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Thursday, January 24

On Why I Hate School Days: Dealing With Miss "I Won't Go"

I swear to myself that this morning is going to be different.  I have set my alarm to wake me up 15 minutes earlier then usual. This morning we won't have to run to make it to the school bus in time. This morning everyone will eat breakfast and no one will cry or scream.

My alarm goes off and I resist the urge to hit snooze. I pry myself out of bed to find one daughter already up and on her way into my bedroom. I dress haphazardly, I'm just going to the bus stop when I wish I were going back to bed, I don't care what I look like. Though I do make sure to pull on a pair of warm woolly socks, because baby it's cold outside. My morning loving little one is bouncing around the house, loudly yelling out a play by play of her actions as she gets ready to head out. I brush her hair and put in barrettes. I resist the urge to check my email. I'm as ready as I'll ever be, so I tell my girl to sit and eat her breakfast and I reluctantly head upstairs to wake my other daughter.

The sun is streaming into her room through the curtains I intentionally left open last night at tuck-in time. Despite all of the noise her sister and I have been making she is sound asleep, snoring in fact. I open her closet door and drag out the snowpants. It's like negative 16 degrees outside  she's going to need them. The noise of me thunking in and out of her closet has finally awoken her. My daughter opens her eyes and immediately begins to cry, "No! No school! I won't go!"

No, no mama, I won't get up, I won't get up....
No, no mama, I won't get up, I won't get up....

She's already dressed. As part of my brilliant new strategy for actually making it out the door on time, I dressed her for bedtime by putting on a fresh pair of pants and a long-sleeved tee-shirt. One less thing to battle over this morning. I tell her to sit down and get her socks on. She's crying, real tears, begging me to let her stay in bed.  I explain to her, patiently, calmly, that she absolutely MUST get ready so we can bring her sister to the bus. Socks and snowpants balled up under one arm, I pick her up and carry her downstairs, as she kicks and screams at me.

Wait, you didn't think I was talking about the big kid, did you? No, the five year old loves going to senior kindergarten. She can't wait to head off to school each day. G-Girl is a morning person. By the end of the day she can be a little grumpy, but sleeping is her reset button. She wakes each day bright and sunny, eager to start a new day.

Her little sister on the other hand... well she's more like her mama. She hates to wake up in the morning, and is a growly miserable bear until she's been up for at least an hour. And that's if she wakes on her own. Heaven forfend if, like this morning, I should have to go in and wake her up. At the moment she is screaming in a way that has me thinking the neighbours from three doors down are going to knock on my door to find out what the heck is going on.

Have you ever tried to put a pair of snowpants on a struggling two-year old? The darn things are difficult enough to put on when she's co-operating. And right now she is alternating between being a limp dead weight and a struggling ball of flailing limbs.  I finally get the damn pants on her and start on the boots. I swap between begging Baby-G to push her darn foot into the boot and yelling directions out to the other kid, over the screams. "Have you put your lunch in your bag yet? Yes, you definitely need snowpants. What do you mean you don't know where your gloves are?"

I step away from the sobbing ball of unhappy two year old and check in on the big girl, who hasn't eaten a single bite of her damn breakfast. You have got to be kidding me. Once I left the room to go fetch her sister, G-Girl got distracted and drew me a picture instead of eating. The time on the clock says we should be leaving right now to walk for the bus. I haven't quite lost my temper yet, but I do feel like I'm losing my mind.

I tell G-Girl to finish getting into her snowsuit and I set off, wee jacket in hand, to chase down Baby-G and force her into her darn coat. Having finished running around the front room like a crazed jack-rabbit, she now informs me that she can't walk. That's fine, we don't have TIME for her to walk.

I look the big one up and down and pronounce us ready to go, NOW. In that 30 second window the little one manages to take off one of her boots. By this point I am loosing my temper. We need to run for the bus. I hate running for the bus.

The stroller is sitting, open left outside, at the end of my driveway. I pick Baby-G  up and dump her into it without taking time to first remove the fine layer of snow that is covering everything. In the chaos I forgot to grab my gloves. I freeze my damn fingers off as I try and get the buckle done up on the seat. Baby-G is bawling, loudly, protesting the cold, being awake, being outside.

At some point during the three block race to the bus stop she ceases crying. No one is waiting at the stop. I warn G-Girl that we might have already missed her ride. It is at this point that she starts to get upset about the fact that she hasn't had breakfast, and complains that I didn't bring anything for her to eat at the bus-stop  Nope, sorry kid, we don't eat at the bus-stop  We eat at the dining room table. Remember that part where I gave you food and you forgot to eat it? Yeah, well maybe next time you'll remember. ( I know, I know, breakfast... the most important meal of the day, but the way her school day is laid out she gets there, has recess (probably indoors today because it's so bloody cold) and then it's time for her first snack period, so I think she'll survive. )

The bus rolls up. Baby-G waves as her sister gets on. I turn the stroller around and by the time we get home she's a different kid, as if the morning meltdown routine never happened. At this point I would happily crawl back into bed, but she's eager to have breakfast, eager to play.

And this my friends is why I hate school days. And God help me next year, G-Girl will be in grade one and will be going every day.
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Hi, I'm , a Canadian stay at home mom to two rambunctious little girls.
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