One thing that I pride myself on is my practical and responsible approach to parenting. I have three children- my oldest daughter is 16, son is 15, and youngest daughter is 5. I may have some bizarre outlooks on life and some really random and at times shocking life events, but I am by the book when it comes to the kids. My kids are varsity athletes, they play soccer, basketball, football, track, and fastpitch, but at the end of the day- education comes first.
A few years ago, I was up around 10:30 at night on a Thursday. I was making homemade cupcakes for school-specially mixing colors so the frosting would match the school colors and expertly creating miniature bull dogs out of fondit for the topper. I wrote the words to the school song in perfect calligraphy on the cupcake wrapper and chugged orange flavored vodka, while watching Real Housewives on TV at the same time. Ok, So actually only a few things outlined above are true- I”ll let you figure out which ones…..
So, 10:30/11:00 at night, my oldest daughter came out of her room and let me know that she had a big report on John Quincy Adams due the next morning. First I had ever heard of it of course…. She had to present info to her class and have it all displayed on a Tri-fold board. Thankfully she had most of the spots full, but the lower bottom right section was completely bare and she had no idea what else to add. My first thought- maybe you should have picked a different president, perhaps one that everyone had heard of.
That suggestion really wasn’t all that helpful, time was aticking, and my bottle was getting lighter and lighter. She had already covered his accomplishments (no offense to any John Quincy Adam relatives, but that was a short list), discussed his lineage, political affiliation, and height/weight and shoe size. yawn
I’m not sure if it was my frustration that she waited until the last second to do her report, the fact that she interrupted me during Real Housewives of Atl- the best season, or because of the orange flavored beverage I was imbibing on, but I came up with the best way to fill up that empty space.
Before I presented her with the idea, I of course berated her for a full 5 minutes for being so irresponsible, only slurring on about 1/4 of the words. I broke her down until I knew she was at the point that she would be forced to take my suggestion and run with it. It wasn’t going to get her an A, but it would fill up the space on her board and provide me with endless entertainment. That, my friends is what life is all about.
What I proposed (demanded) was that we do a section entitled “Little known facts about John Quincy Adams” We would make them up and if anyone challenged them, she would simply respond- Not everyone know these, hence the title of the piece. They went a little like this:
- John Quincy Adams was the first man to have braces on his wooden teeth
- JQA (to avoid carpal tunnel issues) made ruffled shirts look manly
- He rode a horse named Beyonce and had a pit bull named Li’l Wayne
- He coined the phrase “drop it like its hot” after grabbing a cooked potato directly out of the fire.
- JQA actually threw the first House party — later reenacted in the popular movie with Kid N Play.
- His best friend Thomas Jefferson had a national discount clothing chain named after him- TJ Maxx
- JQA and Paul Revere were mortal enemies- John hated snitches
- He was the first president to not wear a full wig- he actually used extensions made from Beaver fur
- He and Pocohantas had a secret tryst- their illegitimate son was named Daniel Day Lewis
- Johnny Appleseed was a distant cousin, who actually hated fruit. JQA took that secret to his grave — family first.
Once we had these little gems typed up, I decided we weren’t done. We printed the paper out and then proceeded to the kitchen. I have cruised around Pinterest enough times to know if you want something to look authentically aged, all you need is a lighter. I instructed my daughter to hold the paper over the sink, since safety is always my number one concern. For some reason the lighter in my hand had a twin, but after a few attempts I realized if I closed one eye, I could focus on the right one and after a few tries and a blister on my thumb, I had a blaze going. We expertly burned the edges and it looked as if we dug it out of Davie Crockett’s best pair of britches. It was perfect.
My daughter, God bless her heart, started feeling a little pensive about turning in her project- but it was closing in on 12:30 at night and I had worked way too hard on this. I took over from there, used copious amounts of glue, rubber cement, double sided tape, and if I’d had a stapler I would have used that. I ordered my daughter to go to bed, stop worrying, and downed the last drop of my drink.
She ended up getting a B. Had the lazy teacher broken it down to include creativity, I’m sure that section would have received an A. And her silly facts would have garnered a C, so I’m sure it was rounded up to a B. I’m still waiting for my thank you.
Takeaway 1: Don’t wait until the last minute to do your homework. Especially if you know your mom likes to drink at night
Takeaway 2: Pick a freakin president that people have heard of. Preferably one carved into the side of a mountain.
Takeaway 3: Always have an extra bottle of vodka on hand- just for events like this.