Monday, March 17, 2014

The OTHER Aftermath

The creeping crud, of course.

My body is generally obliging...when I really just don't have the damned time to get sick I usually don't.  Last week Petunia had strep and then both boys got colds (but thankfully, NOT strep), and when my kids get sick I usually do too because they are good about sharing like that, but I sailed through the week unscathed.  When I have a family of houseguests coming for the weekend plus a house that needs cleaning top to bottom and a party for 40+ that needs planning and cooking for, I'm moving so fast that the germs can't catch me!

Even yesterday, the pace hadn't changed.  Guests left around 11, then it was science fair project time with Thing One, quickly followed by Family Heritage project time with Thing Two.  And then I had an hour left before I went to bed, for crying out loud.

Good God, I hate school projects that need to be done at home.  And why the hell are we requiring kids to make a family tree that involves pictures of their GREAT-GRANDPARENTS anyway??  The only one of my kids who ever even met a great-grandparent is Thing One, and he doesn't remember her since she passed away when he was about 18 months old.  I could paste faces cut out of photos I bought at a flea market onto the upper branches of this &%$#% family tree and Thing Two wouldn't know the difference.  But, since I am anal and compulsive, I spent an hour of yesterday that I will never get back scanning and printing old pictures--maybe this thing will be a good keepsake for him someday, anyway.

And don't even get me started on the whole science fair project thing.  The problem with science fair projects at my house is that I am a scientist and my husband is (or at least was at one point) an engineer.  Himself has bachelor's and master's degrees in Chemical Engineering and I have a Ph.D. in Biology, so both of us know a thing or two about planning experiments, interpreting data, and making posters.  As often as not, we end up arguing with each other about the way Thing One should design his experiments and present the results, which is really NOT the point of this exercise although Thing One does learn from it at least.  When we find ourselves in a heated disagreement about fine points of experimental interpretation that are way above our kid's head to begin with, as we did again yesterday (why can't this kid just make a volcano like everyone else??  when you do a real experiment involving gravity, friction and momentum, the science gets adult-level in short order) it is just time to walk away from the trifold board.  To our credit, this year Thing One actually planned and executed his own experiment...we were mostly trying to help him with the data crunching since he hasn't mastered Excel graphing yet.  Even with a more hands-off approach, it was STILL a massive time suck.

A friend of mine who also has fifth and second graders and who consequently spent her Sunday doing the same two projects texted me last night.  She thinks that her kids' teachers should have spent their weekends doing her parenting and housework, since she spent her weekend doing school projects.  Ha.  I just want to know how the kids without involved (or, you know, English-speaking) parents get all these things done.

At any rate, going back to the creeping crud bit, I woke up this morning feeling like a truck had hit me, since today things finally slow down again.  Lovely.  And totally characteristic, I might add.  I was sick at the beginning of I ever had, the inevitable collapse after gutting out finals week.  And of course, Petunia missed the bus because we couldn't find her sneakers, so I had to drive her to school!!  Murphy's Damned Law, I tell you.

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