Homework and the elusive bristle board

“Do we have a bristle board, I need it for tomorrow…”

…no school-aged child ever says at 8 o’clock on a weeknight. 😛

“Yes, of course we do,  I keep a stash in the basement just for these types of emergencies…”

…said no mom ever. 🙄


Of course I helped him cut up a cardboard box (after refusing to give him my self-made cardboard puzzle board).

Naturally I knew where the tape is located (same drawer as always).

He was a good sport getting it all finished on his own after that, and so was I at not cringing when he didn’t smooth out the tape or left things slightly crooked. But it’s his project, and he usually gets good marks, so I left him to it.

Still, this last minute kind of thing is not my cup of tea. Not having supplies handy, then getting the whole family upset because we refuse to drop everything to help him out, followed by stress and blame…we’ve all been through it. Luckily, this doesn’t happen to us often, so I choose to look at this situation as yet another crucial learning experience (for him).

I did suggest to him in the car the next morning that perhaps next time he has a big project due, to kindly ensure he has all required supplies handy prior to the night before it’s due. “Your bus drives right by a dollar store, no reason why you can’t get off a few stops early and pop in there to get your bristle board”,  I said while he nodded. “Plan ahead next time”, I continued, and he said yes, he will.

I am so not a last minute kind of person. I plan, I prepare, I have lists and reminders and follow through. I have plans B and  C in case plan A is a wash. I realize that there are people who are not like this and still manage to get things done. My husband has, in the past, managed to create entire lesson plans while overseeing a renovation, with a toddler and a 9 month pregnant wife (me) in the house, in preparation for his first class as a College prof and without any material to start with. On the weekend prior to the first class… He churned stuff out during all that chaos and that was 10 years ago. He’s still teaching there and still doing well, enhancing and updating his courses regularly (or developing new ones) while juggling kid activities  and coaching duties and all the rest of it, in a way that would be impossible for me. Often, by tackling things the day prior….

Don’t ask me when he does his Christmas shopping.  😉

I’m allergic to distraction. I can easily get sucked into procrastination. And I’m constantly multi-tasking, which is not something that my boy, or my husband, seem to be doing often. Maybe it’s a wife thing, or a SAHM thing, or a female thing, or a ‘just me’ thing…

Leaving stuff to the last minute works for them. It doesn’t work for me. Teaching my offspring to plan ahead is received with mixed results, but as long as they understand that lack of planning results in consequences that are NOT MY PROBLEM, it’s all good.

All this, and highschool hasn’t even started yet.



4 Replies to “Homework and the elusive bristle board”

  1. I’m a planner. Last minute drives me crazy. Like last night at 1230 when my usually ultra prepared daughter asked “what pants should I wear to be willy loman”( high school English assignment) and I went “uh. Leggings.” To which I got the face that teens make when they think you’re stupid. FYI…she’s wearing her father’s khakis with a belt…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an ongoing struggle around here, too. We feel like 99% of school work is teaching them how to plan ahead for things, to make schedules and get organized – at least, 99% of our part of things. We have tried for years to get them to make a plan when they have a big project, or to remember to let us know about things at least a couple of days in advance, or to sort out what is due when and look for potential trouble spots. But it never seems to take.

    Now that our oldest is in high school it’s a struggle to figure out the balance – how much planning and nagging and organizing should we do for him, and how much should he do on his own? With the older two we’re basically in a “sink or swim” mode, but it’s still so hard not to bail them out, and run to the dollar store at 8 p.m. on a weeknight to grab some supplies because they “forgot.”

    SIGH. How will they ever get through university? Or life, for that matter?


    1. It’s like teaching them how to sleep with a sheet. Remember that? lol (Mine still don’t sleep like normal people.)

      The hardest part is letting go and not get sucked in to the blame (“you won’t buy me x now, so it’ll be your fault!”) Lending a hand with some creativity like we did with the cardboard box is one thing if it’s a first time thing, but to do it again next time it happens…that’ll be MY test of how to let him figure it out without assistance from me. 🙂


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