Originally posted 2009-03-29 14:47:56.
Friday morning we were getting ready for work and school respectively. Fridays are when Caitlin’s school has a wading session in their small pool. Since she’s always loved the pool it was always a welcomed day; that as well as an early-age adoption of the adult TGIF concept (she doesn’t seem to like school as much this year).
She’s still got some audible phlegm in her throat, though she isn’t coughing anymore, it’s still there. Apparently she had also promised Teacher Rachel a show-and-tell of her collection of fridge magnets from home. She told me of this on Thursday night when I was tucking her in.
That morning I made the mistake of reminding her that it’s swimming day. All psyched up, she had been carrying her plastic bag of swim gear all morning wherever she was whilst getting ready. HM reminded me of her still-present phlegm, that we should wait for another week before she is allowed back in the pool (the last time I forgot, her cough came back in full force after a swim with Daddee; and we know how easily she pukes when she gets into a coughing fit).
I told her “no, can’t go swimming; wait for another week”. She wouldn’t have it. Repeated Elmer Fudd vs Bugs Bunny of yes no yes no only aggravated the respective individual emotions of our positions. Of course being the Daddee I managed to almost wrestle the bag off her. Okay I did it as gently as I could.
We were already in the car, basement of our building. Every morning we’d be lugging not just our respective bags; there is also Caleb’s gear for the day, some washing to be done, and Caleb himself aided by our helper. Settled in, buckling our seatbelts, feeling pretty shitty about the whole ordeal already, and she says, between the teary jerks of breaths, “DADDEE WE FORGOT THE MAGNETS!!”
There were really 3 options to handle this: (1) Go upstairs alone. That would be the quickest. But that also means leaving them alone in the car in the basement- toddler, 14 month old, a foreigner; (2) All go up together. Safest option. But taking the longest, making us late for school and work. (3) Fuggedaboutit.
I declared option (3). Caitlin goes into a wailing fit. Feet kicking, top of voice crying protesting she wants to go back upstairs to get the magnets, why wasn’t I listening to her.
I respect that she wants to honour her promise to Teacher Rachel. She was even looking forward to this- I could tell. But either (1) or (2) would mean we’d both be late. I even twisted the argument back at her; not a very nice thing to practise on a toddler I admit; that she didn’t listen to me either that morning when we said no to swimming, that she didn’t listen to us.
I felt bad about her not able to indulge in a simple swimming activity. It didn’t rain that day and the swim session did go ahead. She would, like before, have to remain in class hearing all the cheers and splashes downstairs.
But I felt worse that I couldn’t let her carry out her simple request of going back upstairs to get the magnets. This wasn’t something bad at all. For the longest time I had been instilling in her to honour her word/promise, and this was one example- that she wanted to show the magnets as promised. I was consoling / coaching her to say to Teacher Rachel that she is sorry she forgot to bring the magnets, but that she would be late if she/we turned around to go get them, that she didn’t want to be late, and that she would bring them on Monday instead.
In some ways I was also just lazy.
But what would you have done?