Who’s Singin’ the “How the Hell Is This School Project Gettin’ Done in Time” Blues?

So then…both my kids announce brand new huge projects that must be completed before the school year ends — which is just a couple weeks away — and I suspect these projects weren’t assigned today.

Of course, this reminds me of the School Project to End All School Projects, so I’ll share this here just in case any of you are singin’ the “How the Hell Is This School Project Gettin’ Done in Time” Blues!

That Special Joy When Another Mom Notifies You Just How Oblivious Your Kid Is -- Honestly, are ALL kids procrastinators or do some kids have a special knack for being COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS? SoThenStories.com #funny

So then…she nibbles the walnut brownie I baked and comments on how nicely Tucker and her son Andrew, both age 11, are playing basketball in our backyard.

I beam. This is the first time Linda’s son has come over.  (I’d even tidied up the house and baked some “get-to-know-you” brownies.)

“They’ve had a great afternoon,” I say. “Thanks for letting Andrew come home with us after school. Tucker’s really enjoyed hanging out with him.”

Linda nods, picks up Andrew’s backpack, and heads for the patio door to collect her son. She says, “Yeah, I almost had to cancel though, because Andrew hadn’t made enough progress on his International Fair project yet. But he did a lot last night, so he’s in pretty good shape.”

My pulse quickens. What International Fair project? I ask.

She looks at me as though I’m joking. “The one that’s due Monday.”

Today is Friday.

“Oh, is that, like an optional project, like for a Science Fair, or something?” I ask hopefully.

She turns to me, backpack on her shoulder, and says, “No, this is the big 6th grade History project they’ve supposed to have been working on all semester. Surely Tucker’s told you about it?”

I’m sure I’m turning bright red from embarrassment – and bright white from panic.

“Um, no, he hasn’t mentioned it. What’s due on Monday?”

Well, now she sets the backpack down and turns her attention completely toward me, and braces herself to tell me some very bad news.

“OK, each child picks a country, then they need to write a report on 6 topics of that country, like climate, cuisine, politics, religion, stuff like that.”

I gulp.  Sweat forms on my brow.

International Fair Darcy Concern
“Each report has to be typed up and pasted on a tri-fold poster board with artwork and photos,” she continues.

“Well, um, OK,” I stammer. “I..I think we can work on that this weekend. I can run to the crafts store for the poster board. We can probab-“

“Get the flag materials there too,” she interrupts.

“There’s a flag?” I ask.

“Yes, and a costume.”

“WHAT?”

“Yes, this is why they gave the kids all semester to work on it! They need to make that country’s flag out of fabric and put it on a stick because they’ll carry it in the procession. Then they also need to wear a costume that’s native to the country – it can be homemade, or maybe you have a friend or family member who has something from that country, or—“

She stops as she sees me sit down, about to hyperventilate.

I whisper, “I don’t even know what his country is.”

She winces.

International Fair Linda Explains
“OK, look, I hate to keep going, but you should know the kids also need to cook an authentic dish from their country.” She blurts it out very quickly like she’s ripping off a band-aid. “And they need to have enough bite-size servings for 40 students because all the 6th graders and their parents are invited to the International Fair – which is Monday.” Then super-fast she says, “And it’s 25% of their grade.”

She picks up the backpack again and turns toward the patio door. She looks back at me and I see indecision on her face. Should she flee the scene? Grab her son and run away, kissing him all over for having the good sense to tell her about the International Fair project months ago?

Or should she stay and comfort a fallen comrade in the Mommy Wars?

Please, my eyes beg her. Don’t abandon me. Explain more about this International Fair of which you speak. Help me, guide me, tell me my son’s frikking country, something, anything, for God’s sake. What’s your son’s country? Can our sons choose the same country? Can my son join your son and share his flag and his tri-fold and his cuisine? I beg of you…

Of course I don’t say any of those words out loud. But she can see them in my eyes. So she pats me on the shoulder, opens the patio door, and calls for Andrew.

The boys come running in. Linda says a nervous goodbye to an oblivious Tucker, hastily thanks me, hustles Andrew out the door, and snags another brownie on her way out.

Bitch. She annihilates me AND still has time to take a treat?

I shouldn’t have thought that. Of course she’s not a bitch. Why shoot the messenger when there is somebody much more appropriate to receive my wrath?

As the front door closes, I turn to Tucker, narrow my eyes, and ask in a chillingly low voice, “Did you know there was an International Fair project due on Monday?”

He stuffs a brownie bite in his mouth and says brightly, “Yeah, but it’s like a Science Fair or something – it’s optional.

I grip the handles of the chair. “Tucker.It.Is.Not.Optional.It.Is.25%.Of.Your.Grade!”

He shrugs, says, “Huh,” and takes another bite.

I look at him with wonder that this truly carefree child emanated from the womb of a Type A hyper-organized, compulsive pre-planner like myself.

“Linda said the teachers have been talking about this International Fair all semester. Did you think they would spend that much time talking about an optional project?” I ask.

He screws up his face and lifts his shoulders in a gesture of Hey, who knows what’s on the minds of those crazy teachers?

International Fair Tucker Shrugging
I take a breath. “Tucker,” I say. “Do you even know what country you have? And if you chose a country, what did you think you were choosing it FOR, since you thought the project was optional?

He finishes the last bite of the brownie and says, “Oh yeah, I chose Mexico. I thought it was like ‘Hey, where would you like to visit if you could pick any country?’ And I picked Mexico because I love Mexican food.”

“Well, I’m glad you do, Tucker. I’m glad you do. Because you are going to be making Mexican food all weekend. And a flag and a costume and 6 reports! YOU ARE GOING TO BE ALL MEXICO ALL THE TIME FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS!!”

And thus began one of the most painful, stressful weekends in the history of school projects.

Ay Caramba!

International Fair Tucker Color
— Darcy Perdu

If you enjoyed this post, receive NEW funny posts by subscribing HERE!

Original Illustrations for So Then Stories created by Shelly at Shell Graphics

(Any projects that snuck up on you or your kids? Any surprise tests? Or how about the “oh-yeah-I-need-36-cupcakes-for-school-tomorrow-Mom” at 9:00 at night? Share your Stories and Comments below! I LOVE to read them!)

International Fair Hearing the News Color

HUGE Funny Surprise When I Opened My Baby Book!

Mom cleaned her attic & mailed me my Baby Book!  Imagine my SURPRISE when I looked inside and saw...uh-oh  #funny #baby #babybook #pregnancy #humor

So then…I see the package on my front step and jump with excitement!

My older sister Dawn’s helping our Mom clean out her attic, so she’s mailing my Baby Book across the country to me!

What? A book about ME?

That’s my FAVORITE topic! I can’t wait to see the photos and notes my Mom penned about the mini-me!

I rip open the package and see a sweet little old-fashioned baby book.

ADORABLE!

I gently open the book to see my name lovingly inscribed there. Awwww.

I tenderly turn the pages – which are EMPTY.

COMPLETELY EMPTY.

What!?

I call my sister. “What the hell, Dawn?! My Baby Book is EMPTY!”

“Well, you were the THIRD child out of five,” she says. “Our parents were pretty busy.”

“Oh, easy for you to say. You’re the second. Is YOURS filled in?”

“Um…yes,” she admits sheepishly.

“Well, why’d you even bother to mail mine if it was EMPTY?”

“I dunno,” she retorts. “I’m mailing Mom’s attic stuff all over the country – I don’t have time to open everything! Just be glad you got a book at all! The 4th and 5th kids didn’t!”

It reminds me of the time my friend Angie confided a secret:

One night over drinks, Angie says, “I lied to my daughter.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Well, the damn teacher asked the kids to bring their Baby Books to school so all the third graders could ‘get to know each other,’” she says, sipping her mojito. “What the hell do they need to do that for?”

“Uh-oh,” I say, smiling. “Sounds like someone’s a bit defensive.”

“Damn right I’m defensive!” she says. “I never made a Baby Book for her! I have one for my first kid – it’s packed with all sorts of his photos and crap – but by the time I popped out the next kid, I didn’t have time for that! I was chasing a toddler and trying to grab my baby off my titties long enough to sleep for an hour!”

I’m laughing because she’s acting out her words, boob-pulling and all!

“So what’d you tell her?” I ask.

Angie looks guilty. “I told her it’s packed away and I’ll have to get it out later.”

“Um…okay?” I ask, “So how—”

“I bought a new one!” she says boldly. “Yep, I just marched into the store and bought a brand new Baby Book. I found some old baby pics of her and glued ’em right in.”

“You did not!” I laugh.

She nods emphatically.

“But how’d you fill in stuff like ‘What was baby’s first word?’ or ‘When was baby’s first step?’ How can you remember so long ago?”

“I just made shit up!” She slugs the last of her mojito and motions to the server for another. “First word? How about ‘ball?’ First steps? I dunno — a year maybe? So I put 11 months. She’s a go-getter so she was probably early. Why not boost her self-esteem a little?”

Angie dips a chip and continues her rant, punctuating her words by pointing her chip in the air:

“First baby food? Sweet potatoes! Favorite baby food? Apricots!”

“Apricots?” I interject. “Are you sure that’s a baby foo—?”

“Shut up, Darcy! She’ll never know!” she laughs. “Favorite toy? How about a green ARMADILLO!?”

I gasp-laugh. “What if she asks to SEE the green armadillo!?”

She says mournfully, “It was accidentally sucked out of our minivan window when we made a sharp turn into Disneyland.” She makes sorrowful puppy eyes.

“You just made that shit up right now!” I accuse her.

“Yes, yes, I did. And I’ll tell her the same thing if she asks me. ‘Cause I love my daughter — but I didn’t have time to create a damn Baby Book back when she was a baby! And I’m sure as hell not gonna let her walk into that classroom empty-handed! So I made the whole damn thing up and passed it off as totally real – and she bought it – hook, line, and sinker!”

Angie looks me straight in the eye, defiantly – almost daring me to object to her deceitful little ruse.

I clink my glass to hers, smile, and say, “Honey, you’re an AWESOME mother!”

— Darcy Perdu

Laugh at all my new posts by subscribing HERE!
I LOVE SUBSCRIBERS!

(And yes, I’ve changed her name for this post — and her daughter does not read my blog, so the secret is still safe!)

(Speaking of secrets, here’s the HORRIFYING & HILARIOUS SECRET everyone knew but me…)

(Did you make a Baby Book for each of your kids, with the exact same attention to detail? Would you “fudge” some things like Angie?  Do you still have your OWN Baby Book? I have mine. It’s empty. Did I mention that? COMPLETELY empty. I’m not bitter or anything. Cough. Should I mail it back to my Mom so she can make up some shit about me?)

Is This Tutor Messin’ with Me? Oh yes. Yes, he IS, that little…

Am I paranoid?  Or is this guy totally messin' with me?  #funny #tutor #homework #humor

So then…my son Tucker slips through the dining room door into the kitchen and whispers, “Mom, I think the tutor’s asleep.”

I look up from the crockpot and whisper, “What?”

We both tiptoe to the dining room door, ease it open a crack, and peer through to see the Biology tutor sitting at the table before an open book, chin on his chest, head down, eyes closed.

Tucker and I look at each other and suppress a giggle. We ease the door shut, then scurry to the opposite end of the kitchen to confer.

“What happened?” I ask.

“I dunno. He was kinda quiet so I looked over and he was sound asleep!”

“Did he just doze off in the middle of a sentence?”

“No, no, he was explaining something, then I started filling in the worksheet, and the next thing I knew – ‘’ (he mimes shutting his eyes and snoring, getting progressively louder and more dramatic with his snores)

“Stop that!” I say, laughing softly. “You’re gonna wake him up!”

“Well, shouldn’t he be awake if he’s going to help teach me Biology?”

Hmm, good point.

“OK,” I say. “I’ll go wake him up. You stay in here and pretend to get a snack or something. I don’t want to embarrass the guy!”

Tucker happily invades the pantry for a snack.

I ease open the door and clear my throat.

Nothing.

I don’t want to startle him. He’s a very nice man. He teaches science at a school in another district during the day – plus he and his wife have 3 kids, including a new baby — AND he tutors after school – so he’s probably exhausted.

And let’s face it, Biology is not exactly riveting.

If I were a Biology tutor, I’d fall asleep as soon as you opened the Biology book, much less if I had to discuss it!

In fact, I’d fall asleep as soon as you said the word, “Biolo— ” Zzzzzzzzz.
See? It just happened.

Now if I were a tutor on the “best TV series to binge-watch” – or the “relative composition of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors by deliciousness of ingredients” – or the “statistical likelihood of Ryan Gosling’s car breaking down outside my house, in a rainstorm, and needing immediate medical attention and a warm bath” – I’d be WIDE AWAKE for the entire session!

So I certainly don’t blame the guy for falling asleep, but I should wake him.

So I cough.

Nothing.

I tiptoe out of the room, then walk back in, very loudly clicking my shoes on the floor. The tutor does not move.

Good God, I hope he’s not dead.

That’d be incredibly awkward.

I have delicious French Dip beef simmering in the crockpot, more homework to supervise, then a slew of shows on the DVR. Tonight’s schedule is not ideal for an untimely death in my dining room.

Next Thursday, sure. But tonight, no. Definitely not.

I approach the slumbering tutor so I can call his name, but then I realize I don’t KNOW his name!

That may sound odd since he’s been tutoring Tucker for about 6 sessions or so.

But he has a very thick accent and when he introduced himself, I thought he said his name was Farooq Malik.

But then the next time he came, I could swear he introduced himself to my friend as Marooq Falik. Or maybe it was Malik Farooq?

I’m terrible with names anyway, especially if the names could be interchangeable. If you tell me your name is Henry James, I’ll likely call you James half the time and Henry the other half!

Two of my friends both have a “v” in their names so I’m constantly calling them by each other’s names – and I’ve known them for years!

I once knew a Carla that I routinely called Sharon because oh-my-God-you-guys, she just seemed like a Sharon, you know?

So whenever I try to address the tutor, I hesitate, stumble, or mumble. I think he’s on to me.

Recently, I asked him something, and said, “Right, Malik?” and he corrected me by saying “Farooq.” And I could swear he’s corrected me the opposite way too. And he’ll smile mischievously, like he knows that I can’t keep his name straight.

So now I don’t know if I just have a bad memory –

or if he’s just Farooq-ing with me.

My son comes back in the room with chips and sits down.

I cough and say, “Mister…Malik? Farooq? Hello?”

He opens his eyes, shifts in his seat, glances at the book, then looks at Tucker and calmly says,

“And that’s the difference between prokaryote and eukaryote organisms.”

Wow. Didn’t even skip a beat.

Nicely played, Farooq.

Or Malik.

Or whatever the Farooq your name is!

— Darcy Perdu

Laugh at all my new posts by subscribing HERE!
I LOVE SUBSCRIBERS!

(Are you terrible at remembering names too? Any funny tutoring stories? IS he just messing with me? And should I serve strong black coffee whenever he tutors?)

Welcome to So Then Stories: Hilarious True Tales

Do you enjoy Hilarious True Tales about embarrassing kids, exasperating coworkers, vexing relationships, and the ever-perplexing public?  Then you'll LOVE SoThenStories.com!  Come laugh with us!  #funny #kids #office #husbands #humor

Hey, pull up a bar stool and let’s swap funny stories about our embarrassing kids, exasperating coworkers, vexing relationships, and the ever-perplexing public!  This is where I share my bodacious blunders and hilarious true tales – and invite YOU to share YOUR related experiences – so the laughs just keep rolling!

“Hmm,” you may ask, “Are you really funny?”  Well, not to brag (omg, I’m TOTALLY bragging!), but I won 1st Place in the 2014 Nat. Society of Newspaper Columnists competition (Blog Category under 100,000 monthly visitors) – and I won 2 Humor VOTY Awards at BlogHer in 2013 & 2014.  I was even named Humor Writer of August 2014 by Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop!  Woot! Woot!

So pull up a bar stool and start laughing! 
Click the image below to read now – or PIN for later!

TOTALLY Embarrassed in Front of Dr. Fancypants! HILARIOUS True Tale #doctor #medical #embarrassing #funny #teens

Click the image below to read now – or PIN for later!

Telling His Teacher a Big Fat Juicy Lie!  #funny #boys #teacher #school #humor

Click the image below to read now – or PIN for later!

BOOBIE-trapped -- LITERALLY & Hilariously! True tale when my boob got trapped in...well, you gotta click it to find out! #funny #embarrassing #mammogram #fireman

Click the image below to read now – or PIN for later!

Oh, She Did NOT Just Say That! #funny #school #drama #volunteer #pta #pisces #cosmetics #hair #humor

If you enjoy quick hilarious true tales like these, then please pop your email address right HERE so you won’t miss any of my new funny stories!  I LOVE subscribers!

Thanks!  Darcy Perdu

BUSTED! Telling His Teacher a Big Fat Juicy LIE!

Telling the Teacher a Big Fat Juicy Lie! #funny #teacher #student #lying

So then…I open an email from Tucker’s 6th grade teacher that says:

“Tucker did not have his homework today; he told me this was because there was a termite infestation at home. I told him he needed to ask you to write a note explaining the situation, but he said that his family did not believe in writing notes.

However, since our homework policy is not to accept late work, I would appreciate a note or an e-mail when unusual situations occur so that Tucker can receive full credit.
Sincerely, Mrs. Gilbert”

What the what?

I love how the teacher writes her email in such a way that she leaves open the slim possibility that indeed, we did have a termite infestation that interfered with homework completion – rather than declare, “Your son flat out lied to me today.”

(Not only did he lie, but he did so, very poorly. Termites? Really, dude? That’s the best you could come up with? And you said your family “didn’t believe” in writing notes? What religious cult forbids the WRITING OF NOTES?)

Of course, I immediately want to write back:

“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I was mortified to read your email. We have had no such infestation – and we have no problem writing notes.

In fact, I’m writing this note to you right now. However, I’ll email it to you instead of giving it to Tucker to deliver — since he might claim it was eaten by termites (or boll weevils or alien mutant wombats) before it gets to you.

We are extremely disappointed that Tucker would attempt to excuse his missing homework in this way. We do not have termites. We are a clean and observant family. If there were termites, we would know about it and deal with it expeditiously.

And even if we had termites, that would not preclude Tucker from completing his homework. Termites are tiny. At most, they might buzz through a couple pencils.

It’s not like we were infested by ferocious cougars, lunging alligators, or blood-sucking vampires. I could see how those would be disruptive to concentrating on one’s homework. But termites? Please. We’re made of sturdier stock than that.

As soon as Tucker comes home from school, we’ll impose consequences — and he’ll also write you an apology.

Meanwhile, please keep us posted on any other “allegations” he might make at school. (I should tell you pre-emptively that you should not believe him if he claims his parents drink too much wine, gamble online, or use the F-word carelessly.)
Thank you, Darcy Perdu”

But instead I write:
“Dear Mrs. Gilbert:
I am so sorry that Tucker tried to use an excuse for his missing homework.  We don’t have termites and we have no problem writing notes.  He’ll give you the homework and a written apology tomorrow.  Thank you, Darcy”

However, I WISH I had sent the first note — because then maybe the big vocabulary words like “expeditiously” and “pre-emptively” would make the teacher think that I’m a well-bred, well-educated, well-intentioned mother — and that it’s only my son who is a deceitful heathen.

Maybe I should have mentioned a possible maternity ward mix-up between my real son and a tale-telling gypsy baby. (No offense, gypsy babies.)

— Darcy Perdu

  to your Humor Board!
Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Mary Chowdhury

Pop your email address right HERE for 2 funny NEW stories per week!

(What’s a tall tale that YOUR kid has told? Any funny fibs or outrageous lies? Or a teacher’s note that was a bit embarrassing?)

Well, That’s a GOOD Thing for a Teacher to Say — I Think…

Um...Is That a Compliment?  Funny School Discussion!  #teacher #funny #school #backtoschool #teens #son #humor

So then…he slings his backpack on the counter and pops open the fridge for a snack.

“How was the first day of 10th grade?” I ask.

A muffled “fine” floats up from the fridge.

“Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that. I’m excited to hear about your classes and teachers. Can’t you tell me something about your day?”

My 15-year-old son emerges with a container of pineapple — pauses, concentrates — then brightens when he remembers something.

“After class, one of my teachers, Mr. Preston, said, ‘Tucker, I am really glad you are in my class.’”

“Oh!” I say proudly, taking it as a compliment for my son.

Then I think a moment. “Wait, why did he say that to you?”

“I dunno.” He opens the silverware drawer for a fork.

“Did he know you from last year or something?”

“No.” He grabs a water bottle.

“Did he say it to anyone else?

He shrugs. “Nope.”

“So he just told you specifically that he’s ‘really glad’ you’re in his class? What class is this?”

“Religion.”

Oh.

So now I’m wondering if the teacher said that because he was impressed with Tucker’s keen philosophical grasp of theological principles –

or because he was thinking, ‘Good Lord, this heathen’s on the brink of eternal damnation. Thank God he’s in this class so we can SAVE HIS SOUL!’

I’m sure it’s the former. Yeah, definitely the former.

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio

Find the FUNNY in your inbox by subscribing right HERE!

(Do you agree it’s like pulling teeth to get your teenagers to communicate? Any examples of “compliments” that might NOT be actual compliments? Any odd teacher quotes?)

Seriously — WORST Carpool Ever!

WORST Carpool EVER!  #funny #parents #carpool #school #kids #humor

So then…the mom on the phone says that she saw our name on the “Interested in Carpooling List” for the middle school.

“Yes,” I confirm. “We’d love to carpool, but our 7th grade son needs to be at school an hour early every day because he’s in Concert Band.”

“Great,” she says. “Our son’s ALSO in 7th grade and ALSO in Concert Band, so he has to be there at 7:00 each morning, just like your son.”

Booh-yah!

“That’s terrific!” I say.

(I’m so excited! The middle school is a half hour drive from our home, so it will be awesome to take turns enduring the one-hour roundtrip drive with another mom whose child has the same schedule as ours.)

Then she says, “I should tell you though, that we have three other children that we need to drive to their schools so we can’t actually drive to our son’s school.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah, we can drop our son off at your house so you can drive him and your son to school by 7:00 am, but we won’t be able to take turns driving to the school itself.” She laughs a little. “So I guess it’s not really much of a ‘carpool’ situation, is it?”

(Um, no. I’d have to agree. That’s not much of a “carpool” situation – that’s more of a “chauffeur” situation.)

So basically she’s calling to ask if we can drive her son to school every day!

And because I’m a sap — and I feel sorry for her that she has so many other kids to drive to school — and I’m hoping maybe her son and my son can enjoy bonding time and become friendly on the drive each day – and I figure it’s good for the environment — I say yes.

I consider wearing a little chauffeur’s cap, opening the door for her son, and greeting him each day with “Mornin’, Guvnor, where to?

But instead I delegate the driving to David so he can enjoy “father&son&son’s-bandmate bonding time” on that drive to school each day.

Booh-yah!

— Darcy Perdu

Join other laugh-lovers who subscribe to So Then Stories right HERE!

Original Illustration by Mary Chowdhury for So Then Stories

(Any strange carpool situations out there? Or other moms who try to take advantage – or who don’t pull their fair share? Share your funny “parent volunteer” stories from school events, carnivals, and fundraisers!)