Oh, the school is doing a science fair this year and you can participate starting in 3rd grade! The kid loves science! My mom is a microbiologist! This will be a great thing for them to do together!
So I call my mom and see if she'd like to do this with him. She would. Fabulous! I ask the kid if he'd like to do a project. He has no idea what a science fair is, or what a science fair project is, but sure. We're all set.
We decide on a project. And promptly make absolutely no progress on it. For like 2 months.
And then I start to freak the eff out. Because there's a book project due the week before (and those = serious ugliness in my house). And his audition for the arts school we're hoping to get him into is 3 days after the fair. And it, of course, involves a portfolio and all kinds of crap. And we're going out of town the weekend before it's due so no work will get done on it. And my mom is going out of town the week before that so can't work on it with him then either. And. it's. too. much.
My mom to the rescue. She spent an entire Sunday with him after we got back from our weekend trip and (it took all of us but) that sucker got done. thankyoubabyjesus
The fair wasn't until Thursday, but the project had to be at school Wednesday. Wednesday morning was one of those mornings at my house. Now, neither baby E nor I are morning people. And it's also when the kid is fairly unsupervised so tends to get a bit sneaky. All of these things were in play.
I almost left the kid's project on the kitchen counter, necessitating a last minute dash back upstairs to get it. E had some horrific tantrum about idk what (oh, actually, i know what it was about - he didn't want to wear his new thin fleece coat in the car "because it's too puffy" <-- this is what I get for being a carseat tech and lecturing them that we don't wear puffy coats in the car because it's unsafe). While I'm trying to wrangle E into his carseat - without the perfectly safe coat on because arguing with 4yo's is about as effective as arguing with 1yo's - the kid is just wandering all around the garage like we're not already running late.
Finally, everyone is in and properly buckled. I whip out of the garage, back up into the street, and zoom forward. Only to see something flying behind me in the rear view mirror.
fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck <-- to my credit, that was my internal monologue. What I actually said was, "Oh, kid, oh kid, I am so, so, so, so sorry!!!". Because, yes, I'd left the science fair project sitting on the roof of the car. And it was raining.
I slammed the brakes on. Just in time to watch 3 cars go over the area where whatever it was had landed. I pulled back into the driveway and saw, with the most relief I've possibly ever experienced, that the project poster (the biggest part of the project/display) was somehow and miraculously still on top of the car!
By this point, E is freaking out, screaming to know what's wrong. The kid is screaming, "there it is!!! It's in the road!!!". And he's not wrong, because the notebook with all the IRB forms (didn't I mention the part where we had to get freaking IRB approval for the science fair project of a freaking 8yo?!!!!) and human informed consent forms (yeah, we had to do that, too, with all the participants) is laying in the middle of the road. I watched one more car barrel through there and prayed the forms hadn't just been made illegible, because, you know, I never made a copy of them.
Thankfully, the thing wasn't even wet. Somehow. And all those cars had managed to avoid making contact with it. Thankfully, none of the project was any worse for wear.
But I have to tell you, not the best morning in my house, y'all. Not the best morning at all.
Though, really, not the worst either. So I suppose I have that going for me.
The kid with his project, pre-momma leaving it on the roof of the car and almost causing serious awfulness and parental guilt for the rest of my life.
Today's Lesson: There are certain things, as parents, we should share with each other, you know, to allow for the whole "learning from others' mistakes" thing. The sound advice to not participate in the voluntary science fair is one of them. So, I'm sharing it with you. And, I wholly expect that next year, when I'm all, "oh, the kid learned so much from his science fair project last year. We should totally do that again!", you'll all remind me of this and expressly forbid me to sign him up. Because that's what friends are for.