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Pop Culture Parenting

There’s only one child left at home with me now but that’s because the others are all grown up and forging ahead on their own. Each of them has something going on in their lives and it’s taken a bit of getting used to on my part to see them sporadically. Mallory lives in her own house about 5 miles from me and Mason has decided to stay and make a go of it out in the Seattle area. Maddie, too, lives on the west coast and just bought her first house as well. Everyone is moving on and there is a sadness to it, but we do our best to keep up to date with one another and the three eldest children all keep in touch with each other as well. Usually, if they want to know what’s going on with me they simply turn to my blog. Of course, we also text and use all manner of social media to touch base, too.

Morgan, the last one at home, is fully coming into himself and realizing that he has some talents and skills that were muted with the other, louder siblings. For the first time ever he earned straight A’s on his report card and he’s taking courses at a Career Center for part of the day and he attends his home high school for the other part. This is new territory for me as the older kids participated in the traditional school day. At first, Morgan wanted to take courses in fire science or EMT classes, but when that didn’t work out he enrolled in a graphic arts course that is turning out to be a perfect spot for him. With all my attention on one child I feel like I am not as depleted or exhausted by getting projects finished or practicing multiplication flash cards or doing last minute reading like I did when the other kids were younger. I taught full time during their early school years so I have always felt up-to-speed on what they were doing. Now, there is a much more relaxed atmosphere to raising one child. It’s not better, but it’s different.

Not long ago Morgan came home with a chemistry project studying moles which is a unit of measuring chemicals that was invented because other units didn’t quite measure accurately. It’s a more consistent method of conversion between atoms and molecules and grams. One evening, as we finished dinner he presented the chemistry assignment to me and The Cuban and said that he was to create something to represent a “mole” creatively.

So, of course, I took to Twitter and crowd-sourced his homework.

Look, I wanted to get done quickly. We had a new episode of Modern Family to finish and I demand that for that one half-hour each week our family (Morgan, The Cuban and me) sit still, be entertained, laugh uproariously, and then quote our favorite parts ad naseum until the next week. This is the New Parenting, people. Get on board. Especially if you have teenagers.

At first, we went with one of Morgan’s suggestions to create a mock up using what he shouted out, “Hey! Two and a Half Moles!” (That was when all the brouhaha over Sheen’s antics were still interesting. Is it still? I don’t think so.)

“That’s good.” I told him. “What if we drew something up for you to take to your Graphics Art class to re-create? Can you do that?”

He assured me that he could so we asked Twitter for help. Boy, did they ever give it to us. They were all over the place, too.

First, we thought of people and came up with drawing a an angry mole screaming into a cell phone and calling him Mole Gibson. But we weren’t thinking hard enough. We kept coming up with names (John Molekevich) and didn’t branch out until Twitter rescued us and came up with a few of these gems:

Movies: Two Moles for Sister Sarah, You’ve Got Mole, The Empire Strikes Mole, and Duece Bigelow, Mole Gigolo

Sports figures (the World Series was going on that night): Albert Pumoles and Yadier Mole-ina

TV shows: 9021-Mole and it’s spinoff, Molerose Place, Molecolm in the Middle, Mike and Moley

Obscure French writers of theatrical naturalism: Émile Zola

Musicians: Wolfgang Amadeus Molezart

Teenyboppers: Moley Cyrus

Pieces of American history: Remember the Alamole

My personal favorite was He Who Shall Not Be Named: Moledemort, but Morgan didn’t want to use that.

Generally speaking, every time we said the word “mole” we were drawing out the long O vowel and trying to make it work. After all the suggestions were in I had to sign off Twitter for the night and he got busy creating an energy drink out of Monster but we had to look up some Google images of it because, as a good momma, I don’t even allow that stuff in my house. We’ve seen it in the store before but needed a starting point so a rough drawing was done and the next night Morgan got to work on it with The Cuban when he went to the Career Center for an Open House. Morgan, already thinking of how he was going to keep his straight A average, decided to earn extra credit by showing up. The two of them got to play around on the Adobe CS5 software and did a pretty good job.

When they got home both of them were proud of themselves for figuring out the colors and fonts of Monster energy drinks and as soon as I saw it I wanted to kick myself. Why we hadn’t seen it before remains a mystery that we can only chalk up to how we were pronouncing it.

Um, guys? We can’t use this. You can’t turn this in to your chemistry teacher, Morgan.”

“Why not? We worked hard on that.”

“Yeah. Well, it reads as MOLESTER. Not Mole-ster. Look.”

“OH MY GOD HOW DID WE MISS THAT?” The Cuban chimed in while standing behind me.

“I don’t know for sure but I don’t think we should put the word “molester” next to “unleash the beast”, do you?”

In the end, Morgan did something quick and unimaginative and he won’t even let me show that to you. He is learning a lot in his graphic arts class, though, and when you combine that with my pop culture parenting and crowd-sourcing homework on Twitter you really have a recipe for 21st Century motherhood.

Having one kid at home is really different than I expected.

Did I say it was relaxing having one kid at home? I meant hilarious. It’s absolutely hilarious and I wish his teacher had enough of a sense of humor to have accepted this for a project knowing that we didn’t mean any harm. We’re just stupid on accident.

For the record, Twitter friends who helped us with the think tank brainstorm ideas, you all got an A for the effort you put into this project. That’s what the teacher in me assigns you anyway.

Morgan got an A+.

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