If you are at all like me, you are turning into your mother at a rapid pace. The things you say, the things you do, the lives you threaten. In my case it's not so bad. Since becoming a mother myself, I now realize my mother is the patron saint of mothers. All praise Saint Linda. In any case I find that with a diva that is five going on fifteen, the onslaught of homework given to said five year old, and the lack of patience to deal with it all, I'm becoming the mother who "proves points".
I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Your child asks for something reasonable in a normal life. Normal being well organized and put together. Not the train wreck which is a typical school morning. A reasonable request for example, Caitlin has been wanting to ride her Princess scooter to school since she saw some 4th grader do it on the first day of Kindergarten. Ok, so I'm not sure if said scooter-er was in 4th grade, but she was all about it (helmet, bagpack, braid down her back) and alone... So 4th seems reasonable. Anyway, she has been asking everyday since August 20th. Of course I've been saying "we'll see", because I know it's not going to end well.
To start, we live approximately a half mile from school. Since Caitlin can't even make it around the neighborhood a few times on said scooter, I knew that half a mile was going to be a stretch. Add to the fact that Little Miss isn't a morning person. Either am I. Add one grumpy two year old into the mix and that spells disaster. So every time she asked about riding her scooter, I made up some excuse, then when she still asked and whined, and cried, I explained how far it was to school. That it seems like a short distance in the car, but walking and riding a scooter, it's too far. Of course this was met with "no it's not" and "please, pretty please", and so I knew what I had to do.
I had to take one for the mothering team. I had to put on my running shoes and get out the double stroller, wake up a half hour early, and let her ride that scooter to school.
Why I picked a Monday morning I cannot say, but you should know I'm a glutton for punishment. Let's start off the week right with one sweaty mom, a toddler who has major bed head, and one five year old that has decided that she hates her scooter. Awesome. I wish you could hear my sarcasm.
Everything started off grand. Mac had no problem in the stroller, I had on my running shoes, there was a light breeze at 7:50 on a sunny September Fresno morn (rare), and Caitlin was ready to rock in her sundress, side pony, and Hello Kitty flats. That would be the last time things were grand.
One block in we were walking our scooter. Two blocks in mid scooter stride Caitlin sneezed green ooze out of her nose and on to anything in it's path. Thank God for wipes, and thanks to Caitlin for sneezing on me again mid wipe. Gross. I was sweating like a man by block three. And block three is where I got tough.
To prove my point that school is as far as the moon in Kindergarten measuring, I refused to let a whiny, tired, Caitlin ride in the double stroller. I told her over and over that she wanted to ride her scooter to school, so she had to indeed ride said scooter the rest of the way. And yes I get completely sarcastic with my kids. I feel it will prepare them for the real world.
We did make it to school. She did cry a bit at the exhaustion of walking/scooting a half mile. But I just put on a big smile and said, go get a drink of water and have a nice day. Off to class she went, and me, I took my tired ass back to the street to walk another half mile back to my couch. Have I mentioned that I'm not athletic at all? The only walking I do is in Target. I'm still tired as I type this.
Exhaustion aside, I did feel a bit guilty. Why was I so adamant about proving a point to a five year old? Why was it so important that she visually learn that school is too far for her age? Most likely because I argue and debate anything and everything with my five year old daily. And when I remind her that it's not up for discussion, that it's not debatable, that it's because "I'm your mother and I make the rules", I feel like a little of myself just slipped away, and a little bit of my mom has just moved in. Because it's true, I'm the parent, I make the rules, and damn, I have to be consistent about those rules.
So yes, I intentionally forced my child to ride her scooter to prove a point. I also reminded her that maybe she should listen to mommy next time, and I even through in some "you're fine, get to class". It was a rough morning but I'm glad I stuck to my guns, even if I think people who "prove points" are annoying. I guess annoying is better than a daily debate that would put Obama and Romney to shame.
Life lessons are hard when you are a kindergartner.
They are pretty hard for mommy too.