It's a moment every parent gets to experience at least once — if not dozens of times — while parenting school-age children: the frantic plea, often at 9 p.m. on a school night, to acquire a pristine piece of poster board for a school project before the next morning.
Rachael Pavlik, a Houston mother of two who writes the blog RachRiot, was lucky enough to have this happen to her, and not for the first time, this week. Her 11-year-old daughter Camille informed her at, yes, 9 p.m. the night before, that she needed a piece of white poster board for art class the next day.
"Apparently, she knew she needed it for a full week before asking," Pavlik told TODAY Parents. "Whining and tears — from her, mostly — ensued before I stomped out of the house to two different stores for the d*mn poster board. I put on a bra and everything."
But though Pavlik's daughter was grateful and relieved to have the poster board ready to go, that was not the end of the story. "She made it out of the house with the poster board safely rolled in a rubber band," said Pavlik. "I kissed both kids goodbye. I was feeling really good about life until I went for my morning walk and rounded the corner where the bus stop is."
By that time, the bus was long gone, with Pavlik's kids safely on it. However, the poster board was not. "There was the lone poster board, sitting at the bus stop. I just stared at it for a minute and then busted out laughing. What can you do?"
Pavlik posted a picture of the lonely, forgotten poster board at the bus stop on her Facebook page, where the photo has 17,000 likes and 4,000 shares, with the caption, "Parenting in a nutshell." Obviously, other parents can relate.
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But Pavlik said she did not take the item her daughter needed so desperately the night before to the school. "Nope. Not this mom. I can't keep rescuing her," said Pavlik. "This isn't the first time she has left things behind, so it was a teachable moment. My kids hate my teachable moments."
But Camille did manage to take the poster board in to school the next day, and the whole family had a good laugh about the debacle. However, Pavlik's "teachable moment" didn't stick.
"Guess what? SHE LEFT HER LUNCH AT HOME TODAY!" said Pavlik. "It looks like cafeteria Sloppy Joe City for her!"