I should never read other people's parenting stories. Yes, yes. I know. That's how we all learn to parent better. By listening to other parents' success stories and at least trying out the strategies that worked.
My kids. My kids are different from other kids. I love them. Deeply. Fiercely.
Monday I kept Kip home from school because he had a nose sniffle, and in an era of COVID it seems prudent to keep kids home when even mildly ill.
Tuesday, Paul pitched a fit about going to school, probably because Kip stayed home Monday. He did have a rough night of sleep (he woke up at 3 am having wet the bed and both he and Sylvia took showers before heading back to bed). Reasoning one 'mental health day' wouldn't be a big deal, I let him stay home, then made him read and write all day long. I didn't think it was a terribly fun day and assumed he'd be rested and ready to go back to school.
I have read so many stories about parents who, good-naturedly allow their children a day off now and then just because school is hard some days and sometimes you just need a break. Their cotton candy children go back to school the next day refreshed and ready to learn.
Those are so not my children. My children are the kind where if you give them an inch, they take a mile. If they sense any hint of compromise, they'll argue for the sun.
So we come to this morning. Paul again pitched a fit about going to school. He punched his little brother most of the way to school, until I (sternly. No, I'll be honest, yelling) told him I'd drop him off where we were if he didn't stop and he'd have to walk all the way to school. Then, when we got to school and the other two dutifully went to class (though not with out Kip also asking to stay home again), Paul sat in the car and refused to leave.
I parked the car and played a game on my phone. Then I realized Paul was too entertained by the game so I turned it off and just sat there. I got bored waiting (I'm honestly terrible at the wait them out thing) so I walked into the main office "looking for forms" (which they didn't have). Paul still refused to go to class, but at least the office was aware of where he was, and they offered to help if I needed it.
When we went back out, Paul locked me out of the car, so I went and stood in the sun where it was at least a little warm. Paul followed me out, begging for a fidgit. I emailed his teacher to ask what was appropriate, then tried to convince him he could go to class and I'd talk to her about it later (we have a parent-teacher conference with her this afternoon). That didn't convince him either. Nor did a phone call from his dad (the absent-minded professor, who set an alarm for this morning for a 5 am meeting that's happening Friday, and then forgot his computer charger). I finally bribed Paul with a cup of coffee. That worked. On the way into the office he offhandedly reminded me I hadn't signed a permission slip he needed that day.
So much drama.