Monday, September 11, 2006

Would you like some whine with that?

Our scene opens: early morning in Colorado. The house awakens.

The whining begins.

Whining topics: tooth brushing, having to move faster brushing teeth, eating breakfast, having to move faster eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing hair, putting on shoes, having to move faster putting on shoes.

Time in the world of the Child is infinite. Unfortunately, where I live, time is finite. When 7:30 am rolls around, we need to be out of the house and walking up the hill. We need to leave whether or not the Child has finished all of her early morning tasks at her glacial speed. The walk, for which we allow 30 minutes (it only takes 20 on a good day), stretches out in time the way that awful things happen in slow motion in movies.

We make it onto the first block away from our house. As in, two houses down and the complaints start rolling in.

"I'm tired!"
"I'm cold!"
"I don't wanna go to school!"
"It's too far!"

It's the same distance it is every day. Some days she runs ahead of me, up the hill, and is happy and singing. I really like those days. On these days, days where the whining starts early and keeps on going (rather like the Duracell bunny), until tears start and the sharp voiced Mommy Voice of Doom has to be broken out, I really don't like the walk. I allow 30 minutes for a 20 minute walk because we have to stop 5 times and talk the Cranky Child into continuing up the hill. We have told her:
  1. School is required by law until age 16. If we don't take you, mommy and daddy will get in trouble with the law.
  2. She really likes being in school, once she's there.
  3. All of her new friends are at school.
  4. There's recess. Three times a day.
  5. It doesn't matter that she doesn't want to go to school. She has to go. Just as daddy has to go to work, when he'd really rather stay home and play, the Child has to go to school.

We try to be logical. We try to be sympathetic. I end up using the Mommy Voice of Doom. The one that talks in short, sharp, easily understood sentences. Small words, spoken with dead seriousness and with as little emotion as I can. Inside, I seethe with anger and try to stuff it down.

Her bedtime is getting earlier and earlier. We'll be waking her up earlier tomorrow, too, to give her yet more time to brush her teeth with glacial slowness. I suspect she will fill the extra time with yet more stalling techniques.

Tomorrow, we'll try again.


Heather said...

Oh I soooooo feel your pain...times three!!!

Valerie said...

Might be time to break out the learning and logic, "we're leaving at this time, whether you've eaten breakfast or not, brushed teeth, etc." The example in the book was for a car, so putting child and clothes in car is probably more acceptable than making her walk a few miles in her underwear...hmmm might have to rethink that one....

Nevermind that I have to chase down boys with clothing and diapers all the time. They'd rather be naked so no clothes on in the car would not be an incentive to let me dress them faster.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Squeakes, I have decided to give up. Yesterday, the walk was GREAT! Today, the walk was more miserable than ever before. She sat down and cried multiple times and was hollering about missing her kitties.

Tomorrow, I'm going to drive us to the base of the hill the school sits on (about .6 miles) and then make her walk up that last part. I'm not going to try to face the traffic around the "Hug & Go" area. That's even more stressful. I feel cheated of NOT using up gas and polluting by having to drive even that much.

Not to mention the missed exercise!

Instead, after drop off, I'll go walk around the lake an extra 2-3 times to make up for the lack. Then, in the afternoon, I'll make her walk home. The trip home is never a problem.

Or maybe I'll pull out the tandem bike. That's a LOT of work for me, though. Dragging both of our weights uphill....She might be ON the bike, but she's not doing the heavy pedalling!

Oh well. Maybe next year.

Re: the naked boys, never you mind. When you reach school age they wouldn't be caught DEAD in the PJs when going to kindergarten.

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