Friday, May 9, 2014

On lessons learned

Yesterday, as the kids piled into the suburban at 3:00, one child said "We need to go to Walmart right now!".

"That doesn't seem especially likely", I replied.

Turns out, the child had an assignment due the next day, that required a Kleenex box.  "When exactly did you hear of this assignment?", I asked.

Tuesday was the answer.  Sigh.  "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part", I said, quoting a sign I had seen in my college library 20 years ago.   I am not a micro-manager, so I don't look online to find out about all their assignments.   The result - hard lessons are learned.

We were in and out for the entire evening, four of the five kids with activities, causing me to be a taxi driver, a job I am quickly becoming accustomed to.  I told the child that at some point during the afternoon, I would run into Walgreens and buy a box of Kleenex.  The child was thankful and appreciative.  I assumed the Kleenex box situation was resolved and the child would take it to school to work on it there.

Fast forward to 9:00.  We tumble into the house, after a 2.5 hour baseball game and two baseball practices (one child was not yet home from another event).   I urge everyone upstairs, calling out our customary "Potty-teeth-jammies" chant.  People were slow, my patience was waning. . .and the child with the Kleenex box situation was melting down.  In fact, the project had to be completed tonight, and our printer was out of color ink.  Anger and blame and finally sadness set in.  The child wanted to get a good grade and was finding out the hard way that procrastinating doesn't usually pay off.  It was a tough lesson to learn.  The child completed the project with the materials at hand, and we finally had some good conversation about it all.

At 10:34, all the children were upstairs and I let out a sigh.  All's well that end's well, yes?

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