Thursday, April 23, 2009
What drama.. get ready for a laugh *SPEW* alert
Well, I have had the most dramatic morning with my 7-year-old Max. Look at this mischievously cute face and imagine the following but first let me set up the background story. Max is a head strong child who fights sleeping every night and is like death getting up every morning. He's also VERY particular about his appearance spending a lot of time on his hair making it "just right".
So, I have been telling him for years how unfair it is to Sam every morning when Sam gets right up and dressed in 5 minutes to then is tardy because Max won't get ready and makes them both late for school. When Chuck and I were living together, I would often take Sam to school on time and go back home to get Max and allow him to be tardy and deal with those consequences. We lived just around the corner from school. I was trying to honor Sam in doing that but it really wasn't helping Max at all because he could care less if he's on time for school. Well, for several weeks, I have been telling him that I was having a "leaving time" and however ready he was for school at that time is how he goes to school. So, if his hair wasn't brushed, he would just have to go with messy hair. I knew the time was coming to dig my heels in and prove my words. Yesterday, he put his socks and shoes on in the car while trying to convince me that it was against the school rules to go with messy hair. Uh... I'm thinkin' not. I also just purchased a small alarm clock for them on Monday so I thought that might help.
So, this morning, the alarm went off, Max doesn't budge. I start going in every few minutes trying to get him up. He's not moving. I started singing "Raindrops keep falling on my head" while misting him with a spray bottle. All I got was a whiny "stooopppppp" while covering himself with a pillow. At least there was movement. Well, We have to leave for school at the latest, 7:35. At 7:30, he was still laying in bed. I told him he'd better get up and move fast because we were leaving and he would go "as is". I walk out of his room and leave him to get dressed. At 7:35, he was no longer in the bed, but laying in the floor! OK, so I'm not feeling so sweet now. I knew THIS was the morning to teach him a BIG lesson. I got him to put clothes on and I then said, "That's all you have time for. Take your shoes and socks and get in the car. " He goes hysterical. I told him in a calm but very stern voice, "If you do not get in the car on your own, I will carry you. If I have to carry you, there will be consequences for you when you get home from school." I started pulling his hand and he was grabbing on to doorways, doors, furniture... anything he could grab, kicking and screaming. I picked his little butt up and hauled him to the car in hysterics. By now, he's coughing and choking with snot streaming with tears. I calmly handed him kleenex and then told him that if he were so concerned about these school rules about hair (which are bogus), then I would imagine he'd take extra care to get up and have his hair done in the morning. And so, he broke a family rule with me in getting to the car, he was disrespectful to his brother's time, disrespectful and disobedient to me, so there will be consequences. And if he has, in fact, broken a school rule, then he will have to deal with those consequences as well. He was NOT liking me.
So, we leave for school and I apologize to Sam for allowing Max's behavior to continue making him late for school so many times and promised I would not allow it again.
We get to school and Sam jumps and runs like a bolt of lightening. Max was still hysterical and would not get out of the car. Now mind you, I am in a "drive thru" drop off line with cars backed up behind me. I had to physically remove my child and his belongings from the car and put them on the sidewalk. I told him that I love him and cannot allow him to act this way any more. He kept trying to get back to the car so I ran and locked it. As I was pulling away, he's hanging on to the door handle of the car screaming and crying in bare feet with rat nest bed head. I left. But I didn't go far. I parked around the corner and walked back over hiding behind a wall so I could watch him. He tried to cover his head with his backpack while putting on his shoes and slowly but finally, walked into school... heading to the bathroom to do his hair, I'd imagine. I also imagine he missed breakfast because hair was more important and that too, is part of a consequence of his choice. It hurt my heart to do this yet felt liberating all at the same time.
I'm thinking mornings will change in my household from here out. Don't ya'll? My only regret is that there was no one to video tape this scene. It was a doozy and I wonder what all those parents in cars behind me were thinking of this scene! It doesn't matter... I learned something about following through, loving well, and my child learned that I mean what I say. No more games.