I’m a parent who sends her kids to school with 100 percent child-completed projects.
OK, that is a bald-faced lie. Any parent that makes that claim without at least one hand on a Bible is also guilty of lying through their pearly veneered whites.
Any parent that also would smile and claim they enjoy helping their kids with school projects either 1) has a well-worn straight jacket in their closet or 2) lives in a facility where a person in a white coat buzzes visitors in and out.
As a self-proclaimed truth-teller, I will share what most moms and dads think, but won’t admit: 1) it’s easier to translate the Bhagavad Gita into to Swahili than successfully solve a first-grade Everyday Match problem 2) trying to turn a 2-liter soda bottle into a historical human Replicant is just unnatural (4th grade biography bottle project), and 3) an American Girl doll would have a better shot at getting an unassisted “A” for the fifth-grade wax museum project than a human child.
There I said it.
Fortunately, my children are pretty self-sufficient, but a lack of supervision has its own inherent problems. For example, my son chose WWII hero John Basilone for his “biography bottle” project. He was the creative force behind the project, but I had to do the legwork.
We had a soda bottle, but procuring the Styrofoam head required an inconvenient trip to JoAnn Fabrics. I stood in front of those darn balls for 20 minutes deciding which size would be proportional to a body that once emptied into a tumbler of Scotch. Undecided, I bought 2 sizes. I also found a bonus—camouflage paper to make his little bottle uniform to keep his tiny plastic body warm.
When I brought the craft items home, it was clear the smaller Styrofoam ball was the better choice, and the larger one was perfect for a helmet. My husband somehow "ice-cream scooped" the larger piece to fit over the smaller one. I am not sure which power tool one uses for that, but somehow it worked and no one was hurt in the process.
The next day, I caught my son suspiciously looking for carpet cleaner. He had started clothing poor Mr. Basilone when my son turned all “Calvin Klein” and decided on a wardrobe change. “Mom, the camo paper you bought looks too German,” he said, “I had to make my own camouflage, and I got some chalk on the carpet.” “Some chalk” was a black stain the size of Vermont. It took three tries and two chemicals to get it out—but we got an “A” on the project.
We got an “A."