Losing my cool – a study in imperfect parenting

A happy moment on the school run with CutiePyeGirl

Happier moments on the school run with CutiePyeGirl

The morning school run can be a most dreaded experience. It’s certainly not something I anticipated would be such a big part of my life. In America, people generally don’t walk to school, the ubiquitous yellow school bus doing away with parents needing to deposit their children at school each day. Not so in Britain, where the School Run is an institution. A daily time of sweet engagement with one’s offspring. Right? Or, as the case this week, meltdowns. And that’s not even the behavior of the kids.

Yep, I lost my patience yesterday and today. Yesterday with PyelotBoy, and today with CutiePyeGirl. Autonomy is important to PyelotBoy; he doesn’t like to be told what to do, and being instructed to wear a coat on a rainy morning can make life spiral downwards. Today CutiePyeGirl decided that she’s outgrown her Princess scooter and now will be laughed at by her friends, so using said scooter for the mile walk to school was a tear-filled experience, amplified by her stepping in poo and scooting through a massive puddle, with ramifications on both counts.

My daughter isn’t too old yet to reject the idea of me giving her a huge hug and whispering a prayer in her ear once we got through the school gates (phew, on time even with the challenges). I hope she’ll shake off the trials of the morning, as my son did yesterday (he seemed fine mid-morning when I dropped off the forgotten piano books – another sign of us not being on the ball). I know she’s tired; we’re nearing the half-term break, which we all seem to need during this busy autumn.

But as I think about this week and the school run, I sigh and ask God to forgive me for losing my cool with the kids. What do I need to do differently? How can I reign in my tongue? How can I impart fun and creative memories of this time I have with my kids? A season I know will soon pass. As I consider this season before God, I think of how he’s the perfect parent, never losing his cool with me. I’m grateful for that, and pray that I can pass along some of his divine love to my family.

So how about you? Do you do the school run, and if so, what tips do you have for making it a creative, happy experience? How do you keep your cool when you’re tired, not wanting to be late, and knowing your hair is going crazy in the mist?

2 Responses

  1. Oh Amy I totally relate to this! Today’s experience was not a good one. With school being over the other side of town we have to drive, and the traffic is getting worse and worse – today it was absolutely appalling. We leapt out of the car as we were nearing the time gates close, rushed down so my eldest could meet up with her friends to walk through the lower gate. I have to walk my son round to the top to deposit him at his reception classroom door. As we were speed walking/jogging I nonchalantly asked him if he still had his batman truck for show and tell. There followed utter meltdown and we finished the rest of the journey with floods of tears. There was no time to go back to the car (which has to be parked a good 5 minute walk away) but I was at a loss to know what to do. Do I explain that he needs to learn about the fact that it is his responsibility to remember the item? (But he’s only 4 years old!!) I didn’t dare suggest I would go back and get it as a)the teachers may not want me to and b)I had loads of work to get on with. But then the teaching assistant met him with a smile and told me it was fine to bring it back. So I walked back to the car, collected it, then walked back to school, all the while fighting with my instincts to be annoyed at the loss of working time, reminding myself I was being a kind parent. I insisted on handing the said item over to my son in person as I’d left him still so upset. The look on his face when he walked to the office, seeing me waiting for him there? Priceless. 🙂 But yes, a somewhat stressful morning!

  2. Claire, thank you for sharing your story of the morning. You will remember that priceless smile forever, much more than the writing or editing you accomplished today. Still, I know what an internal battle it can be when you see your work time being eroded…

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