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  • Kristen Kehoe

Six Weeks: Science Fairs and Sick Days (Not together...just the regular old interruptions of life)

So, I did stop and interrupt our ruthlessly scheduled morning one day this week (Thursday?) to take what could have been an adorable couples-selfie of me and Old Man River in our matching Cotapaxis & Yeti mugs, but he was clearly not having it. As payback, I'm putting this less-than-flattering photo on the Internet for all 25 of the people who read my blog to see. (BTW, I appreciate all 25 of you--so much.) Take that, River. Bet you're gonna smile next time, aren't you?

Back to our regularly scheduled talk of chaos and interruptions and grabbing life by the social moments and really going for it: yeah. Fuck It. I didn't do any of that this week. In fact, we watched the Super Bowl just the three of us and Luna, and it was amazing. (Unless you were Luna--then it was just sad because clearly she's starving.)

Life chosen my schedule this week, laying down double days of back-to-back meetings after school, and then adding science fairs stress and unexpected sickness.

Let's start with the science fair, the moment I've been dreading since I learned it would be here five years ago: The fifth grade Invention Convention is upon us people and I. Am. Sweating.

To be clear, I am the kind of parent who loves the writing activity--even the math packet. Bring it on, straightforward, linear, and drill-and-kill assignments, I'm ready for you.

Art projects? Leprechaun traps and Valentine's Day boxes, and--just dropped--inventions? No thanks. Hard Pass. Yes, I know that we live in the 21st century where thinking outside the box is encouraged and rewarded, yadda yadda. But my sole use in life is words, and even then I use the eff bomb with enough regularity that no one will be calling me a wordsmith anytime soon. In the most basic sense, I even use numbers because, you know, I pay my bills each month... Right, moving on.

I don't do shapes. Ever. Asking me to support my daughter in shapes and circuits and power tools or whatever else one uses to create an idea from scratch to final product? My god, I don't even do the formatting on my own novels.

Those who know me know I've outsourced every Leprechaun trap and Valentine's Day box since the very first one, when I realized Liv's Kindergarten year that the only material I had to offer to build said trap was a tampon box and some old fabric paint. Moms at work with teenage children started taking over Livvy's art projects real quick when they realized just how incapable and unprepared I (It takes a village, yeah? To the WAHS village, Miss Rachel especially, you know I couldn't raise her without you. Seriously. Skills you've taught Liv that I have not been able to are bountiful, shoe-tying and glue-gun usage included.)

So, on top of the sweat and stress produced by the idea of coming up with an invention, and actually producing a product, especially when my daughter's ideas are just as extra as her attitude (whatever she wants to do, she wants it to light up, and I'm like, light up? Girl, I just hope it stands up), Liv got sick this week. I don't know about other households, but the minute she gets sick, Old Man River and I go into question mode, always ending on: wtf is the best thing to do now?

No fever, but fever eyes. No cough, but lots of mucus and a stuffed up nose. To stay home or not to stay home, this is always our main dilemma. When you both work full time, the next dilemma comes directly after with who can take a sick day with the least amount of disruption? (Newsflash: it's rarely me. Subs really are just sandwiches right now.) Which brings on the guilt of your partner doing a lot of the heavy lifting. But that's life's chaos, right? It can't always be balanced, but by Friday I found a sub and got to free River from sick bed duty, taking over so Liv and I could watch nature documentaries and Boys Meets World while doing a little down-dog with our Luna Love.

And that was it this week: two missed basketball games & one practice, a missed dance practice, and missed choir practice, two stay home days, and the paralyzing knowledge that Invention Convention is coming soon.

Silver lining? I got to wear my Crocs all day Friday. Making lemonade from lemons, people. Here's to hoping your chaos was more social and less sickly:)


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