Lack of Planning On My Kids’ Parts Means Chaos On Mine

Many years ago, when I was a Kindergarten-er wearing opaques, granny boots and hot pants, my teacher used to pin notes on my shirt for my mother.  Thinking back, that was a pretty clever way to get information home to parents about important events and projects. 

Now that I have two teenagers, I wish someone would put sticky notes on my kids’ shirts regarding important things.  I also wish they would just remember what their assignments are – this is something I just can’t help them with any longer.

Here’s an example for you.  Eldest Son went with my nephew to spend the night at my parents’ house on Saturday.  On Sunday morning, I called my parents to see what time they wanted us to pick the boys up (they live about 45 minutes from here). 

While chatting with my mother, she started talking about how Eldest Son remembered at the VERY LAST MINUTE how he had an extensive project due on Monday and how they were able to help him get everything he needed to get it done. 

I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise.  Project.  Due.  Monday. Had. All. Week. Off.  Did. Nothing.   “He had a project due and JUST remembered it while visiting you?  He’s been off school for a week!”  A soothing voice at the other end of the line said, “Now Amy, don’t be mad at him.  He got it done.  I took him to the store for what he needed and he’s been at it all day.”

Who was this woman at the other end of the phone?  It sounded like my mother’s voice, but was this the same person who had knock down, drag out arguments over homework with my younger brother at the kitchen table?  What was going on here?

I tried not to sound as aggravated as I felt.  “Mom, he had the entire week off and I asked him if he had any homework.  Plus, he’s going to college in two years – he’s got to start taking some responsibility here.”   “You’re right,” then she added, “You know how kids can be.”

Do I ever.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been told that a project is due, someone needs supplies, a permission slip has to be signed or money is needed at the 11th hour.   Forget websites, teacher’s blogs and newsletters- I am usually the last to know when someone needs something. 

My favorite expression is, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”  That’s a great theory but lately it hasn’t been working. 

I wasn’t mad anymore by the time he got home, but I did have the “youneedtobemoreorganizedandtakeresponsibilty” lecture with him, just the same.  Plus, I made him clean his room before he could go over to his buddy’s house.  Vengeance is mine, sayeth the mom.

If we were Catholic, I would tell him he’d better start praying to the saint in charge of protecting teens from their angry mothers.   This weekend, he didn’t have to pray – he had grandma.


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