Today started out well. My son ate his breakfast and got dressed for school without incident. It was a bright sunny morning. I managed to get the giant white puppy into the car with only a bit of push and shove.
My son went into school and I stood on the path outside chatting with some other parents before I headed off to walk to the dog. Or not.
My son appeared out of the school gate, followed by his teacher. He spotted me and came up for a cuddle saying he didn’t feel happy. He felt sick he said. His teacher said he had been really angry about something but they couldn’t figure out what. He just said he felt sick and so I was giving him a really good cuddle. He didn’t look sick. He didn’t have a temperature. I told him that if we took his temperature and he had a fever I would take him home, but if he didn’t, then he needed to go back to class and see how he went. If he still felt sick in a little while, the school could call me and I’d come back and get him. OK that was accepted.
The office didn’t have a thermometer….
New decision was made that he didn’t feel or look feverish and so needed to go back to class. He was carried away into class and I left.
I was about to take the dog for a walk when I realised that I didn’t have my phone. Not very useful if the school did actually ring me! So home I drove and got the dog back out of the car again to go inside and find my phone. I reached the door, took out my keys… oh.
My house keys must have fallen off my car key ring somewhere at the school. Not to worry. I could climb in the window and grab the spare keys, and my phone.
Much grunting and stretching my body into odd contortions, with a giant white puppy curiously trying to lick my face as my bum was in a window, I finally got into the house. Over to the key hook to pick up the… oh.
No spare keys.
I didn’t know this at the time, but my husband couldn’t find his keys this morning so he took the spare keys! Well, I told myself, at least I can get my phone, climb back out the window and go up to the school to see if I can find my keys!
I’ll cut the story slightly short here with a slight fast forward. I spent an hour looking around the school grounds where I had walked. I had the school secretary look in the staff room and ask all the kids for me, and still no keys could be found. I called my husband and asked him if I could come to his work and pick up his keys. He suggested a different way I could get a door open, which I’m not going to specify here, in case any robbers are reading this. 🙂 I went home, was extremely vexed and spent the whole day cleaning the house, but in an annoyed fashion since I couldn’t get out any of the doors which made things easier for cleaning! I went back to the school in the afternoon to get my son, and there were my keys glinting in the grass that I had looked through about 14 times~! I didn’t care, I was just happy to have them back!
Now, why am I a sucker?
I had picked up a very grumpy little boy from school and we were on our way to his drumming lesson. I really wanted him to have a good one, but the more he talked about it, the grumpier… well angrier actually.. he got. He complained about how his teacher always talks while he’s drumming and this distracts and interrupts him. I tried to explain that the teacher is just counting the beat to help him out. He told me that he already knows how to keep the beat and that the teacher is just annoying and doesn’t know how to teach at all! I then tried one of the things we learnt at our family admission.
Me: “I can see how you are really frustrated and angry with your teacher for distracting you. What would be a good reward for you if you can be very patient with him today and not get angry and do a great lesson? By ‘great lesson’ I mean listening and trying really hard. I don’t mean getting everything perfect all the time. I only want you to stay calm and keep trying even if you make a mistake.” It’s very important to clarify these things with him!
Son: “Nothing! I am NOT doing drumming!”
Me: “What about a new Chuggington train? I have one at home that I’ve been waiting to give you at the right moment.”
Son: Thinking about this. “Which one is it?”
Son: “No. I don’t want it.”
Me: “OK, what about 20 minutes of playing the doggy game with Mummy” This is not an easy game for me because I have to pretend to be that annoying white chihuahua from Beverly Hills Chihuahua AND two of her puppies, while my son is a German Shepherd police dog called Delgardo! There is very specific dialog involved and if I get it wrong I get in trouble!
Son: “No. Not good enough. I’m not drumming”
Are you starting to see now how I’m about to be suckered?
Son: “What about if you get some Dulux paint for our new fence? Then I can get the can of jelly beans and the soft dog” He’s been after this for a while, it’s a promotional thing by Dulux at the moment.
I thought about it. I decided the kid was so damned grumpy and had such a bad attitude today that there was probably little chance he would actually achieve the reward anyway… I said yes. SUCKER!
He had a fantastic drumming lesson! The best ever! He walked in and explained calmly to his teacher that it annoyed him when he spoke while he was trying to get the new rhythm. He asked him to please try not to do that. “And also don’t even say ‘great job’ because that distracts me too!” His teacher agreed to give that a try, and I asked my son what he was going to do in return. He said, “I will listen to him”.
He then proceeded to do just that. When he made a mistake, he tried again! He didn’t throw down his sticks in a fit and say he can’t do it. He learnt more today than in his previous three lessons put together! So at the end, I had to go to the hardware store and get the paint so he could get the tin of jelly beans and dog. Want to know how much 8 litres of Dulux Weathershield paint costs in a gum tree green colour?
$177.00 AUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SUCKER! That is the single most expensive ‘reward’ he could have chosen I’m sure! And not only that, in order to justify the purchase I then had to spend all afternoon painting the fence so I didn’t feel so guilty about it! It looks grey instead of gum tree green, but it’s painted and I’m happy. Even if I am sucker.
Won’t be doing that again I can tell you!