It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…Failure!

Got school-aged kids? Then you know all too well the one word that strikes fear into the hearts of kids and parents alike.

Here’s a hint: It’s scarier than a candy-hoarding corpse on Halloween.


There. I said it.

And now I’m breaking into a cold sweat, even though there’s not a single unfinished assignment anywhere in sight.

I didn’t particularly like homework as a child. But I find it even less tolerable now.

Science? And so the suffering begins.

Math? Oh, the misery.

Writing? Woe is me.

A five page research paper on cows? Just kill me now.

You need to do research for a project on “Susan B. Something”? For the love of God, it’s women’s suffrage, not women’s coverage!

Oh yeah. Been there, done that. Way more times than I’d care to count. I already did my time.

But apparently, not everyone feels the same way.

I stumbled upon an interesting topic of discussion on the radio last Friday as I was driving my boys to school.

I was intrigued. But it made me wonder…

Anyone here guilty of doing their child’s homework for them?

I’m not talking about merely helping.

I’m talking practically yanking the assignments out of their hands and hunkering down with a generous shot of your liquor of choice while plowing through seven pages of multiplication and two-step word problems involving Gertrude and her friend Jasper’s adventures stealing corn from Psycho Samuel’s cornfield.

Jasper? What century is this assignment from?

But back to the homework. And the radio show.

A woman had called the radio station with an immense concern. Her son’s teacher wanted to meet with her.

Not too unusual. It’s a boy, after all. Boys are notoriously rowdy and full of mischief.

Well, it turns out she’d been doing her son’s homework for him. Not helping. Doing it.

Doing all of it.

And the problem with this would be…?

The kid was failing 4th grade. He had no clue how to do any of the work, thanks to her.

What a shocker!

While not uncommon for parents to help their kids out with homework, help is the imperative word here. Applying new concepts by doing the work themselves is the key to success, after all.


There are definitely times when it would be wonderful if you could just cook dinner uninterrupted, without having yet another paper shoved under your nose with more questions that you have no clue how to answer.

Oh, but what’s the fun of cooking without the threat of burning down the house because you’re too distracted trying to figure out what the hell happened to Pluto?

What about the nine planets we all learned about in school? Now there are only eight?!?

Size clearly matters, even in space. Who knew?

But this all seems so trivial when you consider the house wouldn’t be on fire right now if only you had done the damn assignment yourself in the first place.

What I want to know is how anyone ever managed to get by before Google. There are numerous assignments that require knowledge I personally no longer possess.

(I’m struggling to remember what I had been doing 15 minutes ago.)

Remember that show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

I was evidently not smarter than a 5th grader when that show premiered in 2007. I can almost guarantee I’m even less likely to be now.

Besides, my kids spend seven hours a day at school, for crying out loud! Shouldn’t they be the experts on all things academic? Shouldn’t they be teaching me?

At any rate, this is where Google comes in. Google has answers that I clearly do not have.

So I often (shamelessly) tell my boys, “Let me think about that one and get back to you.” Then I make my escape and get down to business.

I’m sorry, hang on a second…

You need to build The Liberty Bell?

Out of what? By tomorrow?

We don’t have an ounce of modeling clay to work with…but we do have five packages of spaghetti.

A situation of this caliber is best handled by an expert.

Where exactly can I find that homework-monopolizing mom?

Never mind. She’s booked until June, just trying to keep up with her own kid’s homework.

Oh well.

As the saying goes: When life hands you homework, make paper airplanes.

Even Garfield hates homework.

Even Garfield hates homework.


5 thoughts on “It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…Failure!

  1. I can just picture my Mom trying to do my homework, as well as the homework of my four sisters while working odd hours and taking care of the house. Yeah, I had to fail my homework all on my own… then lug it to school in ten feet of snow uphill both ways. Kids these days…. they can’t even pass fourth grade because their parents are so stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! We have no children so it was easy enough to make light of your plight while feeling no residual effects from being scarred by similar experiences. I can imagine just hearing the word homework is work all its own. You probably make some serious “Grade A” paper airplanes by now!


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