Shannon Stacey

I hope you have a kid just like you someday

Who didn’t hear that growing up?

The Tall Kid, he is a procrastinator. He hasn’t quite taken it to my highly refined level yet, but he’s working on it. Yesterday afternoon I found him diligently working away on a written project, with what appeared to be a project syllabus half hidden under his folder.

Me: Whatcha doin’?

TK: A project on the plant kingdom. I have to write a script now.

Me: A script for what?

TK: Anything. TV show, radio broadcast, game show, drama, whatever. It just has to include all these facts about plants. Hey, you’re a writer…

Me: Dude, I write romance. Unless your daddy plant falls in love with the mommy plant and they have little sprouts in the epilogue, I’m not your girl. Hey! I wonder, if the daddy plant was a Venus Flytrap, if that would be a paranormal plant romance. He’d be almost like a vampire, wouldn’t he?

TK: You are SO weird. Oh, and I have to build a 3-D model of a plant out of household materials.

Me: :eyebrow: By when?

TK: It’s due tomorrow.

Me: Tomorrow? And when did you get this assignment?

TK: Umm…


So I spent the late afternoon and early evening crafting a rather odd-looking Playdough plant. (I consider household materials to mean any material in my household. It was either Playdough or the tattered scraps of construction paper left over from making a 3-D cell the night before it was due.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture, but let’s just say I’m not so handy with Playdough and toothpicks. This morning, amidst the usual before-school chaos, I had to superglue the tiny little roots back on and cut up a water bottle to drop the thing into for protection. Then we hit a frost heave and one of the leaves fell off. He’s going to tell his teacher it’s a dying plant.

Numerous attempts have failed to beat into his head that if he told me about the project the day it’s assigned, the most practical items for building the project could miraculously appear in our household, instead of everything looking like it was hurriedly crafted by a crack-addicted monkey.

(Huh. I’d be the crack-addicted monkey, I guess.)

Yes, Mom. Someday arrived, and I have a kid just like me.

(Note: I realize there might be a teacher or parent having an “OMG, you did his project for him?” moment. I only did the Playdough part. I didn’t write his script—he didn’t like my amnesiac Venus Flytrap secret baby idea. The Tall Kid works his ass off every day maintaining high academic honors, and I could give a shit less if he can make a piece of construction paper look like a nucleaus. If someday his life is ruined by his inability to craft a Playdough plant, I’ll feel bad then.)

11 comments to “I hope you have a kid just like you someday”

  1. Charlene
      · March 6th, 2009 at 11:34 am · Link

    The craft projects, they are the worst part of school. *shudder*

  2. azteclady
      · March 6th, 2009 at 12:25 pm · Link


    Sorry, I had to laugh. Repeatedly.


    a) my first reaction was, “you did his project?????”

    b) my second reaction was, “my mother/stepfather/siblings/anyeffinone never did any of my projects for me” (picture the pout and stamping foot here)

    c) I, too, have kids just like me :grin:

    d) My mother, who wished it on me, has gained no real satisfaction from that fact :boogie:

    Here’s wishing TK great luck with his dying plant!

  3. Michelle (MG)
      · March 6th, 2009 at 12:38 pm · Link

    I hate school craft projects – I make dh do them! :thumb: The writing stuff I make the kids do themselves. I feel the same way as you do about the craft part. My daughter is very good at them, but my son not so much. We have enough trouble with his art title pages. Me, squinting at the page, “What’s that?”. Him “The four food groups.” Me, again squinting at the tiny specs on the paper, “Um, aren’t there supposed to be 5 now and doesn’t your teacher want you to fill up the whole page?” “I don’t know and I colour in the background.” Right. OK. :gaah:

  4. Rhonda
      · March 6th, 2009 at 12:43 pm · Link

    My mother was sooo pissy when DD1 was little… apparently I was a holy terror (and yeah I do remember parts of such :shrug: )… then along came DD#2 who is me made over… my mom is happy now and reminds me daily that it is payback time.

    DD1 – angel child, yeah I help with crafty school stuff too, cause the rest she can deal

  5. Brandy W
      · March 6th, 2009 at 10:18 pm · Link

    When it comes to school projects this is how I fell. :whip: We are in the middle of my 10 year ols daughter’s science fair project. UGH!!! It isn’t bad but so time consuming. She wants to type, I want it over with.

    I get ya with the crafty part of school stuff. The can write it and tell me what they want to do with the craft part. I’ll try my hardest to make it happen. :vampire:

  6. Annmarie
      · March 6th, 2009 at 11:10 pm · Link

    I thought the craft projects were FOR the parents.

  7. Shannon
      · March 7th, 2009 at 12:47 am · Link

    It’s clearly revenge for all the times I waited until the night before a due date to clue my mother in on the need for project building/cupcake baking/etc.

    And I do know that, by doing the arts & crafts portion, I’m subliminally encouraging him to wait until the last minute but…it’s not the hill I want to die on, I guess.

    Part of it is just how incredibly torturous that kind of thing is for the Tall Kid. If you want schematics or you want to assemble a mock wind turbine, he’s your man. He gets an A in shop. (Which is now called Tech Ed. Like English is now called Language Arts. *snort*) Relevance is a key thing for him. Structure.

    But he doesn’t do well with pointless exercises in creativity. In his mind he knows and can present the facts. Everybody knows what a plant looks like. Why make some stupid sculpture from Playdough or gumdrops? It’s a waste of his time and he has no tolerance for “silly” things. (Plus he generally sucks at stuff like that, and he doesn’t like to suck at stuff at all.)

    His disdain for the activity combined with his utter lack of arts & craftiness stresses him out to an unbelievable extent, and I just don’t see the need for that. He’s worked hard every day this year and his high school schedule, which we’ve filled out, reaches a holy shit level of daunting. I have a huge amount of respect for him and that’s my way of helping out, I guess.

    Yes, I know the arts & crafts elements are important. Children learn in different ways and that hands-on/physical object/theoretically fun aspect helps other students retain information in a different way than a recitation of bare facts. That explanation, unfortunately, doesn’t make the Tall Kid any more open to it.

    And, you know, I’m not going to be able to help him very much longer. :( Honors chemistry? I’m guessing they won’t be impressed by dropping a Mentos in a Coke bottle. Forget honors physics. AP Calculus? I don’t even know what they teach in that class. It’s some kind of hard math shit. That’s all I know.

    Right now I can still make my baby Playdough plants.

    :( :( :(

  8. Shannon
      · March 7th, 2009 at 12:49 am · Link

    Oh! And the leaf that fell off when we hit the frost heave? The teacher said it was a good example of a deciduous plant.



  9. Jewell
      · March 7th, 2009 at 3:47 pm · Link

    Hahahahaha!!! Score for Shannon. LOL

    Now, I know people won’t agree with me on this, but I think the craft ability is really important. To represent the data in physical form.

    You see, I worked with Engineers for years, and 99% of the time, while extremely gifted and book smart, they couldn’t translate what they knew to the “real” world. The grunt world where someone actually had to use said diagrams to creat a “real” product (be it a building, road, die form, whatever.) And that lack of ability often hurt them. (Oh, and computer techies fall in this category too. LOL)

    So I feel that being able to interpret the “grunt” side of things is a really, really good thing.

  10. Shannon
      · March 7th, 2009 at 4:57 pm · Link

    So what you’re saying is that the TK needs to be successful enough to be able to afford a real-world translator?


    No, I do get what you’re saying. Getting the TK to get it’s a whole ‘nother story, though.

  11. Patti
      · March 7th, 2009 at 8:47 pm · Link

    This was wished upon me as well and has indeed come true. I am dealing with it as my mom did but with a twist. “You made your bed now lie in it” has become “It sounds like you’re SOL”

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