A couple weeks ago we had a situation where Number 7 wore a “new” (hand me down) vest to school that she realized she really didn’t like at all once we were on the way to school.
I wrote about it here.
The short version is she left the vest in the car because she was super self-consicous about it and just didn’t feel comfortable (and not because we were in a battle over whether or not she needed to wear a jacket to school) and I went home and got her regular winter jacket and brought it back to school for her.
Because that’s what I would have REALLY appreciated if I were in that situation.
This morning we had a different situation.
Number 7 had a bit of a meltdown and was protesting going to school.
I told her I wasn’t going to drag her out to the bus, but if she didn’t go she would have to stay home alone because I had work I needed to get done and if she was at home I’d have to go somewhere else to get it done where I wouldn’t be interrupted.
About 60 seconds before the bus pulled up to the driveway, she came running outside.
It was 28° (F) outside, and she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and nothing else.
No jacket and no hat and not even a sweatshirt.
She doesn’t particularly like to be cold, and the reason she didn’t have her jacket was because she couldn’t find it because she didn’t hang it on her hook where it’s supposed to go.
So the bus pulled up to the driveway and she got on the bus with no coat.
I immediately went into fix-it mode.
There are a couple reasons for this.
The first is that her teacher and I didn’t exactly get off to the best start at the beginning of the school year, and I’m not her favoite parent, and when your 8-year-old goes into school on a 28° day with no jacket or sweatshirt, you become that mom.
And I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me because nobody is at my house living my life so nobody really knows what’s going on, but still.
It sucks to be thought of as that mom.
Secondly, while people say you can’t get sick from being cold, I can attest to the fact that two of my kids get sick every time they are cold for an extended period of time.
And when you have five kids at home and one gets sick, then you very often have five kids who are sick, and all I can say is that is NOT fun.
Finally, I just didn’t want her to be freezing her ass off at recess.
But this was different than the vest situation.
Number didn’t have a jacket because she couldn’t find it, and she couldn’t find it because she didn’t put it where it belonged.
Also, Number 7 was in a rush because of how she chose to respond to a situation earlier that morning.
She had plenty of response options. The one she went with put her in a place where she had to rush and she didn’t have what she needed when she got on the bus.
This was a situation where she needed to experience the natural consequences of her actions.
As she walked on the bus, she asked me to bring her jacket to school.
I really thought about it. I started rearranging the run I had planned to go on as soon as she and her brother got on the bus.
Then I caught msyelf.
I just wrote a post about this the other day! About how I fail to set boundaries for myself with my kids and my husband and then I’m mad at them and full of resentment because I do things that I really don’t want to do!
So I went about my morning as planned and did not do any rescuing or fixing.
I would deliver a clear message, and she would learn an important lesson.
And she wouldn’t go to school without her jacket again!
Number 4 an 5 get home from school about an hour before Number 6 and 7. Number 5 walked inside and said, “MOM! I’M SWEATING! IT’S SO HOT OUT!!!”
I hadn’t been outside since about 8:30 a.m. when I went for a run. It was still cold then, and I had a hat and gloves on.
By 2:30 this afternoon it was 47° out.
In the sun it felt even warmer.
When Number 7 got home, I asked her how her day was.
“It was good,” she said.
“Did you go outside for recess?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said. “AND I WASN’T COLD AT ALL MOM. KIDS WERE TAKING THEIR JACKETS OFF AND WEARING T-SHIRTS OUTSIDE.”
Well, so much for a lesson being learned. 🤷♀️
BUT I DIDN’T BRING THE JACKET IN.
So I’m still calling it a parenting.