This blog is a stream of conciousness from my head to the keyboard to the screen. There will be talk of random subjects. If you have delicate eyes, proceed with caution. I like to talk about controversial subjects and sex a lot. So, take heed my friends. This is not a blog for debate, but for love and sharing. If your views do not match my own, love to you, but don't bring the rest of us down. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Driving to School

How is a 2-3 min. car ride to school capable of completely changing the mood of the morning?

Every one was up, dressed, finished with breakfast and happy. Lunches weren't quite ready when we hear the squeak of the bus tires, so I tell the girls I will run them up to school. It's just about a mile away. Close enough to walk if we got an earlier start, but it's always the bus or we drive if we're a few minutes behind.

Down the front walk, my 6 year old begins explaining how she's just like a teenager. She has her phone in her hand (an old one of my father-in-laws that she plays with), her book and her rolling backpack. She tells me the car is an airplane because she has her suitcase, phone and book to read. So funny.

My oldest is in shorts. It's chilly out, but has been so nice in the afternoons. She confirms that it is supposed to warm up and says this might not have been the day to dress "cute" since her legs are a bit cold. I assure her it will warm up and I like her outfit, too.

We back up out of the driveway, first fit. Little one can't get the seatbelt on right so big sister is trying to help and is getting frustrated with the attitude she is getting. I convince the little one to let her sister help and the older one to calm down and both of them to speak nicely.

We drive several houses down and now the little one is kicking the air and hitting her legs because the seatbelt is bugging her (I mentioned we have sensory issues around here, right?). This annoys the older one who starts telling her to calm down in a not so calm voice.

We round the first turn, about a block from our house. The noise from the back is getting louder. I stop the car and tell them they are not to speak to each other anymore, re-explain why the seatbelt is being funky because it is the same reason it gets messed up every single time we get into the car and this happens. The little miss now throws her fake phone and she is informed that she will be leaving that in the car and will not be playing with it for the rest of the day.

Now my youngest is crying and is still pissed off at the seatbelt. I can see my older one speaking under her breath, I know threats are happening, she is reminded not to speak to her sister.

We hit the first of 2 stop signs. My big girl thanks me for driving them to school. She knows I am not happy and starts to try to make amends. The little one is still fussing. She says thank you, too, in between pouty tears.

We hit the second stop sign and now my older one starts thinking about entering school, they just had 4 days off and that always makes re-entry difficult. She starts to contemplate her wardrobe choice and starts to get nervous about the whole wearing shorts thing. Little one is starting to calm down.

We pull into the school and I hear, "Why did I wear shorts? People are going to be asking me a million questions. They are going to make fun of me. They are going to say I am fat. Look at all these bruises on my legs from playing this weekend. They look horrible......" I remain silent because I have no idea how to comfort all these thoughts out of her in the 2 seconds before she leaves the car. My youngest has now stopped fussing.

The side door of the van is opened for them to go into the building. They say good bye, they love me. I say that I love them too and I hope they have a good day.

They walk into school and I drive home on the verge of tears.

What the hell just happened? What am I supposed to do with this? Is there a parenting lesson here? Did I miss the mark on this one or are my children just out of there little minds like many other children out there? Holy crap!

Sometimes I just don't know about this parenting gig. Somedays I feel like a freakin' rock star of a parent. The kids are happy, well behaved, kind to each other and to other people and happy. Other days like today I feel like I am doing something so wrong because I can't even have a 3 min. drive to school without all hell breaking loose.

I just feel sad.

I don't know what they are going to do once they are in the building. My kindergardener will probably go into the class just fine because the damn seatbelt is not on any more. My fifth graders whole day is going to hinge on what the first person says about her outfit. I hope it is a friend. I hope it is not someone who is going to be unkind to her. I can't control any of this. I dropped them off and had to leave and assume that all would be OK. There is a lot of letting go in parenting.

Now, I am going to go get some coffee, fold some laundry, and let go of this morning. I do not get a notch in my good parenting belt this morning, but the belt has not been taken away. I get to try again later today and hopefully it will go better.


  1. Oooh, I love this. You wrote it so well. It's like a mind-bender for moms. :)

    Let's see, my kids are the same in the car, I say shut the hell up a lot. SHUT UP! Shut up! Shut up! You might not take that as *advice*. :)
    But I do a wonderful fake cheery tone, just as loud, to snap them out of it as they leave the car. As if all is ***perfectly normal***.

    This is minus the worries about outfits and bodies. The older one wears a uniform, which is I think the policy all parents should agitate for.

    My kids are too little for me to know anything much about self-doubt, but if I hear a whimper of it from my 2nd grader I kind of "put a stop to it right now" in a "that is ridiculous" tone. My thinking is it spirals out of control.
    At the same time I do this, I'm hyper worried at all times about their little social lives. But I keep that maneuvering behind the scenes.
    I also try to remember- and maybe this is my real comment- that my struggles as a kid about that kind of thing were the mind-benders then. It was challenging and difficult, but how couldn't it be? I handled it without my parents, and when I worry about doing too little now- I stop to think about how little my parents could have said "right" back then. So this makes me think the normal kind of fretting- about shorts and bruises and being "fat" (ha)- all turns out OK, and turns people into nice, kind, full of stories little adults.

  2. it is a mind-bender! I know that my big girl has to go through these little pains on her own and figure out how she is going to deal with them, but it still breaks my heart a little bit. She verbalizes exactly how I felt at her age. I just never said anything. So, I guess the fact that she will tell me about these feelings is a good thing. I know all the mean girl crap eventually goes away or you learn to ignore it.

    As for the little one, the sensory issues will subside with time. She just needs to find her little 6 year old words to express what the holy hell is going on so that we can help her.

    Thank you for your comments!

  3. Sounds like a ride in my car! I forbid my boys to talk to each other all the time and it tends to work. It is as if they are no longer against each other, but against me and that brings them back together.

    As for the sensory integration stuff, well, that is just our cross to bear for a while. There is no reasoning with it, no fixing it, no way to know when it will explode. I just try to breathe deeply all the while my child is freaking out.

    The worst part of parenting for me, so far, is worrying about my kids feeling pain or getting hurt. I have 2 boys, so it is usually physical in nature, but my oldest is starting to face peer pressure and has a sense of what other people think. It breaks my heart to see him left out or teased. I have to keep my mind in a National Geographic mind-set where I don't interfere so that my boys can learn those hard lessons. I just help them process it later and use it as an example of why they should always be kind.

    Now, with all of that said, I will be happy to carpool our children to group therapy later in life once we have done as much damage as parentally possible!

  4. Julie- I know the sensory freak outs will stop. They did with my big one, they will the little one.

    learning how to cope with peer pressure is one of the reasons I stay out of what they wear and how they handle the response of others. They need to come up with their own sense of self and how they want to present themselves. It will be all good!