Math Projects, Weekends and Wine Don’t Mix

Posted on November 11th, 2010

Have you ever had the perfect weekend? One that started with sunshine and ended with sunshine? One where no mom yelled at her kid—or at least only yelled once? One where you relaxed, did some chores, hung out with friends and didn’t have a care in the world?

Yeah, me neither.

Oh, I’ve had weekends that started well. In fact, I’ve had weekends that had excellent beginnings, awesome middles and then, right when I’m touching the end-of-the-weekend-finish-line, hit a sour note. Take last weekend, for example.

It was a 3-day weekend. I’m not sure why. I only know that when the school says there’s no school, they mean it. Seriously. I’ve tried dropping my son off when the school said they were closed and frankly, they won’t take a child on a non-school day. Even if you cry. Oh, please. Don’t think I’m the first mom who has tried the old, ”but I didn’t realize it was a holiday” thing. Parenting is difficult. Sometimes we get desperate.

Anyway, back to last weekend. For nearly three days it was lovely. We relaxed in the sun. We did some chores. We had some time with friends. And on the last day, when Harry and I were just saying how lovely the weekend was, it happened.

Junior remembered he had homework.

If you can’t imagine the horror this caused, I want you to draw a picture in your mind. It’s 6:00 PM on Sunday evening. A teen rushes into the house and exclaims to his parents (who are enjoying a nice glass of wine, by the way), “Oh crap! I have to do my math project!” And his parents reply, “What? What project?” And slam down their wine in one gulp. Because, you see, the word “project” strikes terror in the hearts of these parents. Because a project is something very, very different than homework.

A project is, well, a project. It’s not just a page of math. Projects take a month or so to complete. They involve complex planning, supplies and stunt doubles. Okay, maybe not stunt doubles, but projects are a lot of work. They are not something you can help with at 6:00 PM on Sunday evening, especially when you’ve just slammed down a glass of wine.

But my child, who had enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends, had just remembered he has the first part of his math project due on Monday. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but seriously, I wanted to kill him.

And you know, it only got worse.

Because not only did my child have to do the first part of a math project on something called “quadratics,” he also wanted to make it into a movie. Yes, a movie. And for that he needed a script, a place to film and, oh, an actual idea of what the movie was going to be about. At 6:00 PM on Sunday evening.

If you can’t grasp the horror of this, please look at the picture that accompanies this column. See that woman? Now picture her beating her head against the kitchen wall and muttering to herself about how simple life was before she became a parent. That’s how horrifying it was. Because Junior can’t do a movie alone, can he? Sure he can write the script, figure out where to film and what to film. But somebody has to hold the dang camera.

So, we all sprang into action. Junior started researching and writing, I cleared out the dining room to use for filming and looked high and low for the video camera. Harry started dinner. And just when we were hitting our stride, the dog, No-no Lulu, jumped up, grabbed the raw meat waiting to go out on the BBQ and took off with the other dog close at her heels.

Because, you know, we didn’t have enough stuff going on to ruin the weekend.

On the plus side, Junior got the first part of the project done in a mere 3 hours. We ate a delicious pizza. And the dogs enjoyed a bonus dinner. But I’m telling you, next weekend, I’m hiding at 6:00 PM on Sunday. That’s a bad time for me.

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7 Responses to “Math Projects, Weekends and Wine Don’t Mix”

  1. Karrin Says:

    Oh woman! You make my day! I’ll trade you my 24 y.o for your 14 y.o tho….and I’ll even throw in the 17 y.o! No really! ; )

  2. Liz Says:

    I hate projects. I firmly believe that projects are punishments for parents. Teachers must really have a good time deciding what project(torture) they are going to give us. As the parent of a 2nd year teacher I have told her that projects are stupid and if she wants to get through conferences with crazy parents she should never make her students(parents) do them.

    Really like you have never been at open house and seen a project you know little Johnny/Susie did not do. Their parents are the ones that did it. Really teachers cannot tell?


  3. Karrin Says:

    Oh yeah – especially when they are in like 3rd grade and they have the huge mock-up of the solar system with mechanics. Really? Your kid did themselves…their name is Einstein perhaps? No? Oh….*awkward silence*

  4. Laurie Says:

    I know! I remember third grade and Flat Stanley. Hello? Some of those dang dioramas were professionally made. Seriously. My kid couldn’t even glue a straight line and there were children in there who had these hand-painted backgrounds of Flat Stanley sailing. And don’t even get me started on those California Mission projects. Suffice to say, apparently there were many fourth graders in my son’s class who had a future in architecture and landscaping design.

    Thank you, Liz, for asking your daughter to take one for the team :)
    And no, Karrin, no matter how much you beg, I’m not taking the teens from you :)

  5. Gayatri Palle Says:

    I loved the hiding at 6.00pm thing…Actually, I have this spot at home that I hide myself or become invisible to all, I will lend you that space.

    Why don’t the school just name that thing as “Parent’s Project” instead of assigning it to the kids..I can see all the protest then!
    Its also a show off of which parent was more creative.

  6. et Says:

    Wait u forgot older siblings in this category!
    See this is where the whole pyramid scheme of parenting comes in…if the parents are smart(like mine), they have their kids several yrs apart. Why? because then once the parents have gone through the whole “parents project” with the 1st one, then THAT kid has the privilege of helping the younger one with theirs!…see? and if said sibling doesn’t wanna do it? then the parents bring out the BIG guns…Guilt trips..yep the whole “we helped you with ______ and now being the older ____ help your _____ out! remember all the hours we helped you out, etc…” All I can say was the CA mission project..yeah SOOO not cut out to be an architect… tho’ landscaping is another story….

  7. Laurie Says:

    Ah, siblings. I was the oldest (actually I still am, now that I think about it), so I never got help :) But I did help my bratty little sisters!

    And Gayatri, I need that invisible space!

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