15 minutes after they had all left for school I got the text from my wife. We had forgotten his project. Not forgotten it at home. We had completely forgotten to do it at all. Despite the constant reminders, the e-mails, the notes home, the newsletters, and the personal reminder from the teacher the day before when I picked him up, the project was not completed. Or even started. My stomach dropped out from under me and I wanted to cry.
This was not a project I could whip up and run over to school. This was the 100 things project. Yesterday was the 100th day of school, and so they celebrate by having the kids count up 100 things (math!) and bring them in. It is supposed to be a fun and educational bonding experience with your child, all the other kids had done one with their parents, and my son was at school, ignored, embarrassed, and alone thanks to my neglect.
The worst part was, I remember when Ruby was in Kindergarten. We did not forget her project. She brought in paper clips, as I recall. In fact, it seemed like I paid a lot more attention to Ruby’s Kindergartening. Poor Edward, getting the short end of the stick once again. I swore so hard when he was born that he would not be a victim of 2nd child syndrome, and yet there it is. His projects undone, his needs unmet, there is only so much time and energy in a day, and now there are two of them to worry about. How can he possibly get the same time and attention that his sister did?
I briefly considered throwing 100 somethings into a bag and running over to school, but that was not the point of the project. The point was to help them with counting, and to spend time doing a project together, not to make them an afterthought. So instead I sat at home, dwelling on my failures. This, as I’m sure you know from past experience, is a very productive way to solve problems.
When I picked him up from school he did not seem mad. This could be due to the fact that they were letting him make a necklace out of 100 Froot Loops, and most of the Froot Loops did not make it onto the necklace, if you know what I mean. I still felt bad, but since he seemed okay I tried not to focus on it. We all make mistakes. I just don’t want to keep making the same one over and over again. Too bad I am a human being. But still, I can work on this. I will pay more attention to him, and not just in an “are you still alive” or an “ack, don’t break that!” sort of way. I will sit down with him and do projects, and teach him, and just be with him. He deserves it. And I do too.