Posterboarding: Parental Torture

It was a weeknight, just past 9pm. “Daaaaaaaaddy,” my daughter said, plaintively, raising a red flag. My husband, worn out after a particularly trying day at work was already in bed, reading. He’d turned off that part of his psyche that makes him interested in helping anyone with anything for the night. The girl needed her dad to burn a song on a CD for her; a song she needed for her talent show audition the very next day.

I delivered his laptop and a blank CD with a big smile on my face. “You, my friend, have just been posterboarded.”

What is posterboarding? Anybody with school-aged kids is familiar with the scenario: it’s bedtime, or just past, when suddenly your child remembers that tomorrow they have a collage due; or a science project, a mural of a recent history lesson, in short — something for which they need posterboard. Now. So you shrug on a coat, slip on your shoes and go to the store in search of posterboard anticipating a night of magazine clippings, markers, glue and frustration.

Now I’m going to give those of you with children who have not yet reached school-age a little advice. Ask, before you go to the store, what SIZE the posterboard needs to be. CHECK whether white is the needed and expected color and finally, NEVER EVER buy just ONE posterboard. Do not leave that store without two. They’re fifty cents each. You will thank me when the overtired kid manages to mess up both sides of the poster and is dissolving into large tears falling onto your kitchen table.

Posterboarding is a term I use to describe this specific scenario but it applies to the CD at the beginning of this post; to the, oh yeah, I need 24 cupcakes for class in the morning, to by the way, I need to create a Plaster of Paris working volcano, to my gym clothes! They’re dirty and I have gym tomorrow.

Come on; you’ve been there.

Interestingly, the night of the husband getting posterboarded incident I wrote this entire post in my head as I fell asleep, fully intending to publish it the next day. When I woke up the next morning, it was gone. Tonight, the girl brought it all back when she asked, as I headed out the door for an evening board meeting, “Hey, would you pick me up some posterboard?” At least it wasn’t 9pm.

About marijean

I'm a public relations professional, social media consultant and work-at-home-mom living and working in Charlottesville, Va. I'm Marijean Jaggers and this is my blog.
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13 Responses to Posterboarding: Parental Torture

  1. Steve Whitaker says:

    This is great advice. And ‘posterboarding’ has just entered my vocabulary permanently.

  2. On Monday, I ran to the store to pick up a posterboard for the younger girl. When I picked her up from school two hours later, there was a note in her folder letting parents know that ANOTHER project is due next week.

    On Tuesday, I went back to the store to pick up ANOTHER posterboard.

    If I had been smart, I would have just stocked up. But, I did not.

  3. Kathy G says:

    “Posterboarding”. Never thought about it this way.

    Your Hubby was lucky that he could do his job without getting out of bed 🙂

    When we were in the throes of posterboard-needing projects I bought them when they went on sale at Walgreens-white only, usually 4/$1.00. There was a protected spot in the office behind a file cabinet where I could slide them for storage. After I started doing that, I never had to make anymore late night runs!

  4. Michelle says:

    I think the term “Posterboarding” will definitely catch on, and we heard it here first!

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  6. Cindy says:

    Great post…from one who has FINALLY learned to keep a posterboard at home at all times…OF COURSE, it is usually the wrong color.

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  8. Ginger says:

    Another one for parents to be prepared for that you hit around 4th-5th grade is the group project. This one requires you to drive the posterboard to another child’s house at 9:00 because your child has just let you know that he/she is supposed to take it over there after they are finished with their part. Some times you will learn the your child has invited everyone over to your house to work on the project – please know that all of the other parents will be in the dark about this plan as well and phone calls will ensue.

  9. Big Sis says:

    Posterboarding…brings back memories.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hi St Louis Working Mom and friends –
    Your story is all too familiar! I’m from ArtSkills, makers of posterboarding supplies and we literally wrote the book about posterboarding!
    You can get a free download of our Poster Project Idea Book (which includes a 60 Minute Emergency Poster Guide for those Sunday night announcements) at http://www.artskills.com. We also have a free poster gallery where you can see great sample posters to get inspired!
    And for when you actually do get some notice and have time to create a real masterpiece, we host poster contests too!
    Check it out!
    Nice blog Zuzu!

  11. MyMnenhaglync says:

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

  12. William C. says:

    Hi Zuzu,
    I can sympathize! Thanks for the post.
    Jennifer, I liked the poster design gallery at ArtSkills. I had a music poster project due and this really helped:
    http://www.artskills.com/gallery_results.php?page=search_results&category=alt

    To other posterboarding parents, save some grief, stock up on poster board and supplies (markers, paints, borders, letter stencils, etc.) I did find ArtSkills poster accessories at my local Walgreens store.

  13. poini says:

    I am wondering if it would be worth waiting and line and ebaying an iphone. What do you think? How much do you think they will be going for?

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