Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Big Scold

After picking up Austin from school today I was half inclined to escort him back to his classroom because he inevitably forgets to write some aspect of his homework down on his daily planner. I reminded myself that no, he is in fifth grade now and needs to learn to be more accountable for both his actions and the responsibilities that accompany such things. Upon our arrival home I immediately set about to help him sort through the list of items required before he attended school the next day. Circumstances being usual, Austin had neglected to supply a vital part of information in order to complete a specific task.

I'll admit this time I lost it. I rarely, mostly rarely, yell or raise my voice to the little darlings. I hated it when I was young (not that it happened often) but no one likes to be scolded and told in very forceful terms disappointment and disapproval. I offered the solid advice that life must revolve around some type of priority and plan. I explained the plans I must make as an adult and mother everyday in order to make the family function. That my taking them to school everyday wasn't just happenstance and my return at exactly 2:21 pm wasn't just a random coincidence everyday. It's not chaos that rules the action and course our lives take. I implored that it was in fact by choice that I was there to get him up, breakfast, shoes, to school, volunteer in his class, make appointments to shuffle around getting him to and from haircuts, swimming practice, and yes I even plan to pick him up. (Maybe I should forget...will that prove my point???)

Everyone present in his life at this point is trying to exemplify this behavior that, in my opinion, he simply chooses to ignore. So today I had had enough and could find no other recourse than to give him a solid piece of my mind. Not to mention the removal of specific privileges that are allowed when all is well at the home front. After my stern discourse I offered solace that indeed I still loved him despite his shortcomings that we, together, are trying to remedy.
We then set out to continue his Respiratory System project and after five and a half hours completed the majority. I then sent him upstairs to do nothing more than read (not such a harsh punishment for a kid who asks for research books for Christmas and birthdays).

I, however, needed to time to decompress and reflect. To which I have the following to offer. Sometimes being a mother takes a high degree of patience and humility of which our children never tire of the occasional reminder. I was going through a few of my old blog posts that I had previously on another account for a short amount of time and came across this gem. It made me smile after everything else previous to this point.

I was driving my kids to school this morning and Austin asked a question to which I knew the answer. Unfortunately he did not agree with my response and stated simply, "Let's ask dad, he's smarter."

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. "
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince", 1943
French writer (1900 - 1944)

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