This morning, Erin and I read a bit about Gandhi--when he was born, what he was protesting at different times in his life, how he believed in nonviolence, things like that. She learned a few new vocabulary words (which she excitedly threw into the conversation all day today!) and then we began to get ready for our outing. My playgroup (mostly kids Evan's age) was going to a playground/beach today and we had arranged to take a friend of Erin's from our homeschool group with us so that Erin would have someone to explore with while Evan and I hung out and talked to the moms and other kids. It was definitely a win-win situation! But because we had spent so much time on Gandhi and the vocabulary stuff, we were running a bit late. I hurried to throw a lunch together, Evan was getting tired and whining, I still had to pack a diaper bag, get some extra clothes together and, of course, change a poopy diaper. So my stress level began to go up. I asked Erin to stop reading and please go get one set of extra clothes and put it in her backpack in case she got wet. She disappeared into her closet. I finished making lunch...she wasn't done yet...I got the diaper bag together...no Erin. I got lunch, the diaper bag and extra warm clothes into the car...nothing. "Erin! We are going to be late!" "I'm COMING! Don't rush me!" I changed the poopy diaper and put Evan in his car seat. Now, I'm standing by the door, waiting...you know the feeling...the blood pressure is starting to rise...I had told the other mom I'd be there at a certain time and I wasn't there...getting annoyed.... "ERIN!"
(Be sure to sound like an annoyed teenager when you read the response.)
"What?? You told me to get extra clothes and I'm getting extra clothes!!"
"That should have taken you 20 seconds! Put them in your backpack! WHAT are you DOING??"
Then she comes out...she had put her extra clothes in a sack, tied them into a small, round bundle and was attempting to tie that to a stick...like a hobo, she said, with tears in her eyes because the knot wasn't working.
Now, in a perfect world, children would do what you ask them to do, when you ask them to do it.
In a more perfect world, parents wouldn't get upset when a kid's need to do things differently appears to hinder the day's progress.
I helped her tie the knot and we were a bit late, but whatever.
Thank you, Erin, for once again reminding me that although you talk like you are 15, you really are only 7. And a very imaginative, creative, fun 7 at that. As my parent quote card said today, "Remember, your child is a child."