“We are going to be late.”
I say it more than I say anything. I say it at least 12 times before I leave the house. I say it when we leave for church, swimming lessons, preschool….pretty much before we leave for anyway. The amount of times I say it is honestly ridiculous.
Last week we were preparing for swimming lessons. I asked him to go potty. He didn’t. I asked him to put on his swimsuit. He didn’t. I asked him to put on his coat. He didn’t.
“Hank, guess what.”
“Are we late?” (That is totally what I was going to say)
“That’s what you say. You say ‘We’re going to be late.'”
I am an enabler. I cluck around him like a mother hen herding her chicks. I put his mittens in his bag and his hat on his head. I velcro his shoes and thrust him into the car with one arm while I carry his back pack and lunch bag or swim gear or whatever he needs on that given day.
He does not care how many times I say “We’re going to be late,” because he knows I never let him be late.
That night I said “We are going to be late. It’s no problem. You can swim when you get there.” He looked like a wild animal in a trap. How dare I do this to him? He scrambled. He didn’t know whether to go potty or put on his coat. And we were five miutes late getting to swimming lessons.
He was horrified. And I didn’t care. For the first time, getting to swimming lessons didn’t end with me threatening him within minutes of his life. I just had to let him be late. And guess who wasn’t late for swimming lessons tonight? You guessed it. Hank.
I shoud let my kids fail a little more often.