This morning was going SOO well … until it was time to get on the bus. Jaden was poking around, getting his shoes on but not before making a game out of getting his socks on. I totally recognize that I woke up 20 mins late this morning … but we would have been fine had Jaden just not poked and played games with everything!
That being said … it got to be 2 minutes past the regular “leave for the bus stop time” and Jaden was still getting his shoes on. I saw the bus drive past the window and I yelled “Jaden we’ve got to run! Hurry!” With one foot out the front door, I helped Jaden get his backpack on and handed him his lunch box. I realized he didn’t have a coat, but thought “oh well – we have got to make this bus! Good thing it’s supposed to be 75 today!”
He gets about half way down the driveway and stops – “I don’t want to run!” I’m starting to get panicked and sort of ticked that he’s not cooperating. The other kids at the bus stop are almost all loaded onto the bus by now. I holler, “too bad – maybe you’ll get dressed quicker tomorrow!” He takes two more steps and turns around again – “I don’t want to go by myself” UGH! Now I’ve totally lost it and am so embarrassed that we are holding up the ENTIRE bus of kids for this little melt down. So I grab his arm by the wrist (not hard) and am now dragging him behind me as I’m running down the driveway and half way down the block … with NO shoes on. Thank goodness I had gotten dressed and wasn’t doing this in my sweats and no bra.
The bus driver starts to back up … the bus is making that beeping noise big trucks make when they are in reverse. The doors open … Jaden won’t walk past the back wheel of the bus. “Get on the bus” I grit through my teeth. He shakes his head. I’m not sure what happened inside of me, but I found my inner calmness and decided that this would be a great Love and Logic moment (I’ve been taking a parenting class on this parenting idea for the past six weeks). I look at the bus driver “I’m really sorry I wasted your time. But it looks like we won’t be riding the bus today. I’ll take it from here.” He looked at me like “Really?” Then I take Jaden’s hand and we walk back to the house.
He is crying and wailing. I walk in the house in front of him. He hits the grass causing a scene because I shut the door. (He can open the door on his own … I’ve seen him do it a million times when he lets in the neighbor boy to play.) I go about my business … trying to decide what my next move is going to be. (insert update facebook status here)
Pretty soon the front doorbell rings. It’s Jaden. He’s done with his fit and ready to come inside. I asked him how he was going to get to school since he missed the bus. “I dunno.” I said, “well you think about that and let me know what you come up with.” After a short pause, he says that I could take him. I said “You’re right I could … but gas is really expensive these days. It costs almost $4 a gallon. Do you have that much money for gas?” He says he does – he’s got “hundreds of dollars and coins.”
So we go to his room, pull out his piggy bank and he pulls out four dollar bills. (I was actually quite surprised at how much cash that kid has stored away in his superhero pig.) We go and get our backpack on and get in the car. I pull into the gas station close to the house and open the back van door and hold out my hand. “Ok, that’s $4 for gas please.” He proudly hands it over. At this point, I’m thinking to myself that this is too easy, perhaps I should have done something else. But what do I have to lose now? So I keep going with it.
At school he proudly gets out of the car and walks into school – no sign of a bad morning anywhere on that kid’s face. Just as I’m about to leave, he asks me if I can pick him up from school. I smile, “and how much does that cost” He says “$4” “Do you have that kind of money?” He starts to dig in his pockets. Of course they are empty because he already paid me the money he had for his ride to school. We didn’t quite get to finish the conversation before a teacher scooped up his hand and said it was time to go to class.
I went back to the car thinking … I don’t think this kid is going to be uncomfortable until he runs out of money. Maybe I should take some of it and make a deposit into his account while he’s at school so he runs out quicker. My Love and Logic instructor, Pam’s, voice echoes in my head – “Have fun with it! Kids don’t have to be in pain to learn a lesson.” And that’s what it’s really about, right? Teaching your kids something?
So I’m interested to see what he’s going to do tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be $4 richer, or maybe he won’t be complaining when the bus comes. We shall see …