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I did the homework.

Kindergarten homework is hard. For moms. I worked on the homework until 2 a.m.

My daughter had to do a timeline of her life, meaning she had to pick 5 monumental events and then create a timeline.

First we picked the events. We started with the day she was born and her first day of school. By photo #5, visiting Detroit (the #1 most dangerous city in America, according to Forbes) ranked up there with the day she was born.

Then we picked the photos. The most important events of her life didn't necessarily have the greatest photos. I tried to push her to choose the events with the better photos.

You, drinking from a coconut on the beach, this is the BEST MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE EVER!!!! I said.

But she wasn't having it. She knew moving to Florida from New York was a more momentous event.

Photo caption: This is mom after our plane ride from New York to Florida. My aunt thought it would be a GREAT idea to take this photo as a permanent memory. Mom remembers the plane ride well. She remembers taking a cat and infant through airport security, carrying us both at the same time out of cases and strollers! Then something called scotch made her fuzzy about the rest of the trip.

Then she wrote one sentence descriptions of the photos.

Then she went to bed.

I didn't see any point in keeping her up to cut and paste.

So there I was with my foam core, markers, glue, ribbon, glitter, colored paper, scissors, imagination and cat. Cat immediately knocked everything on the floor while trying to swallow the ribbon. Dutifully, and too tired to herd the glitter back into the little jar, I swept it under the bed and pried the cat's mouth open to free the ribbon from his esophagus. It was time to do some serious arts and crafts. The glue could stay on the cat for now.

I had only a few hours to compete with the stay at home moms who had been working on this timeline since November.

It was then that the simple turned complex. I fussed and fretted over color choices and format. I got obsessive. It took me 25 minutes to find the scissors that makes a nice scalloped edge. The orange construction paper wasn't popping enough for me so I cut up some neon pink envelopes to use instead. The foam core looked boring flat so I cut it up and layered it for a dimensional effect. The some glitter, some ribbon, yes ric-rac, no ric-rac.

Then when I was done, 6 hours later, I looked at it and saw how I could have done it differently and better.

I fretted. I reminded myself this was kindergarten. I'd have 12 more years to keep perfecting this. Next week I'd my daughter would have another opportunity to shine. Her next assignment was to write down a recipe that reflected our cultural heritage. Then moms had to cook samples for a class of 25.

But that would have to wait until tomorrow or, more likely, the night before it was due. Tonight, the cat needed a dried glue removing haircut.

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