It was either that, or this post would've been titled Another Putonghua Tutor Bites The Dust. We came this close ok. About 2 weeks ago, when Rockstar walks in the door upon returning from a tuition class...
Me: How was chinese, darling?
Rockstar: It was ok.
Me: What did you learn?
Me: What d'you mean nothing, tell me one word you guys were learning today.
Rockstar: I don't have anything to tell you. I didn't learn anything today.
Me: How can you spend a whole hour with 3 other kids learning nothing?
Rockstar: I guess we learnt something, but I've forgotten what it was. So I told you I learnt "nothing".
I proceed to ban him from laptop/Youtube time until he's willing to tell me one thing he learned in his class. Because I don't believe he can't remember a single thing when he just ended his class 20 mins ago.
As the evening wears on, Rockstar begins to fret - but regardless of all else he says to Kings and me, still insists he "learnt nothing". Finally, close to bedtime after umpteen wrangle attempts, Rockstar tearfully comes to me for a cuddle and to say he learned the word "dog" in Chai-nese.
Relieved (it's hard saying no to your kids!), I let him disappear with my laptop and forget about it until the school weekly email that mentions they have just learnt the word "dog" in school.
Me: You learnt "dog" in Chinese from school, didn't you, not your tuition class.
Me: WHY DID YOU TELL ME 2 DAYS AGO YOU LEARNT THAT IN TUITION CLASS??
Rockstar: Because I really wanted the laptop.
Me: But you didn't learn that word in tuition class.
Rockstar: No, at school. I told you I can't remember what I learnt in Chai-nese class.
(You see you see this stubborn guy)
Me: You can't expect me to believe that - how can you walk in the door and forget 20 minutes later what you learnt, and then still remember what you learnt in school for 20 minutes, goodness knows how long ago??
Rockstar: Don't know. I just can't. But see I know the word "dog" (from school).
Me: Are you trying to make me change your tuition class again?
Rockstar: Noo. But I just don't remember anything from the class. <Shakes head in bafflement. Looks up at ceiling.>
Me: You know you have to have a class right, if it's not this one you're going to have to adjust to another one.
Rockstar: Yeah. I don't need to change classes. I just don't remember anything. <Looks up at ceiling again>
This is when I call the tuition center to complain. Every once in awhile they don't believe me and do things like change tutors without informing me, or for that matter the sub/new tutor re Rockstar's fusspot-ness, (or else the person I was dealing with who schedules tutors leaves, which has also happened before) and then I have to give them The Call. Because truth be told, I don't know if it's a culture thing, but Rockstar has had various Chinese tutors who will always attempt kill and drill no matter what we tell the center (probably thinking I am an over-protective parent who spoils) and then this'll happen....
"Yes, I know I can find out what he learnt from his tuition books. My point is he is insisting he learns nothing. And I don't believe in a class of 30 at school for 6+ hours he can remember what he learnt there the previous week and here he walks in the door straight from a class of 3 or 4 and remembers nothing."
And so the latest is, Rockstar is now the Resident Chinese Expert in our home, charged with teaching all of us Chinese. We should've done this ages ago. Works out great, except for a teeny tiny thing.
"MUM. YOU READY FOR YOUR CHAI-NESE LESSON?? THIS IS GREAT, RIGHT?? WHAT'S YOUR BEST AND FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY? I'M NOT FINISHED YET, THE BABY CAN NAP LATERRR.......!"
(Also, we're having feeding issues. These are still a little sweet and cute. Wait'll I cave and put up the really scary ones. A thing with Future Boyfriends comes to mind...)