School Projects Will Be The Death Of Me!
Never underestimate two weeks left of school. You may think you're on cruise control to the end, but then your kindergartner's teacher will send an email bomb that shoots you into flashbacks of the time you were up until 3am trying to build a mini Golden Gate Bridge with dowels and tiny rope. Or that one time you had to make an invention and ghetto rigged a fly swatter to a pillow, so when a bug landed on your head when you slept, you wouldn't have to get up to kill the damn thing. It worked better in theory.
"Dear parents, your child has an end of the year project due in a week. They can pick any non-fiction topic to share. (Ex: Outer space, food, an animal, an insect) There needs to be 3 facts attached to the project, and please let your child do most of the work. They feel very accomplished when they can take ownership on what they are presenting. May the odds be ever in your favor." The email went something like that. I sat there blinking for a good 5 minutes. My kindergartner has a project due!? Just breathe. I was one of those kids who would hear about a project coming up and have to go home and get it done asap; before I could go outside, eat food or even sleep. Turns out that anxiety never left me.
Jack got home from school that day and I said, "Ok, bud. You have a project due soon. What would you like to make your project about?" First he said, "A giraffe." Perfect! "No, wait! A shark!" Ok, I can work with that. "No, no. Ok, ok. I want to do my project about Giant Squids." I was like, "You know, Giraffe's are super cool! And sharks...I mean, they are amazing." "No, mom. I want to do my project about Giant Squids." First of all, where in TAR NATION did this kid even hear about Giant Squids? Turns out, that is the ONE species the world knows the least about. Of course he would pick that.
So, off to the craft store we went. We got in there and I just spun in circles, thinking, "How do we make an effing squid?" We literally went in and out of every aisle about 16 times before I had the supplies we needed to create the creepy beast. When we got home, I was ready to rumble. Let's do this! First, I needed to cut the shape of the squid out of Styrofoam. I don't trust my 6 year old with a box cutter. Then we needed to spray paint the Styrofoam red. But I don't trust my 6 year old with a spray paint can, so I handled that. After that dried, the squid body needed to be glued to the poster board just right or the tentacles wouldn't fit. So, I did the honors. Next I cut the tentacles to the perfect length because Jack would have made them uneven. Then I grabbed the hot glue gun. I glued the first one down to test it out and burned the living crap out of my fingers. So, to save my child's hands, I sacrificed myself and glued the rest down as well. Next, we needed to draw 2 longer tentacles, so I sketched them in pencil for Jack to trace over in red and then color them in. But he didn't make the lines dark enough, so obviously I had to go over them again.
Now, this is where the fun really began. We researched as much as we could about a species nobody knows anything about, and picked our 3 favorite facts. I was determined to get him to write them because he needed to contribute some how. So, I wrote each sentence on a piece of paper so he could copy them onto index cards. Pause. Jack absolutely hates writing. He also hates sitting for any period of time unless he has a game controller in his hand. So this was the start of World War 3. Turns out he likes to add random squiggly lines into words, writes diagonally, or leaves spaces out all together like the longest hash tag you've ever seen. That just won't do. So we went through about 74 index cards and sat there screaming at each other for over an hour because he forgot how to hold a writing utensil and I forgot how to be a loving, understanding mom. Thank God for White-out! My husband even came over to me and said, "The windows are open and the neighbors can hear you flipping out. You're being mean!" Well, I'll tell you right now that sure didn't help the situation. Because while I was trying to get my 6 year old to write the freaking facts in a straight, legible line, my 1 year old was latched to my legs, throwing a fit, while my husband was sitting on the couch with his feet up. In that moment, I realized I had become the project parent. My husband is a professional procrastinator and I physically cannot wait to the last minute. So I will always be the one my children hate. WONDERFUL.
The point of my story is, school projects are really parent projects and they ruin relationships. I used to love my kindergartner and he used to love me. Now we just pass each other in the hall with a chin nod. For those of you who have multiple kids in grade school, God Bless you! I pray your family survives the evils of Giant squids, Golden Gate Bridges, and any other crazy topic your kids come up with. Just know, I feel you, I have mad respect for you, and you are literally the glue that holds these projects and your families together. Hands in the middle! Bombing at momming on three....