Are You Kidding Me?

This week, I crossed one more milestone on my path of parenting. The last-minute project. The project that’s worth 60% of the grade. The project that was assigned three weeks prior and is due in two days. The project that hasn’t been touched.

So last weekend was spent riding my son’s . . . tail. It was traumatic for both of us. You know there are seven steps of grief. Well, I found there are also seven steps to this phenomenon.

Shock: “What the hell do you mean, you haven’t started?”

Anger: “I hope you’re happy. If you flunk this class, you’ll have to go to summer school.” Of course, I don’t know if that’s the case, but it catches his attention.

Hope: “You can do this. I’ll help you.” In my son’s case, that involves me typing.

Frustration: It kills the writer in me to simply take dictation. I can’t resist the occasional prompt: “If your hero is an adventurer, how could you reveal his personality? Maybe you could provide some actions that show what he’s feeling.” My son’s response: “Nah.”

Another Round of Anger: “I can’t believe I have to hold your hand through this process. Do you realize how much of my time I’ve wasted helping you? You’re grounded for the whole summer!”

Acceptance: This is not my project. It’s a huge undertaking, so at this point, I’m just hoping he can pull off a “C.” That’s what keeps my mouth shut while I type narrative that switches between past and present tense on every other page.

Joy: My son actually gets excited about the project. I leave for a much-needed Girls Night Out, and upon my return, he proudly shares his project that he’s finished on his own. He’s even included some impressive symbolism. There’s hope he won’t end up living in my basement after all.

In the end, he received an “A” on the project. So much for learning a lesson. Is he that talented? Is our school system that mucked up? At this point, I don’t care. I won’t have to haul his . . . tail to summer school.

I know, I know. I should have let him suffer the consequences of his choices. So consider this blog a gift from me to you. As long as I’m raising kids, you’ll always feel better about your parenting skills.



14 thoughts on “Are You Kidding Me?

  1. Oh, Chris! I feel your pain. While we didn’t face the horror of the unstarted project, we did frequently suffer the 9:30PM cry: “I have to practice tuba for 90 minutes tonight!” Sometimes it happened that night, other times the next morning at 5:30! Thank God today is the last day of school!

  2. First, you always entertain me. Second, about thoes pesky parenting rules. As every child is different so should be the rules. If you managed to engage your son’s attention, not easy for a 14 year old, then I’d say your parenting was spot on.

  3. He got an A? Wow! That’s impressive. I think your lesson from all this is you need more Girls Night Outs, right?

  4. Been there, done that…with my teen. Now it starts with the little one. Just this morning she frantically finished her journal assignment as I drove her to school. Of course, this is only second grade homework and not a big project but still…the “wait till the last minute” lessons begin. Congrats on your son’s grade! And don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities for him to learn his lesson about procrastination. LOL

  5. I’m so there, Chris. It has been exactly a year since we got our daughter up at 5:00 am on Veterans Day and spent all day working on a critical social-studies project with her, and got up at 5:00 am the next morning to finish it off, and set her off to school with it. And a month later, found out that she got an F because she forgot to turn it in. It was still in her backpack when we had the winter parent-teacher meeting.

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