The tension in the Marriott Banquet Room was so palpable you could cut it with a knife. Hundreds of mothers held their breath waiting for the announcement that could bring them the public recognition they so richly deserve.  And then, David Madden, National Tiger Mom of the Year President™, announced over the loud speaker: “Ms. Sumithra Krishnathes of Arlington, Virginia, you are the 2018 National Tiger Mom of the Year™!”  And although some shook their heads in shame and scolded their child, the majority rushed to Dr. and Ms. Krishnathes to offer congratulations and to ask advice on how to best prepare their child to shower themselves in glory.

The competition is held every year at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Virginia.  In the varsity division, tenth graders from all over America compete in the grueling weeklong academic competition vying to win the honor for their mother.  The competition includes examinations in geography, physics, biology, history, performance on a musical instrument, and calculus, with the highest overall score determining the winner.  This year’s competition was especially close, with six students within 3 points of each other following the penultimate examination.  And at that point, Jeeya Krishnathes rose to the challenge and scored a perfect 200 on the calculus exam to secure the win for her mother.

When asked her secret, Ms. Krishnathes responded as follows: “Jeeya is a good girl and I thought she might win.  She came in third in the junior varsity division last year and second in the middle school division in 2016.  The old format was bad for her because it required her to play the violin whereas Jeeya is best at the cello.  Now that the students can play the instrument of their choice—I knew I was the Mom to beat.  Jeeya’s math tutor has worked with her for 11 years and she shares in the glory of Jeeya’s perfect score!  All of the other moms want to know my secrets for preparing Jeeya but I cannot share them because her younger brother Sohan will be competing 3 years from now!”

As the winner, Jeeya will be admitted to Stanford.  Stanford’s President, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, offered the following comments: “Stanford views it as a public service to immediately announce that it will admit the child of the winner of The National Tiger Mom of the Year.™  These poor kids have been subjected to an academic regime that most people can’t imagine.  By guaranteeing Jeeya a spot in the Stanford class of 2024, we can allow her some semblance of a normal childhood for her junior and senior years.  And Ms. Krishnathes gets two extra years to brag that her daughter has been admitted into Stanford!  And let’s face it, isn’t that what this is all about?”