Today was a Professional Development Day for me and my colleagues. It meant getting my kids back into school mode, getting my self out the door, and moving rooms in the building. All these elements led to breakdowns, tantrums and dropouts–mine and the kids.
We’d been practicing for today for almost two weeks, and I thought we had gotten things almost to perfection. I eliminated the timers that drove my 6 year-old to theatrics and replaced them with a C.D. of “Good Morning” songs (a bit annoying but liked by my children). I’d started a rewards system to ensure compliance, and I allowed the children choices in clothing selection all chosen at night to avoid morning indecisiveness over wardrobe.
Using “Good Morning Songs” by Twin Sisters IP, LLC we had been working on our morning routine. I timed the songs on the C.D. to get to the ten minute mark by which time my daughter should have brushed her teeth, washed her face and dressed in the clothing selected the night before. (She resists all these tasks with an iron will!) She knows that “Up and At ‘Em” is her wake up song; “Just Get Dressed” is her brush your teeth song; “Dress for the Weather” is her wash your face song; and by “I Can Do It” she should be dressed.
If she can accomplish these tasks by the time “Zip, Button, Buckle And Tie” comes on then she earns a Chuck E. Cheese token for her Anna and Elsa piggy bank which once filled will get her a day of cheesy bliss at the restaurant and arcade.
My little kids wake up to my personal favorite, “The Tag Goes In the Back” (I sometimes get this wrong in my rush, so it’s a good reminder to me to do a tag check) and the process begins again culminating in “Make New Friends” and a sticker for their prize chart. Today our new babysitter got the thrill of our morning song party, and to my great happiness, things went smoothly. My daughter even let the babysitter style her hair–this is major!
So why was I the one breaking down and crying on the way to the city? I like to work. I’ve never wanted to just stay-at-home. I wanted both career and family, so why for Pete’s Sake (no idea what that means) was I an emotional mess?
I don’t know if my emotional state was sensed by my children or contagious or what the deal was, but today was a day of tantrums. My 2 year-old cried and cried I was told after drop-off at daycare. She refused to be consoled for almost a straight hour. That must have been delightful. My 3 year-old called the teacher’s aid “poopy pants” and then preceded to kick the teacher who was trying to talk to him about name calling. He then decided to throw his own half-hour fit.
But, the worst of all is that my 6 year-old has decided she’s going to drop out of first grade. I’m still not sure what’s led her to such a drastic stance, but she did tell me that she’d rather continue in “horrible, awful, terrible Mommy School” than return to school tomorrow. If she drops out, do I get to too?
All I can hope for is a better day. Oh wait, I have a disaster in my classroom waiting for me and my students. Maybe, dropping out isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Days like these make me super grateful for the Jewish holidays in September! Mazel Tov.
Treat yourself to some new beauty products for your own morning routine!