Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Table Talk

The dinner table is a great place to get some help with your homework. With a table of 8 you can throw out your latest discussion questions, project requirements, or any other assignment and get the perspectives of those from a variety of ages, skills, and life experiences. Tonight we were helping Jesse with a career inventory he was to complete. Poor guy had to come up with 20 careers he'd like to pursue. I have to say I do think 20 is awfully high. You'd have to be amazingly gifted to come up with 20 areas of interest, even if you hadn't already started thinking of life after college. I can remember having to do these things in middle and high school. I always had trouble after the first blank on the list.

1. Teacher
2. ??? I don't know. Well, you have to write something else. Okay, then. Is special ed. teacher different from a teacher?
3. ????? I really can't do this. Well, what else would you like to do? I don't know. Elementary teacher?
4. ??????? I need more? How about preschool teacher?
5. ????????? How am I supposed to come up with 5 careers? I only want to be one thing. Can I just write teacher again?

One time we were given a very scientific career inventory. The first time I completed the survey it told me I should be a secretary. Yeah right, I just love talking on the phone. And talking to real people is even better. So I checked out the score I should receive to fit in the education category and went back and changed my answers to make it say teacher.

So, when Jesse said he needed help, we were more than willing to jump in. We asked him what he had on the list so far. He explained that he had already gotten some help in class and had been able to rule out a few possibilities. While working on this assignment he asked his teacher, "Hey, Mr. Capriotti, would I make a good counselor?" So Mr. Capriotti suggested they try it out. He took a chair next to Jesse and said, "I've been feeling pretty down and sad lately. What do you think I should do?" Jesse's response, being a little on the non-sensitive side, "Suck it up, cupcake," gave the class a pretty good indication that this would not be the right career for him. Next he tried, "Would anyone trust me as their surgeon?" Again, no support. In the end, however, he didn't get much help from the family dinner table because what followed was a discussion of the careers that each family member should NEVER consider.

Andrew, we decided, should not be a talk show host. You generally need to say more than "good", "fine" and "nothing" for a job like that. You also need to be very low on the "um" scale. He did make a good argument that the jokes between the ums would keep everybody laughing and watching. He has a point but we still don't think it's the career for him. We also told him not to consider a career as a PETA representative. He's not much of an animal person. Just ask Linus.

We didn't think Jesse would make a very good philosopher. He's not really a deep thinker. He's also not much into sharing his deep, personal opinions. He'd much rather make someone laugh. Pro sumo wrestling is probably not in his future, either. He doesn't really have the build for it.

Hands-down it was agreed that Mariana should not become a comedian. While she is great on the stage, her jokes need a lot of work. I will say that she has come a long way from her early knock-knock days.

Who's there?
(While looking around the room) Light
Light who?
(Still looking around the room) Light on the ceiling (followed by hysterical laughter for herself)

She did argue that she can act funny. This is true. Just not a trait for a great comedian. We also didn't think she'd make a good butcher. She's not really that into meat. Case in point: When she heard someone say "butcher", even though she didn't realize it was meant for her, her response was, "That's disgusting." This is the child who wanted to be a vegetarian until I pointed out that the root of vegetarian was the same as vegetable. She knew not to ask if she could be a carbohydraterian.

For Isaac's own safety the majority vote was that he should not be a professional gymnast. Built like his father and self-proclaimed clumsy to boot. One of Isaac's first phrases as a toddler was, "I'm okay" and it's still the most used today. His brothers, both of whom have shared his room at one time, announced that he would also not make much money as a maid. Isaac can walk into a pigsty and proclaim it white-glove clean.

Eden, bless her heart, would be sent packing if she were a private in the army. She prefers to give orders over taking them, she'd starve on army rations, and when tested (yes, during dinner), she couldn't do even one proper push-up. We also decided she would not make a good speech therapist. She'd have a whole generation of kids running around talking about boys and gulls and rushing to be fust in line.

Poor HopeAnne would never make it as a librarian. She just couldn't follow her own rules in keeping the noise level down. This is the child who shouts at us to be quiet because her dolls are sleeping. We also don't think she would survive as a spy. When questioned she would first point out that her lips were sealed, but upon spying a bird flying by she would lose her train of thought, shout, "Oh pretty", then, "My name is Hopie and I work for the United States Government." To her credit this would be followed with a hand over her mouth and the after-thought, "I'm not supposed to tell you that." She might then be able to suggest, "I'll make a deal with you." It has worked with her father.

Speaking of the patriarch of the clan, we came up with three answers for him. He wouldn't make a good stay-at-home mom, preschool teacher, or secretary. He can't multi-task, he walks right over or by jobs that need to be done, he likes to sleep, and he's deathly allergic to children's appointments or school functions. He also doesn't like toys that make noise or beings that make messes. Finally, he's not organized.

And for me, it was unanimous that I would not make a good counselor. Sorry Mr. Capriotti, but Jesse gets it from me. My favorite response to those with issues is to take them around the throat, shake them and say, "Just snap out of it." Besides, I spend too much time at the Funny Farm myself. It probably wouldn't be good for business. The kids also didn't think I'd make a very good math teacher. They cited numerous examples which will not be listed here. But in the end they had me convinced when they reminded me that math teachers do not have personality but lovingly assured me that I have plenty of personality. Aren't they great kids?

In fact, God has uniquely gifted each one and it will be exciting to see where those gifts lead. As a preschooler Andrew's career choice was to be an astronaut. We thought he just might be the first pacifist to enter the space program without going through the military first. About the time of his surgery he had an interest in medicine but that quickly passed. For a while now he's been pretty set on a career in the film industry. If he can influence this industry as he's influenced his lunch table, we'll be thrilled. Jesse had this mother praying very hard when he announced in first grade that he wanted to be a pilot and fly missionaries around the world. For a time he was interested in engineering or architecture, wanting to build orphanages in other countries. More recently he's thinking about education but just isn't sure. Mariana, as we all know, entered the world with her mouth opened and she has not shut it yet. But that's a good thing as she has needed those God-given lungs to make the world her stage. Who knows where this will take her. Isaac hasn't quite settled on one direction. We have seen him morph from a natural science curator to a video game creator. More realistically, he is very good working with his hands and as most of us know, is an excellent musician. Eden is a born teacher. Not much else to say there. And HopeAnne, time will tell but it will definitely involve much movemet and little sitting. John still hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up so he just keeps going to school til he figures it out. Me, that's easy. I want to be a mom and a teacher. I'll have to try that out some day. When I'm not at the Funny Farm.

1 comment:

  1. LOVED this post! Also love how you are teaching your kids to be aware of how they are uniquely created (and that you laugh over what they are not created to be). So fun.