(And other wonderful parenting decisions you may face along the way!)
We, in my house, are currently post first-day and we. are. feeling. it.
How can people who possess the same ability to hike trails from morning til evening not be able to cope with a shortened day of school activity?
I don't know but this is where we are.
We are in a half-dazed state where we keep thinking of things to do but only have the energy to do them for approximately 42 seconds before they completely wipe us.
I sure hope we get back into the swing of things soon or this year is going to be a doozie.
This, however, is not the reason for this post (it's just bonus pre-post ramble - yay! Your lucky day!)
The reason for this post is to remind you - you as the amazing parents out there trying to survive this adventure - that when you send your kids to school each day, the people there (the staff, teachers and other children) are left to deal with things that you... don't.
So, I'm asking you, as someone who is, in fact in one of those said schools, to please find it in your hearts to deal with the things.
Alllllllll the things.
Do not put off til tomorrow what you can get done today... and all that jazz. Meaning: if your kid does something that needs attention - do not give them a pass by saying we'll deal with this later - and then never, actually, dealing with it later.
If they sass you - you need to deal with it in the moment.
Kids are like puppies, you cannot discipline a puppy for making a doo-dee on the carpet three hours after he made the doo-dee. The puppy does not understand that you're mad about something other than what he was doing in that moment. So if the puppy was sleeping on the rug and you go lift his butt over the the doo-dee pile and tell him, "Bad dog!" all that puppy thinks is that he shouldn't sleep. Sleeping is bad. The doo-dee was fine - the human wasn't mad after that. The human was mad when I was sleeping.
So now you have a puppy that won't go to sleep and won't stop making poo piles in your house.
All because of - timing.
Kids = same. Their attention spans and their memories go 100 miles an hour. So it's not that their attention spans are short - it's that things are short-lived in their brains.
Kid sasses mom. Mom kind of snickers. Mom doesn't get mad.
Kid splashes water all over the bathroom after shower. Mom is fed up. Mom yells about the water mess and while she's at it she yells about that sassing from earlier too.
Kid does not have a strong recollection of what exactly he said but he hears Mom doing a yelling rant for six straight minutes so he checks out after two minutes and two seconds and starts thinking about if he can ask if the dog can sleep with him tonight.
And.... dealing moment = gone. Poof. Buh-bye.
What about that whole "pick your battles, Jess? Huh? Ever heard of that?"
Yes. Yes, I have. And I'm a-okay with you tabling stuff or letting stuff go. As long as it's not that stuff that makes them total jackwagons to everyone else in society.
Let's say your kid wants to get pink hair. Are you okay with that? Does it bother you? Do you think it's a phase but so what?
Then so what! Let that go. Make the appointment and take a pic when you see them with their pink-frosted tips.
Does this make them a total sesspot to everyone else tomorrow?
So, that's a battle you didn't need to fight.
Now let's say your kid wants to bring their new toy to school even though you know it's not his turn for show-n-share and even though the teacher explicitly sent home a letter asking for children to wait for their show-n-share turn to bring toys to school.
But you're feeling sluggish so you think - what the hey. Go ahead, what's the worst that will happen...
Well, because you chose not to deal with this and now your child thinks rules don't apply to him, he gets out his toy in school. When the other students see it they want to look closer/touch it/ask about it and the teacher has to ask him to put it away. In his backpack. In his locker.
Your child has completely disrupted whatever was going on in the classroom at that minute. Best case scenario here is the teacher lost a few minutes and now regroups and gets everyone back on track. Worst case scenario: your child gets out his toy at recess, playtime gets a little out of hand, toy gets broken, child comes home losing-his-ever-loving-mind over his broken toy.
Also, Bradford will be bringing his new toy to school tomorrow because - if your kid can, why can't he?
Also - this cycle will continue until your child's teacher has to take another five minutes out of her evening to (again!) send home a reminder email that toys should only be brought on show-n-share days.
Nice job putting off what made a butt-load of work for someone else.
Moral of the story (post, fine! Whatever!): pick your battles. But if the battle looks like the outcome makes little Johnny a jackweed - it's a battle you need to have. No matter how tired or run down you are.
Order pizza. Pay one of the kids to empty the dishwasher and take out the trash. But for the love of Pete - don't slough off the discipline stuff on your child's daytime people. (That's the school, by the way, we are now his "daytime peeps.) Sometimes the bar is set low. Sometimes the best parenting goal we can hope for is "not an A-hole."
But over here in schoolville we're just people, standing in a school, asking you to handle not sending little meaners to us. And if all you accomplished last night was to not let your kid act like an A-hole - we'd happily give you a gold star for your parenting efforts.