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Here is a little summer satire for all the parents struggling to get their kids to make the quota for the TD Summer Reading Program.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the Queen of Pain Summer Reading Program!
If you’ve made it to this landing page it means 1 of 2 things: Either you’re looking for a dominatrix, who likes to read bedtime stories, or you’re tired of touchy-feely reading partnerships between public libraries and do-gooder financial institutions and you want your kids to do some serious reading this summer.
If you’re in that last group, you’ve come to the right place. (The rest of you are out of luck.)
While there are slackers among us who insist on perpetuating the myth that summer is about having fun in the sun, at Queen of Pain our philosophy is that fun equals learning loss, which is not unlike blood loss: The slow internal bleed of knowledge seeping out of a child’s ears and precious gray matter suffering irreparable damage due to idleness and indolence. Our program is the only one of its kind specifically designed to fight the devastating effects of learning loss.
At Queen of Pain we don’t care if your child enjoys, feels enriched by or is “deeply engaged” with literature. Our mission is to emphasize a sheer volume of text for its own sake. Our motto is “Pages, pages, pages.” However, because pages, especially those without pictures, often cause acute suffering in school-aged children, this is where the pain comes in.
Now, a couple of disclaimers which you must read before moving on to the registration page:
First, Queen of Pain does not advocate rewarding children for books they’ve read by giving out stickers, prizes from the dollar store, cupcakes, or cute passports with smiley faces on them. In fact, we strongly recommend a simple, “Well done,” with a brief—almost robotic in its brevity, in fact—pat on the shoulder. (If you are unpracticed at this technique, we suggest viewing our YouTube tutorial.) Anything more effusive than this is unnecessary because your child’s feathers probably receive enough fluffing by you, which may be the source of his motivation problem to begin with.
Second, Queen of Pain does not suffer parental fools, either, so consider this your first and last warning. If, during the course of our program, your child proves to us—by clinging to a personal floatation device of mediocrity that you inflated for him, for example—that his head is actually a big ball of cabbage wrapped in an attractive exterior shell, we will say so.
At Queen of Pain our hands are not tied by any busy-body school board, Kelso’s Rules, or wishy-washy rubber-stamped government-approved verbiage like any of the cut-and-paste drivel that appears on his report card.
At the end of each week, parents will be directed to www.queenofpain.ca/thresholdmanagement where they can access their child’s performance statistics on our “Pain Threshold Calculator.” Allowing for the child’s age and PM Benchmark level, we will put your little genius into 1 of 2 easy-to-follow categories: Cabbage Head or Not a Cabbage Head.
Children classified as Cabbage Heads will have a chance to improve upon the prior week’s performance measure, which they are usually quite eager to do in order to avoid the Facebook Friday “Taunt the Cabbage Heads” finger-poking competition. Let it not be said that Queen of Pain is without mercy.
Finally, participants should be aware that Queen of Pain rejects the terminology “Reluctant Reader.” Reluctant implies unwilling which, in turn, implies that the child has any say in the matter of whether or not he reads. Your child will read and it will hurt. That’s why we’re The Queen of Pain Summer Reading Program, versus, say, The Queen of Hearts Summer Reading Program; it’s not just a clever marketing hook.
If you’ve discovered us too late in the season to register for the full program, we also have a special 2-week “Drop the Hammer” intensive which begins on August 18th. With “Drop the Hammer” kids will not know what hit them, but teachers will be amazed.
At Queen of Pain we know that impressing educators with your masterful parenting is top of mind heading into the school year.
Remember, putting a hurt on your kids, so you don’t have to, is what we do best. So sign up for the Queen of Pain Summer Reading Program today!
Queen of Pain is a charitable organization founded in 2010 by a group of former Tiger Moms and Dads turned empty-nesters whose children refuse to talk to them so they have a lot of time on their hands and a skill set that is far too valuable to waste.