A Lesson in Sustainability

Each week I get an email from each of my sons parent class reps to remind all the parents of things that need to be done during the coming week. I cherish these emails because with four kids if I’m not careful things slip through the cracks.

Like the ONE assignment my middle son had to do the entire year.

I’ve known about it since the start of the term 7 weeks ago and if I’m honest I’ve known about it for a year and 7 weeks because I had another son in the same year last year.

I’m a very organised person but I’m still human so from time to time things get forgotten which really shits me because it means my failsafe system doesn’t really work.

Our class rep is usually really organised but she has four kids too so the email that usually goes out on the weekend for the next week didn’t arrive until Monday afternoon. I think it’s the only time the whole year it’s happened but of course it was the one reminding us that the term 4 assignment was due this week on your child’s news day.

Ours is tuesday. Obviously it was always going to be the following day, wasn’t it?

So at 6.30pm last night when I was congratulating myself on managing to get all the kids fed, bathed (a swim totally counts as a bath, right?) and sorted for bed, plus having someone in the house re-doing all the bathroom sealing at the same time – I read the email and all of a sudden I had a major assignment to think up and put together before the next day.

I think we all know that kids in Year 3 and under don’t really do any of their assignments themselves so let’s not pretend here, okay? It’s really parents homework and sometimes you let your child contribute by fetching the sticky tape from where you hide it or maybe even putting a bit of sticky tape on if they can manage to do that without scrunching it into a sticky mess.

Anyway after this little situation happened yesterday I thought it may be helpful to put together for you some simple steps on what to do if you forget your child has an assignment due the next day. A community service offering if you will.


1. Decide that everyone will have lunch orders the following day to save time for said assignment.

2. Put your conscience and moral compass securely away in a drawer far far away.

3. Get a step ladder.

4. Climb to the top of your eldest sons wardrobe and retrieve the same assignment that he did last year.


5. Be very grateful your teachers are lazy and couldn’t be arsed to think up a new assignment for this year.

6. Dust off all the dust from your year old cardboard rocket ship.

7. Rip off all the written assignment work you didn’t let your son stick on last year because he would have messed the sticky tape up so that then you have an empty rocket ship to work with. While you’re doing that congratulate yourself that you didn’t chuck it out mainly because you could never reach it.


8. Get your current assignment due child to sit down and copy the information word for word, only changing his name onto fresh paper. Enquire as to why he didn’t bother to remind you about the assignment. Actually don’t bother because he’ll just look at you like you’re speaking Mandarin.

9. Decide that takes too long and type it yourself.

10. Stick all the new assignment work back on, not even bothering to get your child to help because really what’s the point at this stage?

11. Check the Tiny Teddy biscuit you stuck on the rocket last year is still in tact because that’s what people eat on Planet Luca, I mean Planet Charlie. I’m telling you now it will be because if it hasn’t decayed after a year it never will. (Side note: WTF do they make Tiny Teddies out of?)


12. Sit your son down and say “Who made this rocket”. When he says “you and Luca did”, you say “Incorrect, YOU made it”. Repeat ninety five thousand times.

13. Turn to your oldest son and promise him a frozen slurpee from the petrol station if he keeps his mouth shut about it the next day.

14. Pray your teacher from last year has a really shit memory.

15. Remind yourself not to throw it out when it returns home in a week or two because you have another child who will be needing it in a year or two.


You are welcome.


So, fess up … who cheats?

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