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Moms Talk: Mom Means Manager of Office Material

Part of the job title is handling crises over things like staplers.

Once again, it's late on a Sunday night and my teenage son is finishing a report that's due in class tomorrow.

"Why does this stupid printer jam every time?" he screams. "Everything's broken and I have to finish this now!  The paper's in right and it's just jamming for no reason at all except it's a piece of garbage!"

Ah, being the single mom of an always-at-the-last-minute, not-that-patient teenage son is so fun. 

My firstborn has had the entire nine days of February break to do this project, but alas, here he is at 9:30 p.m. sitting down to throw together a report and, surprise, there are the inevitable glitches that he somehow never expects.

After a delightful episode of unjamming the printer with my son getting more exasperated by the minute ( to the tune of, "Oh my God, now we're almost out of stupid paper!"), another outburst ensued when he discovered that our stapler "is the worst stapler in the whole world! Look at this stupid thing! First it staples backwards, then it jams, now the stupid thing won't open!"

It's too late to run to the library and use their stapler; it's too late to hit Staples or Raindew for a new stapler, so he'll have to scotch tape the pages together. 

"The stupid assignment says to staple the pages, not tape! Why do you buy the lousiest stuff? Everyone else has a normal stapler!"

I try to lighten the mood by reporting on a family in Akron, Ohio whose stapler, I've heard, is even worse than ours, but my son's in no mood for humor.

Single moms know: in addition to working, taking care of the kids, maintaining the house and car, shopping, cleaning, laundry, chauffering, et cetera, we're also expected to keep all computers, printers, and office supplies up to date and in good working condition. No excuses!

Adina Genn March 02, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I think parents would agree that Sunday nights are the worse! Nothing like realizing at 10 p.m. that a project is due, and of course makes up 50% of your child's grade!
Lisa Friel March 02, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Being a mom definitely has its challenges! It can be so hard to keep up with all the things our busy families do these days. At the last minute is basically how everything goes in my house. We just try to keep a cool head and be ready for anything. A good sense of humor can help get you through those tough, I forgot this was due tomorrow and the printer just jammed, moments!!!! I mean, my goodness, remember when we had to actually "write" a paper
Alexandra Zendrian March 02, 2011 at 07:44 PM
It definitely makes you yearn for the old days when the paper gets stuck in the printer. I agree, at least with looseleaf and a pen, unless the pen exploded or something, you were pretty good to go.
Vilma Sceusa March 03, 2011 at 06:05 AM
I was just told by my daughter that nothing is working in my house, glad to know that we're not alone and other households are having malfunctions as well. Regarding the last minute projects, we had one of those fits this evening as well. Kids need to expect the unexpected and plan accordingly! That's when I tell my kids that if they need to blame someone look in the mirror!
FREESPEECH March 03, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Nice to know this goes on in everyones house! How about 645 am printing of homework etc and NO ink ......This is a common occurence- wrath of teenage son undoubtedly occurs - mom is ALWAYS to blame ...How many times can I tell him to do this ahead of time ! This is just the tip of the iceberg with teens/moms/stuff/responsibility etc etc !

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