You know all those parenting memes and hashtags that are floating around that make you snort-laugh or nod your head so vigorously your neck hurts, all because they just clearly get how rollercoast-y this raising tiny humans gig is? I appreciate the heck out of all them because every single truth-telling masked in joke-form speaks to my soul and helps me normalize that no, it’s not just me, and yes, children really are the best of the best even though they throw the worst of their worst at you.
Which they do.
Take this morning. I quickly became an #assholeparent when I told one of my children to wash his hands after using the bathroom. The bathroom he raced me to just to beat me to the privilege of peeing first before leaving for school (a moment he topped off by slamming the lid AND the seat back down, thank you very much), so really – how dare I remind him that basic freaking hygiene needed to happen?! But apparently it was a grave (or is it great?) offense, because the rage and meltdown that came left me blindsided.
For the most part, we’ve navigated this kids-going-back-to-school business with relative easy. Oh, there have been some super Captain Cranky Pants moments in our house, don’t get me wrong. But we’ve tried to take things slow on weekends and evenings, and for the most part, we have not had these trouble getting ready and getting out the door.
Well. Welcome to Week 3, friends! Honeymoon is clearly over.
Thankfully, even though my child was losing his shit, I did not lose mine. But part of what came out of still needing to get in the van and get to school in the midst of his meltdown is that a) he didn’t want to get his backpack and b) I wouldn’t let anyone else put it in the car for him. Natural consequence, right? Right.
Except then, on the drive to school, I remembered that it’s Wednesday — that means early out AND Wednesday Folders (the day the school sends home ALLLL the official paperwork which is fabulous except when your kids explode their folders all over the kitchen before you can get in from unloading the baby from the van and you don’t know which of the eleventy-billion papers might belong to which of your three school-age children, but I digress/am flashing back to last week).
Wednesday is a crappy, crappy day not to have your backpack.
There was no time to turn around to get it at that point and really, said child still hadn’t calmed down enough to warrant such an act, so I dropped them off (and watched his backpack-free back walk to his line, looking totally out of place in the sea of kids + bags) and went on with the rest of our morning tasks.
Within half an hour of getting back to the house, I decided to run his backpack to the school before lunch.
Did he make a crap choice this morning? Yes. Yes he did (and no, I don’t just mean not washing his hands). But am I actually an #assholeparent? Well, I’d sure like to think not, and I want my kid to know that I really do have his back(pack) even when he’s the one having a tough morning and isn’t handling it very well (read: is being a bit of a tiny asshole, expect I would never call my kids assholes).
I have yet to see him and hear what he thought about his bag magically appearing on his hook today at school, but whether he is happy or indifferent, I don’t really care. I didn’t do it to be a hero. I did it because we’re all human. We’re all going to have asshole mornings. We’re all still worthy of having people show up for us in small ways and big ways and bring your bag to school ways.
PS: This picture is from Open House, a few weeks ago…a night they definitely all had their backpacks (and some funny faces post mad-dash through the school to drop off all their stuff)!