I should have asked more often, "Do you have homework over Spring Break?"
I should have been more persistent when the response was "No."
Because, and you know where this is going, at precisely 9:15pm, 45 minutes after he should have been in bed, Charlie comes up with "Mom, I haven't picked out a science experiment yet!"
How about if a mother's head explodes 3.5 seconds after hearing "Mom, I haven't picked out a science experiment yet," what is the trajectory of the gray matter spewing from what used to be her skull?
Or how many deep breaths does a parental unit have to take before deciding not to beat her offspring about the head and shoulders with the three pair of stinky sweatsocks she just pulled from said offspring's backpack?
Of course, all of that is hypothetical. Instead, I said, through gritted teeth and bitten tongue, "Do you have any idea of what kind of experiment you want to do? Something with food? Or plants? Or dirt? Or balls?"
"Yeah," said the offender. "I want to do something that will make me look really smart."
Hmmm...well, a good start on that would have been to do come up with an idea at the beginning of Spring Break.