J-Fed The Space Case
The World According To Kiki & J-Fed
The assignment was simple -- create a mere model of mars by Friday.
I had given J-Fed his marching orders a week ahead of time, well in advance of the project's due date. Would he be able to tackle this mission to mars or would he leave me believing once again that he really was from outer space? If you guessed the latter, you're absolutely right. My favorite spacecase let me down once again, but he did it oh-so-gracefully.
I learned a long time ago about the dangers of procrastination. I had spent far too many long nights trying to complete projects at the last minute. It was a bad habit of mine in middle school, high school and even college. After years, no decades, of doing things at the midnight hour, I finally changed my evil ways. And as a parent, this was a characteristic I wanted to instill in my children. If they learned no other lesson from me, this one would be etched in their heads forever. It would be the most important thing my 8-year-old learned in third grade.
Too bad my other child, the Fedster, missed the memo. Lucky for me, I'm the conductor of the homework train. So when it comes to major projects, I have a timeline in place the day my daughter receives the assignment. Usually, I handle the undertaking of acting as daughter’s assistant myself, but since this three-pronged project included one artsy-craftsy element, I figured I'd invite the Fedster along for the wild ride. I figured it would make him feel a sense of pride by getting involved. A bigger mistake has never been made. Well, I take that back -- a bigger mistake was once made but quickly rectified with divorce papers if you get my drift.
Back to the drama du jour. The Fedster was supposed to start the said project last weekend just three days after he receive his assignment. But somehow Sunday rolled around and J-Fed still hadn't even accumulated the supplies he needed for building his replica of mars. Let's see -- a newspaper, some water, a balloon and some paint.
Doesn't exactly seem like rocket science to me? But what do I know. Plenty. Do you know why? Because I spent an hour every night last week working on the report aspect of daughter's project with her.
In fact, by Sunday afternoon, the report part was written, edited, photocopied and bound with a stunning title page and a neat plastic cover, all courtesy of Kinkos. As daughter admired her handywork, I espoused the virtues of time management and doing things ahead of time. You see, daughter is in dance classes almost every night of the week (by choice) and this weekend was extra rehearsals for the recital, as well as a birthday party on Saturday. That meant if daughter wanted to participate in all of the incidentals, the entire project had to be completed and sitting on our dining room table for a Monday morning delivery.
Sadly, daughter got sacked with a sad excuse for a lab partner. Despite going over to her father's house for the last couple of nights, the art aspect was hardly done. In fact, the last time I laid my eyes on J-Fed's efforts it looked more like a giant mothball than a replica of Mars. But what do I know? Oh that's right -- alot because my part of the project is DONE.
Two nights ago, the Fedster contacted me in a heated frenzy. He had finally gotten off his can and gotten the supplies. He informed me that when all was said and done, he’d spent $150 on the supplies to build Mars. WHAT?!? $150. Was Mars suddenly made of gold or what? What in the hell could possibly cost $150 to make Mars. A balloon he could probably rouse for free at the local grocery store. A newspaper was no more than a dollar. Water was free, and a jar of paint would probably set him back a whopping $5… and that’s for the crème de la crème.
Boy, if there’s a way to spend money, leave it to J-Fed to find it. I couldn’t believe he had blown that kind of wad. He tried to explain to me that he’d now have the supplies, including a hot glue gun, for further projects. Um, Elmer’s Glue anyone? J-Fed was wrong. He wouldn’t need supplies for future projects because there weren’t going to be any… at least not for him.
You see, tonight was the final straw. I needed the Fedster to complete his part of the project because daughter still had to work on the oral part of the presentation. And this was a problem because there was no way for me to work on the oral part of the presentation if she was over at HIS house being sidetracked by all of the other distractions keeping him from his work on Mars. Pathetic. If you ask me, it was pathetic and I couldn't be more pissed if he urinated in my new armoire. Oh I know, that was so yesterday, but bad memories linger for a lifetime. And so does their source apparently.
When I explained to J-Fed that he was screwing up the timeline, he became completely incensed as if it were an issue for him to go by a schedule. What in God's name was I thinking? He informed me she had ALL weekend to work on the project. Ahem. Hello in there???? The whole point of getting it done early was because she DIDN'T have the time to do the project. What part of that repeated diatribe did he not listen to? I'm guessing all of it.
So here it is Wednesday night. Mars is half-finished. The oral report hasn't been started. And I'm realizing that perhaps daughter's biggest coup for her report would be to bring in her own father on Monday. After all, she's probably the only kid whose father is from another planet. A+ for daughter. F- for J-fed.