamma said...

My dear Timothy looked so dejected sitting at the kitchen table, with pencils, papers, and schoolbooks...while outside the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping, and the children were playing. Nonna HAD to come to the rescue!!!

Ellen aka Ellie said...

I can't wait to be a gramma!