Type-A Mom Tackles a School Project

Science of Parenthood

Type A Mom is presented with a homework assignment. Technically, her child is presented with the assignment. But that tiny detail is irrelevant in the grand scheme of school achievement. Eventual college entry is far too important to gamble with one’s GPA …even if the child is only in fourth grade.

Time to spring into action – Gather supplies! Make coffee! Formulate a plan! Drink! All! The! Coffee!!

completion_disorderAnd all while maintaining her laser-like vision for the project despite the numerous, (dare we say nefarious?) attempts by the child to snatch it away and Do. It. All. Wrong.

Child: “Mommy, I want to make it purple!”
Type-A Mom (TAM): “Oh, YOU have ideas?!?! Great! Let’s make a list.”

From her time as a corporate project manager , TAM knows that it’s vital to foster ownership of the project from the key stakeholder. Now that the child can read, TAM will need to make an actual list of the child’s ideas. Gone are the days when swirls and curlicues would suffice. This is merely a team-building exercise; this list will not interfere with TAM’s real action plan.

TAM:  “Hmmm, I seem to have lost your list, but luckily I still have mine!”
Child: “Mommy, let’s use purple feathers!”
TAM:  “Oh … ok … That’s one way to go … ”
Child: “Mommy, I want to paint it first!”

It quickly becomes clear that the child could be more of a liability to the project’s successful execution than previously anticipated.

Child: “I have my brush!”
TAM:  “Ha ha, yeah … we’re not going to do it that way.”
Child: “But …”
TAM:  “Ok, listen …”
Child: “But …”
TAM:  “Listen …Listen To Me. Here’s how this is going to go down…”

The child remains stubbornly undeterred. Another distraction is clearly required to keep the project on track.

TAM:   “Can you run upstairs and find the other tape?”
Child leaves as TAM commences furious construction activity…
Child: “I don’t see it!”
TAM:  “Are you sure it’s not there? Check in the closet.”
Furious construction activity…
Child: “It’s not there!”
TAM:   “Check the other closet.”
Furious construction activity…
Child: “I can’t find it!”
TAM:   “Check on my dresser.”
Furious construction activity…
Child: “MOMMY!!”
TAM:   “Oh, never mind, I have it right here.”

The child returns from her fruitless search, more eager than ever to participate, but finds herself stuggling against the confines outlined by the project manager.

Child: “I want to use the tape!”
TAM:   “No, don’t touch that.”
Child: “But I neeeed to!”
TAM:   “What did I just say?”

The project manager resists the urge to fire the underling from the project, realizing that as key stakeholder and ultimately the one charged with the final presentation, her buy-in and cooperation is imperative … if inconvenient.

Child: “Why can’t I tape it?”
TAM:   “Seriously, if you touch that one more time I’m going to lose it.”
The child puts one small piece of tape on the project.
TAM:   “PLEASE tell me you did not just touch that!!”
Child: “UUGHHH!”

Risk of failure is too great; the project is at a critical juncture. Hard choices must be made.

The child give a final, feeble protest then slinks off to bed.

Having successfully vanquished the forces of disruption, TAM is left to complete the project in peace. The next day, her heroic efforts earn a gold star from the teacher …and more than one suspicious glare from the rest of the classmates’ mothers.

It’s all in a day’s work for Type A Mom.

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Science of Parenthood was created by writer Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and illustrator/web developer Jessica Ziegler.

Once upon a time, Norine met Jessica at one of those “it stays in Vegas” holiday parties — which actually sounds a lot more salacious than it actually was. A little while later, Jessica had a kid. Then Norine had a kid. Then Norine began developing a series of science-y/parent-y ain’t-that-the-truth-isms. Then Jessica came in and scribbled all over them. And Science of Parenthood was born. Norine and Jessica are not Nobel Prize-winning scientists … though they play them on the blog. Fortunately, Norine and Jessica are both married to their own adorable geeks, who explain all this science-y stuff to them at those times when recalling the laws of thermodynamics on three hours of sleep is simply too tall an order.

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