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Homework – Late But Done!

October 18, 2009

As I knew it would be, the hunt for small lions turned into an all day excursion feeling something like an archeological dig for the Holy Grail.  Where to look, how many stores to search before we call it quits?  Why doesn’t anyone make those small plastic lions and other animals you could get in big tubs for practically no money?  This was to be just a small diorama , for extra credit, no less.  We’re not talking about creating an artistic piece for the Louvre!  And, to top it off, all the while we are searching for the lions, the actual written report , (not for just extra credit), was not getting written.  How on earth did I let an 8yr. old boy get my priorities so turned upside down?  Oh yes, I remember now, I was under the false assurances from same said boy that the report was all but done, and we just had to get that small scene in the shoebox done!  Again, has menopause sapped all my mental capacities?  For heaven’s sake, I’ve been teaching for over 20 yrs.  Any teacher worth their salt might believe, but with verification.  That was my fatal error, I did not verify!

The trip started rather frantically.  I knew I should have taken a xanax!  But I decided , how bad could it really be?  Just pick up some lions, tape, paint, trees, glue, paste, construction paper, and a few other odds and ends.  We would just wing it, and see what we could find.  Hah!  Okay, we found moss, rocks, sandpaper for the ground, and pretty much everything we needed the first place we stopped.  Now, all we needed were some lions.  Three dollar stores and one Halloween store later, I thought, the teacher store!  They have got to have lions, don’t they?  Oh they did all right.  At the sweet price of between $3 – $6’s a pop.  The old geezer in me suddenly flared up.  What, spend $40 dollars for a pride of lions?  No way.  That’s ridiculous, I just won’t do it, we’ve all ready spent all this other money on just the background stuff.  I know we can find some cheaper lions.  Those teacher stores always hike up the price.  So, of we went.

Next, the hobby store.  Yep, same lions, same price.  Well, maybe we can just get a tree or too, like the kind they use for those little train track things the old guys make.  Time is really getting away from us, so we asked for help.  A very nice young girl showed us to the area.  My son was astounded.  Wow, those are great trees, they really look real.  Let’s get those mommy.  I picked up one, put on the bifocals, and almost went into cardiac arrest, $40 for one tree!  Oh mommy, just use your card.  It’s not that much.  I look at the beautiful brown eyes, his hope for a tiny tree to make the whole deal look amazing.  Again, I said, you have got to be kidding.  There is no way I’m spending that much money, and besides your Dad will have a cow.  Just then the phone rings, Hi Honey, yes, we’re still looking.  No, we haven’t found lions yet.  I have no idea when we will be home.   Yes, this  is the sixth store we have been at.  I guess you can’t count the Halloween store, but it was right there, so we just had to take a look at all the scary stuff. Remember he says, the  last time we found everything we needed was at Meijers?  Oh that’s right, we’ll check there.  Just do the best you can.  I am trying!   Love you too.  By.

Both of us are so tired and hungry I am actually beginning to think we should go back to the teacher store and just buy the art museum quality lions.

Hey, how about the toy store?  You guessed it, the same dam lions, same price.  My son looked at me and said, mommy, can’t we just get them and go home?  Tired, hungry, past the stage of panic, I caved.  One complete boxed set, plus a couple more separate lions to round out the pride.  After all, we’ll stop at one more place.  We can always bring them back if daddy gets too upset about the cost.  Out came the card, lions purchased in one quick swipe, and off we went.

One last stop, Meijers.  I could not believe it.  Same lions, same price.  This had to be a Twilight Zone episode I was caught in.  Destined to go from store to store forever, finding the same lions over and over again.  (For you younger readers, if you have never seen the TV show, the Twilight Zone, you should check it out sometime.  Some episodes are really scary and some are just weird.  In any case, to be a truly educated person, you should at least know what is was.)  We picked up spray glue, wow, how cool, and some more things we had forgotten we would need.  More card swiping.  I’m really sweating the reaction we will receive when we get home.  The time, the money spent, the loud argument about both being spent.  I braced myself as we drove home.  My son was over the moon.  He was sure his diorama would be the best!  And isn’t that what all good mother’s help their son’s to accomplish, being the best?  If I could just get over the ridiculous amount of money we had spent, I could be proud of what a great mom I was.

We get home, lay out our purchases, show the price tags, and…..What?  No big reaction from the dad?  The only comment, we’ve wasted more money on things more stupid than this.  Besides, he’ll keep it for a long time.  Look at his penguin box you made last year, he still looks at it.  Well, okay then.  Let’s get something to eat, and finish this project.  Son, let me see your report, what do we have to do to finish?  What report?  The one you’ve been writing.  Writing?  Was I supposed to write something?  The teacher never said to write anything.  One tired mommy hit the roof!  I was no longer the good mom I had hoped to be.  I was back to being the incompetent mom.  Nope, we are not doing that box until the report is written, what you don’t even have notes done yet!  Okay, let’s at least get the notes done.  Your report will just have to be late.

After all the drama, everything turned out just fine.  My son wrote his report and turned it in only one day late.  He also had the second longest report.  He said proudly, that a girl had written 4 pages, but he was the only boy who had written, in cursive too, 2 and 1/2 pages.  Everyone else had only written one page.  We were both so proud!  We danced our happy dance and did high fives.  He turned in the very expensive diorama, 2 days late.  I have to admit, it looked damn good.  He did all the work himself.  I just supervised.  I guess I’m not such a bad mom after all.

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