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I Am Still Waiting for My Standing Ovation

I used to look that good.  Before my 5-year-old started school.

I used to look that good. Before my 5-year-old started school.

It’s been almost 24 hours, and I am still mad at JLo. You will probably argue that I should not be upset with her. But then I’ll just be mad at you, too.

It all started with a “project.” * I am seriously beginning to hate that word. It is an obvious euphemism for “homework assignment that will cause family turmoil and erode the already tenuous bond between a parent and her 10-year-old daughter because the father would much rather stay out of the whole thing.”

My daughter was assigned a landform, archipelago. She informed me a couple of weeks ago that she needed to make her landform out of salt dough on cardboard and paint it. I will not get into the ins and outs of why this “project” did not get done until the night before it was due. I’ll grant JLo this; it wasn’t her fault that my daughter started it late.

So, last night my daughter started painting her archipelago before synchronized swimming practice, then pulled out a paper that detailed the other part of the project about which she had neglected to inform me.

At 8:40 PM, after synchro practice and dropping off our carpooler, my daughter finally started Part II. This included researching, folding, decorating, labeling, and finding the square root of Pi. She is now the world’s Greatest Expert on Archipelagoes. We will be putting that on her college application, I am sure.

At 9:40 PM, our golden retriever came indoors with poop all over one foot, and managed to smear it all around our living room archipelago of furniture before my husband realized it. He cleaned up the concrete floor. I got the job of getting the poop off her foot.

At 10 PM, our daughter informed me that the printer would not print out the non-mandatory picture that she had decided to add to her masterpiece.

At 10 PM and 5 seconds, I said, “If it’s not on the instructions, you don’t need it.” Thus, completely reinforcing her notion that she should never have to do more work than the actual minimum required. I will be contradicting this notion the next time I ask her to clean her room. “I am not fixing the printer right now. Go to bed.”

At 10:20 PM, I was watching Jon Stewart, who was interviewing JLo.

“You have twins, don’t you? How old are they now?” he asked.

“They’re about to turn 5,” JLo said, proudly.


For JLo. Because she has kids. And they are about to turn 5.

Yeah, JLo. You rock. What a great mom you are. For keeping your kids alive to the age of 5.

Have you had to work a long day, come home, fix dinner, ride herd on your child to finish her project (even though you agree with her that it is a complete waste of time), drive carpool, ride herd some more, clean a poopy dog foot, and shove your bulldog to one side just so you can fall into an armchair to rest at 10:05 as your daughter glares at you for not fixing a printer or reading to her before she goes to bed?

I think not. And, I don’t think you ever will.

That is why I am mad at JLo.

Because it’s completely pointless to be mad at the half-witted audience who applauded her just for being a pop star with two almost-5-year-olds.

Or an archaic school system that feels it is necessary to pit parents against children on a regular basis in the name of “education.”

Plus, she was a little bit too flirty with Jon Stewart.

You can only push me so far.

*(If you are interested in more of my commentary on school projects, you might want to read “The Science-is-Not-Fair”, a titillating expose of the negative impact of science fairs on unsuspecting families. And, yes, I know expose is supposed to have an accent mark, but I am so blindly angry at JLo that I cannot remember how to add one.)

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