I just tripped over shoes in my kitchen, and I swore out loud because OH MY WORD, WHO KEEPS LEAVING THEIR SHOES ALL OVER THIS HOUSE?
FYI, it was me.
On the kitchen floor.
So that was rad.
Yesterday was a cry-fest before school. NOT ME that time, so there’s that. But it was a cry-fest for a good reason. I am crying for a GOOD REASON, MOM! he said, with Indignant Face and a stomp for good measure. He’s normally an easy one, this 2nd grade kid of mine. I mean, he’s an easy one relatively speaking because he’s still made out of Human and made out of Kid, so not easy-easy, you know. But he’s normally an easier one, so I was confused at his utter meltdown… over a sweatshirt.
In his defense, the oceans of tears were over an absent sweatshirt, which he’d accidentally left in our church gym the night before. He wanted me to drop everything — and, by everything, I mean my regularly scheduled cup of celebratory I Got the Children to School Semi-On-Time Again! GO, ME! coffee, and my alarm reminding me to take my medication, and my plans to find and don underwear because jeans chafe, man — drive to the church gym, find the sweatshirt, drive to the school and, sans panties, bra and socks, and drop off said sweatshirt so that he might have the sweatshirt he neeeeeeeeds.
I said no.
I said no because NATURAL CONSEQUENCES, right? And LEARNING OPPORTUNITY!
And also coffee and undies.
OK, mostly it was just because of the coffee and undies, because, I’ll be honest, I ADORE Natural Consequences when they match what I prefer to do or not to do, but most of the time I think I’d rather have my kids learn that life is a mixture of natural consequences and people who will give you a hand when you screw something up. We’re all going to suck from time to time, after all, and, since I don’t really like this trend that has us teaching our kids that their screw-ups should leave them picking up the pieces alone, I ditched consistency in favor of teaching both responsibility and compassion which I think is the much more complicated, difficult lesson to teach and also the better life skill.
Except when I need coffee and panties.
Then, it’s NATURAL CONSEQUENCES, kid.
Commence more crying, because MOOOooooOOOOOM!
Now, just to be clear, this kid o’ mine has a twin brother. A twin brother who has a nearly identical sweatshirt. A twin brother who has a nearly identical sweatshirt and offered to let him wear it because he’s kind and thoughtful and agreed with me on oh my gosh, STOP CRYING.
But was the fraternal twin sweatshirt acceptable?
No, of course not.
But I remainded strong! I said I was very sorry for him. I hugged him. And I said I’d pick up the sweatshirt last night so he’d have it to wear again this morning.
He cried some more and went to school.
And asked me for his sweatshirt this morning.
The one I OF COURSE forgot to pick up last night.
Oh, the betrayal.
And the wailing!
And the gnashing of teeth!
Except this time it was on me. ‘Cause I did not do what I said I’d do.
And this time *I* had to deal with the natural consequences. :/
Which is why I showed up in the school office this morning. After school started. Kid’s grubby sweatshirt in hand. In my jeans and t-shirt and tennis shoes. Sans mascara. Sans groomed hair. Sans coffee. Sans all the things that hold the other things in place.
Stupid natural consequences.
And my house looks like this.
Practically spotless! PRISTINE! With shiny floors! You know… in the front room where no one lives.
And also like this.
Which is my bathroom.
And like this.
Which is where I work every day.
Just thought you’d want to know.
Keepin’ it real,
P.S. Your turn. What’ve you got for Keepin’ It Real Day today?