One of the greatest challenges of parenting is that when you make threats, eventually you have to follow through with at least one of them. I was in that boat on Sunday. We need to leave for church at around 9:45 each Sunday. This is nothing new - we've been going for six years and church has always started at 10:00. I should also add that my daughter knows how to tell time.
She was awake by 7:30 a.m. yesterday. So, if you are following along with the math, she had over two hours to get her act together. I gave her
Her dad was in bed, nursing a headache. "I'm about to leave you with a very bad scene," I warned him. "There is no way she can get everything done in the next five minutes. I am leaving without her." He nodded.
I grabbed my coat and my purse. The kid could see that I was leaving. She jumped up and frantically started brushing her hair. "There's no way you can get it done. You have to stay," I told her. She started to cry.
"No, mama, no!" She wailed as though I'd just canceled summer or something.
I walked out the garage door and got in my car. I could hear her frantically brushing her teeth. She grabbed her coat and ran out the door after me. By this time, I had started the car and was about to back out of the garage. Normally, I would have opened the sliding door on the passenger side to let her in, but I didn't. I could see her tear-streaked face in the window. She smacked the window with open palms and pleaded with me to let her in. "No, mama! I want to go!" I felt my heart lurch but I wanted her to learn a lesson. She needs to learn that church starts when it starts - not when Her Highness arrives. Just then, P came out into the garage and made her come back inside. I could hear my daughter wailing as her dad tugged her back into the house.
I pulled out and closed the garage door. I swallowed hard. Man, this parenting stuff is not easy. I turned right out of our cul-de-sac and drove a few blocks. Then I pulled out my phone and called the house. I wanted to get P's input as to whether or not I should come back for her. I could hear Miss Procrastinator still wailing in the background. He and I chatted and agreed that she had probably learned her lesson. I drove back and picked her up. It was a very sullen and contrite little girl who climbed into my van.
I will be honest. I only went back for her for one reason. The RE (religious education) teachers put a lot of time and effort into preparing the lessons each week. So, I didn't want the RE teacher to go to all that trouble and then not have many students. The Grade 2-5 class is pretty small. Next time, though, I will not go back for her.
When she goes to college, I hope she doesn't sign up for any early classes. I'm pretty sure it's a recipe for disaster.
The clock is from here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/100644339/whatever-im-late-anyway-clock-black?ref=pr_shop