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.