Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Your Lack of Planning Will Not Become My Emergency." Yeah, Right. Who Am I Kidding?

Friday afternoon, March 19

Me: Does anyone have any homework this weekend?

ZuZu: Me...I have a vocab packet.

Deuce: No.

MT: No.

Gorgeous, sunny weekend ensues. There are baseball practices and a lacrosse practice on Saturday. Sunday is church, cleaning out the garage, and hanging out in the 'hood.

Sunday night, March 21

Me: Does anyone have any homework to finish?

ZuZu: Done.

Deuce: No.

MT: No.

Monday night, March 22

Me: Does everyone have their homework done?

ZuZu: Yes.

Deuce: Yeah.

MT: Yes. (short pause) Mom, I think my tipi is due tomorrow.

Flashback scene:

MT: Mom, I have to make a Cheyenne tipi for a project.

Me: Oh, I remember when Deuce did that project two years ago. Too bad we didn't keep it. When's it due?

MT: Like, next month or something. Not for a long time.

Me: Okay, we'll work on it on the weekends.

End scene

Me: What?!? Tomorrow?!? What do you mean tomorrow?!?

MT: It's due the 24th.

Me: What's the date?!? {frantic eyes darting between older children} WHAT'S THE DATE?!?

ZuZu: It's the 22nd.

So, here's the thing about MT....he can procrastinate with the likes of congress, but the minute he processes that the deadline is upon us - he gets freaky frazzled and all wound up. (I don't know where he gets it). I quickly assess, and attempt to defuse the situation.

Me: Okay, MT, it's not due tomorrow, it's due Wednesday. I will get the materials for you tomorrow and you'll have to be ready to work on it all night. It'll be fun! No complaints. No getting tired before the project is done, okay?

MT: Okay.

Bedtime crisis averted. No break-down.

Tuesday, I head out for the fabric/craft store. I used to frequent these kinds of places alot. Back when I fancied myself artsy. The fruits of my labor resulted in some trendy kick-ass cigar box purses which paid for Christmas one year, and then just a bunch of crafty crap that took up waaaay to much space in my basement. Let it go, Woman. Let it go. I remain very focused, so as not to be tempted by the crack cocaine they are selling in the decorative scrapbook papers aisle. I grab some craft paint, some brown vinyl laces and I'm standing in the cutting line for a yard of pleather. Wow...this is a slooooow line. And really, we need a "take a turn" ticket now, like at the deli? There's plenty of room to form an orderly line. How many grannies got all gangsta with their calicos and fusible interfacing before JoAnn broke out the LED sign?

Next stop, the wholesale club. I had to pick up a few lunchbox items, some dry goods, toiletries (hey, that's a good price on razor blades), and most importantly - the perfect low-sided box to form a base for MT's tipi and painted river. $263 later, I'm good to go.

Damn, that was one expensive box.

I now have all the materials necessary to build one mean Cheyenne tipi. I meet the kids at home after school, and while they do their homework and MT hunts for sticks in the yard, I begin putting away the 700 bags of individual-sized Sun Chips and 450 giant rolls of Charmin (which is equivalent to over 1000 regular rolls...which is enough to wipe the arse of everyone in my neighborhood for three months. If the Farmer's Almanac is right, and we have another March blizzard, I've got us covered!!).

MT seems thrilled with all the materials, and we get down to business...him painting the blue river and green, cutting out the tipi. Me not so good at cutting out tipi. Took two tries. Whatev. MT paints some symbols on the "hide," and then becomes preoccupied with finding the buffalo that we had in his big brother's display. He's gone for fifteen minutes, and returns with two tigers, two giraffes, a leopard, a rhino, a zebra, a snake, a horse, and a polar bear. No buffalo.

Me: Okay, which of these animals might have actually roamed the Great Plains in the 1800's?

MT: They had horses.

Me: Then, what are all of these other guys doing here?

(MT shrugs shoulders and smiles. Clearly, he's hoping to be done before bedtime. That's my boy.)

The "hide" is dry, and I have MT hold it around the sticks while I tie the vinyl laces together at the top. We poke the legs into some old floral foam I found in the basement (Ha! I knew I would need those again one day), and the project is complete! Now, on to the "Explanation Paper." We find some kid-friendly websites with Cheyenne facts, and thanks to the size of MT's cursive writing, his two-sided double-spaced report is done in about eight sentences. He formed well-written, 3rd grade level sentences without breaking down once! I was so proud of him.

Me: All done! Good job, MT!

MT: (puts his arm around me) And they said we* couldn't do it.

Me: They? Who's they? Said we couldn't do what?

MT: Some guys at school said I couldn't get the project done in one night.

Me: First of all, it's nothing to brag about that you waited until the last day to do the whole project. And secondly, who are these guys. I'm taking names.

MT rattles off a bunch of 3rd graders. I pass the names on to Homeland Security. Haters.

Me: I am proud of you for working very hard all night.

MT: Thank you. Thank you for helping me.

Me: We're totally getting an "A."

MT: Yup.

MT grabs the African animals and the polar bear and heads upstairs to where his siblings are watching American Idol. I grab a glass of "table red" and sit back to admire our hard work.

Mommy and MT: 1
Organized and disciplined 3rd grade Haters: 0

Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

* "we" duly noted. I'm certain the naysayers quipped, "you can't do it in one day." But MT gave props to his momma for all her help.


  1. You are such a better mommy than I am. You would never have caught me working the night before a project was due. I'd be forcing my daughter to bite the bullet and accept her fate for not having planned better. (OK, who am I kidding? But we would have fought like cats and dogs while working on that damn thing.)

  2. This story in no way, shape or form proves that I am a good mommy. Only that I am an enabler. But the fact that there were no tears involved is HUUUGE, and therefore, I share.

  3. Love it. You remind me of the mom on "The Middle." It's funny - watch it sometime. Okay, you don't Normally remind me of her, but just this once, with the enabling and all, you were "so her."

  4. Hey, please check out my Monday morning blog for an award from me to you ;-)

  5. Um ... totally NOT reading this when I have four more appellate briefs due next Tuesday and Thursday and haven't even looked at two of them. Nope.