I have depended so much on my hubby lately. He's been taking Jackson to and from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's helped tremendously, particularly in the mornings. It's only a 15 minute drive, but then I'd actually have to get out of the car and be seen by people. And I'm not really sure I'm fit to drive so early in the morning.
Today Curtis not only took Jackson to school, but he also offered to come home for the lunch hour and chill with Annabeth so I could join my mom and co-workers at Panera. How sweet! I took him up on it and had a great time with the girls. Then I thought I should buck up and try my first school pickup with the baby in tow. I really haven't wanted to take her in at such a young age. Can you imagine all the germs floating around in that air? *Shudder* And February has to be the worst month for the flu, RSV, and stomach viruses. I mean, everyone we know is or has just been sick.
I got baby girl in the car and, of course, was running later than I had ever been. We arrived just in time. I had considered carrying her in the building in my sling, but opted for the stroller because of outfit issues. I draped a light blanket over her infant carrier to be her force field from germs. That probably doesn't even work, but it made me feel better. Inside we went, visiting with my friend Renee on the way. Everything was going well at that point. I felt some butterflies because I could tell that most kids had already been picked up. I hate that feeling.
Then I arrived at Jackson's classroom. I quickly found out that the teachers began implementing a new reward system today. The little boys who obeyed the teachers well would get to take home a new Matchbox car. My little boy did not qualify for this reward. Dang. It. And he was absolutely devastated. Matchbox cars are the greatest thing in his world. So there I was, alone in public for the first time with my two children, and one of them was having the biggest meltdown of his entire life.
Meanwhile, the teachers were meeting Annabeth for the first time. What should have been a sweet moment was a blur. All I could do was think about how to keep my son from spiraling out of control before we made it to the car. Oops! Too late! Let me be clear that I LOVE his teachers and his school. And I totally understand that this reward system is great and will bear much fruit, yada, yada, yada. But oh my word, this is not going to work for us. It cannot be like this every time I pick him up. Oh, please, please, Jackson, learn to obey your teachers the first time! As much as I'd like to voice how much this system isn't going to work for us, he is the one who's going to have to change.
What seemed like ten minutes later, we finally arrived at the car. The weeping and gnashing of teeth showed no signs of stopping. Before we even got out of the parking lot, I was crying too. Not even from embarrassment or frustration. I was so sad for my boy. I know he didn't deserve a reward, but my heart hurt for him. He kept crying, "Race car at school! Race car at school!" Just picture your own kid at his or her most devastated state, and that's how Jackson was. It lasted ten more minutes until I threatened him with "rest time" once we got home and then found a suitable distraction. It may or may not have been a McFlurry. If it was, does that make me the worst mom of all time? Actually, don't answer that. I already know and I won't do it again.
So I guess today was my first taste of one of my children experiencing consequences I had no control over. My brain says he needs it, but my heart says ouch. If this works it will be so great, but if it doesn't...it's going to be a long Spring.