I was going to write a profound, philosophical post today because lately I've been doing some deep thinking. But I decided to rattle this one off instead, because it combines two of my favorite topics: my complete exasperation with my children, and my shortcomings as a mother.
I had to drive Two back to school to get his lunchbox and planner, because he ran around at lunchtime getting teacher signatures on a permission slip. He didn't make it back to the cafeteria, so his friends grabbed his stuff. He's had the permission slip for two weeks. It was due yesterday. We retrieved his planner, and I explained how it was, indeed, his fault that his planner got left at school. He debated all the way home.
As we walked to the front door, he said, "Hey, do we have any paint?"
"Why do you need paint?"
"I have to make a diorama."
I opened my mouth to speak, but there were no words. I think I may have looked like a robot with a glitch, as I sputtered incomprehensibly.
"When is the diorama due?" I finally asked.
I don't know why this still shocks me. Two is the King of Procrastination. Three is the Prince, and he can use ADHD as an excuse. Two cannot.
"TOMORROW??!! Fuck you, Two. You suck." Yes. Those are the words that finally bubbled up and out. "I cannot whip up a diorama in an hour."
"You don't have to. Just tell me where I can find a shoebox and some paint. It doesn't even have to be that good. Some guy in class made his out of Play-doh."
Blinking like I was having a seizure, I went to the kitchen and opened my laptop.
"What must your diorama depict?"
"The Siege of Yorktown."
He wanted to whip up a fucking SIEGE in the hour before he had to go back to school for chorale practice.
A Wikipedia search revealed TWO battles at Yorktown.
"Which battle--Revolutionary or Civil War?" I asked.
"Uh...the one in the 1800's?"
He was wrong. It was the one in the Revolutionary War. Or at least I hope so, because we painted a bunch of our World War Two plastic army guys red and blue, to distinguish between the British and the American forces. Sure, the French were there, but they got lumped in with the Americans. I was lucky to find watercolor paint at all, so I limited the number of figures.
We found one slightly bent shoe-box, because I no longer keep diorama supplies on hand. It's usually an elementary school project, so, WTF high school history teacher? I shoved the box into shape, and we cut up the lid to create "Redoubt Number 10" which was basically a platform, which we then smeared in dirt and grass and surrounded with toothpicks. We perched our Redcoats up there, and glued the blue G.I. Joe/Revolutionary Forces in the grass below. The intent was to show how the Americans defeated the British via stealthy trench-digging. Or, in our case, their superior 1940's firepower. Historically accurate it was not.
All the while I was helping, I was bitching about how Two needs to plan his time. He knew he had to have his permission slip signed; he knew he had a project due.
"Yeah, Mom, it's my project, so just let me do it."
"I'm helping you because I need you to graduate, get into a decent college, AND LEAVE!"
That's the truth, people. I love him, and perhaps I'm coddling. I'm sure I'll miss him when he's gone, but he needs to get out of this house in two years. He can fuck up in college, fail out, go get a job, as long as he doesn't come home. My efforts are focused on getting him through high school and out the door.
To that end, I'm willing to glue toothpicks until my fingers bleed. Because he's killing me.