This morning, McDiesel successfully boycotts the carpool to school—for the first time in history.
Five minutes before the horn honks in our driveway, he commences complete meltdown over having to go to school, having to go to school with them, having to go to school in their car. He is a mess. I have five minutes—tops—to defuse the tantrum and, honestly, almost no confidence that I can.
Which I can’t.
I suggest special reading time, an Uno tournament, watching the newly DVR-ed Dragons: Riders of Berk episode after school. IF he is a big boy in the carpool car. Nope. With one eye on the clock, I resort to bribes that cost money, in increasing amounts. I remind him about the promise of going to Subway after soccer practice this evening, the Books-A-Million prize tomorrow if he continues to get Happy Faces on his school behavior chart this week. Nothing. At this point, two minutes out, there’s not even time to mop up his face so that he doesn’t look like he’s been in hysterical fits. I try the Silent Treatment and slam breakfast dishes around in the sink for extra emphasis. As his screaming and shouting overpower the clattering dishes, this is not as persuasive a strategy as intended. My mantra (“I stand here ironing. I stand here IRONING. I STAND HERE IRONING!”) keeps me from yelling my head off, but is otherwise useless.
When they honk, I walk out the door with McD’s backpack and Big Bro Typ, acting as though this is every other day. They’re here. This is it. There is no choice. Time to go. I’m hoping this approach–here we go, out to the car!–makes McD realize he Is Going.
When he follows me outside, however, it is abundantly clear that he is Not Going. The fit has somewhat subsided into tears and marching around the yard, but I just can’t do it to our neighbors.
So ten minutes later, I’m driving McD to school myself, worrying about the precedent that has just been set and mulling over how most effectively to ensure that this does not become a pattern. Or happen ever again. He apologizes. I accept.
On the way home, decide I might as well make lemonade out of lemons, or at least re-start my day, and walk down the beach. The sand is extra mushy by the jetty where I turn around, and I watch the water fill up my deep footprints. Read McD’s behavior, my stress, and morning fit into the disappearing footprints and the persevering waves.
Worry on the walk back that all of this is turning me into a sap.