Procrastination consternation

It’s 8:30 am on the last Monday of summer vacation, and I, my friends, am postponing the inevitable.

I’ve been up since 4:30, thanks to my dog Wesley. The kids, though? They’re still asleep. Never mind that school starts on Thursday, and they’ll both have to get up at the staggeringly wee hour of 6 am. Yes, instead of training their internal clocks to rise earlier, I’m letting them wring out the remaining moments of uninterrupted rest before they’ll have to smack the jarring alarm clock, jam a toothbrush in their mouths, and stagger off to the bus stop.

What, I ask you, am I thinking?

I’d like to say that postponing the inevitable is not my way. I’d like to say that my grass, like my children’s hair, never gets so long that it looks like it needs a cut. I’d like to say that I never stuff the closets with clutter I’ve picked up at T-minus 5 minutes before guests arrive. I’d like to say the dirty dishes who take up residence in my sink are on the hourly rate rather than the extended stay special. But, alas, I sometimes postpone what I don’t really want to do…and eventually I pay. Oh yes, I pay. Case in point: I have to do laundry before I can get dressed this morning.

Oh yeah, you get the picture. (And don’t tell me you’ve never been there yourself.)

Not only am I guilty of selective procrastination, but I am a hypocrite of a parent who really gave it to her twelve-year-old son over the weekend for not practicing his band piece and then having the nerve to cover it up. He missed band camp in favor of a prior commitment and was supposed to learn the piece himself, because, hey, we’re musical, right? Well, after he had assured me for two weeks that he had mastered the piece, a hail of sour notes showed me that he’d staged an elaborate ruse to avoid (excuse this) facing the music. Words were exchanged. Mechanical shortcomings were cited. Parents lectured. Tears fell. And believe me, I now know that when a kid is in that kind of state, blowing the trumpet instead of blowing your nose does not yield good results.

So what are my takeaways?

First, step it up, Mom—keeping in mind the wisdom of the Barenaked Ladies, who said “Anyone perfect must be lying,” I’ve realized this: I’ve got robust adequateness down—and that’s not nothing. I’ve always admired the real get-it-done girls, so it’s about time I become one, right?

Second, I’ll be sure to sit with the kid—not ON the kid, but WITH him to make sure he’s completely equipped to do what he needs to do. And I’ll remember that he is me, and I am my Dad, and that openness to parental oversight is never the smoothest of roads.

Finally, I’ll forgive myself and move on. Every day is a new day, and tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my kids’ summer vacation. There’s no time like the present to get on track.

Plus the rest of summer vacation is only 2 and a half days long, so it’ll all be over soon.


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