Already failed as a parent on STAAR testing day and it’s only 8:30 a.m.

Benjamin Villalpando just wants to sleep. Why won't you let him, Congress? Photo by Nicole Villalpando
Benjamin Villalpando just wants sleep, not testing. 
Photo by Nicole Villalpando

Both of my kids have STAAR testing today. So, what am I supposed to do as a parent:

1. Make sure they go to bed on time. (Well, at 10 p.m. we were still doing homework with the eighth-grader. At midnight, the fifth-grader was still up. She couldn’t sleep. We ended up chasing a cat around to make it sleep with her so she could fall asleep.)

2. Make sure they get a good breakfast with protein. (The eighth-grader had a bowl of carbs in Honeycomb. The fifth-grader couldn’t get up because she was so tired. No breakfast was had).

3. Make sure they have all their medications in them. (Check for the eighth-grader. A big X for the fifth-grader. No breakfast. No meds. If we I had given her meds without food, she would have puked them up halfway through the test.)

4. Pack a healthy lunch for the fifth-grader because she can’t get cafeteria food on testing days. (We hit the convenience store on the way to school to pick up sunflower seeds, chips, bubble gum and a soda. She didn’t want anything else. Ultimate fail.)

5. Say encouraging words about how well they are going to do on test day. (Big fail as I’m yelling to get two sleepy kids to put their shoes on. Even bigger fail when I told my fifth-grader that really all she had to do today was not fall asleep during the test.)

6. Get them to school on time. (Success, but just barely).

Whew! I don’t think I’ll make parent of the year today.


Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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