Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'll Be Going Back To Bed Now...

Ever find that when a day starts off badly, it just gets worse as it goes along?

It seems that the first few hours after you get out of bed seem to set the tone for the remainder of the day. If that is always the case, I should just go back to bed because today is already a complete wash.

We started off the day with my two kids missing the bus. It's the second time they have done this in three weeks. The problem is I am still trying to figure out how they do it.

I let them wait inside the house on cold mornings. All they have to do is stand in the family room and watch out the back door for the bus, which comes down the road that runs perpendicular to our street. Somehow, neither of them saw it. How you can not see a large yellow vehicle with flashing lights coming down a road, I will never know.

It probably did not help that the bus comes at 7:15 and Sean was still getting his shoes on at 7:14. They are both supposed to be ready at 7:10, and Shannon was indeed ready. She was, however, too busy messing with one of our cats to apparently notice a bus driving by.

The fact that I had to drive them to school was not what upset me. It is only about a five minute drive. What makes me angry is the lack of responsibility in not being ready on time or the ability to stay on task. To make it worse, the circumstances were similar the last time they missed the bus.

I would like to say I handled to situation in a calm and mature manner, but I probably sounded more like a howler monkey.

So the day started with me getting angry and delivering a lecture on responsibilty during the entire drive to school. This made both of them quite happy. So now no one's day is off to a great start.

What makes me feel bad is that nobody's day had to be ruined. As the kids pointed out, they have only missed the bus three times in all of the years they have been riding it. It doesn't do anyone any good to start the morning angry and upset.

I read the book "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson several years ago. There is a chapter called "Look Beyond Behavior" that basically says you have to take into account the circumstances that might be behind people's actions. No one deserves a rough start to a tough day simply for being distracted or not moving fast enough. If it means swallowing a bit of inconvenience to maintain harmony, then so be it.

Of course my kids need to responsible enough to be ready on time for school, but that fact would sink in much better in when discussed by a calm mother rather than a raving banshee.

So I will have to put this experience in the "What NOT To Do" column and hope my kids learn a lesson about timeliness.

I could also threaten to make them walk the two miles to school next time. Then they would have an excuse to pass on that story handed down through the generations about how they were forced to walk to school. Uphill. Both ways.

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