As love and logic parents, we try to make our kids responsible for their own things and their own behavior. When Stephen started Kindergarten, as a first time school Mommy, I did my duty to REMEMBER for Stephen: Don’t forget your backpack! Here’s your lunch!
I dutifully put his library book in his bag on Thursdays and his reading folder and homework in his backpack on Fridays. After all, how is a poor little 5 year old to remember all these things himself? And then…along came twins… *cue Jaws theme song*
When the babies were 5 days old, Stephen went to school on Thursday without his library book (somehow, it slipped my mind…don’t know why). When he came home from school, he said, “Mommy! You forgot to put my library book in my bag! I couldn’t check out a new book! Don’t do that again!”
Egads! Mommy forgot!? Mommy’s fault!? Good, sweet, kind, exhausted Mommy, who put your things in your bag all year and forgot ONE TIME (with 2 very good reasons) and she gets blamed!?
I have been failing my love and logic skills! No more! As a good L & L mom should, I sighed and said, “Stephen, I’m sorry. You’re right, I’ve been messing up by putting your book in your bag all year. I won’t do that anymore. From now on, it’s your job to remember your book.” And I smiled, and patted him on the head. Suddenly, magically, the next week, he knew what day it was and when he needed his library book.
But kind, considerate Mommy still put his lunch, homework, and reading folder in his backpack…
And now, FIRST GRADE. I have decided to stop helicoptering Stephen and allow him to be responsible for his own things (plus I seriously can’t remember all these things for him–I have twins now!). No lunch? Forgot your homework? Forgot your library book? Bummer.
Except old habits die hard! On Monday morning, I knew Stephen’s library book was in the baby’s room, and not in his backpack. I bit my tongue, sure he would forget it…until I heard little feet clomping up the stairs to retrieve the book. *sigh of relief*
After school that day, he did his homework but then left it on the kitchen table, where it later got thrown in a pile on the island.
The next morning, I watched Stephen zip up his backpack, put on his shoes, and get ready to walk out the door. His red homework folder sat on the island, screaming to me, “Don’t forget me! I’m right here! Can’t forget Stephen’s homework!”
I asked innocently, “Stephen, do you have everything you need for school?”
“Yup,” he said.
Ahhh….the siren song of the forgotten folder continued…I’m right here…don’t forget!
“Um…are you sure? Maybe you should look and make sure?”
“Well, ok…” *looks in his bag*
“My homework folder!” *grabs folder and runs out the door*
Phew! Tragedy avoided! I’m so proud! He remembered his homework all by himself!
*cough, cough, ack, ack*
Mmmm…alright, fine, FINE, I hear you groaners out there, I see your eyeballs rolling around in your head…OK, I admit, maybe he didn’t remember all by himself. He may have been a little bit prompted. I’ll do better and totally bite my tongue off next time, I swear.
The real test is coming: can I let my baby forget his lunch?? Or his backpack entirely? We shall see…we’ll probably have the answer by Friday…