Shit. Telling me I don't know my five times eight and shit. So now that Rywanda graduating the fourth grade, she think she better? Uh-uh. I don't need my daughter disrespecting me, like I don't work all damn day at the Stop 'N Save so I can buy her cell phone minutes. I'm glad she got the best grades of anyone in her class and shit, but that don't mean I got to put up with some brag-ass 12-year-old running around.

It ain't like I don't think school is important. I make Rywanda and 'Drae go to school all the time, even on Fridays, so I don't wanna hear about how I'm some shit mom. I got three babies, and they all in school 'cept for Teekay. And he just barely born.

It's just, what the hell you gotta know cursive for? Who cares? I know my alphabet, plus everything done on computers now anyway. Rywanda just don't understand shit because she's not in the real world, she in school. So she think she's a genius 'cause she know the state capitals and all her bones. But that shit don't really matter. She just have to learn it because the schools get tested on how much they students know about the different kinds of rocks and if they don't know their shit, the schools don't get no money. Then where'd Rywanda be? At home cleaning Teekay's diaper like her mama, that where.

Even so, Rywanda's still getting a big head, like she Alfred Einstein. She don't even ask me to help her with homework no more, and when I do, she tell me I'm wrong and don't know about grammar. Shit. Nobody help me do my homework when I was her age. That's how come I never got my GED, but you don't see me crying about it. I got a job and a man.

You best believe I'm gonna whup her ass next time she correct my plus and minuses in front of that teller lady at the bank.

I got enough problems with those social workers trying to tell me how to run my life and make a budget, and that bitch Debra being all "that's three kids now, Amber." Like I can't count to three. I may not know everything about spelling and what makes a cloud like Rywanda do, but I ain't no idiot.

Rywanda, she book smart. She was begging me to buy her books way before I knew she could read. She nagged me so much, I started giving her the takeout menus they stick in the door, so it's no surprise she good at school. Probably got that from me, since her dad got brains like fucking dog food. Otherwise, he'd be manager at the Gift Box Factory instead of just closing on the weekends. That ain't even a promotion, that's worse, dumb ass.

I'm glad I'm only pretty sure Troy Rywanda's daddy. He's so fucking stupid.

But all my kids smart. Even Teekay. He's not even two and he already has a favorite color juice. And Liondrae always looking at everything trying to figure it out. I told my girl Angel he's gonna be one of those science cops like you see on TV, because one time 'Drae brought home a bullet he found just walking home from school. I said to him, "Where'd you get that?" and he's all, "I found it." I bet 'Drae solve a murder someday, he so smart.

Rywanda, though, she better cut the shit with her attitude and stop telling me how to talk right or I'm gonna smack her in her mouth. She's all big now, but that don't mean she the boss of me. As long as she's living in my house or until she gets herself a man, Rywanda gotta do what I say and not talk shit about no Pilgrims. And when Curtis around, she better listen to him, too.

Graduating the fourth grade and shit. Please.