Small Victories, Baby, Small Victories

Sometimes I think I must be the most obtuse person in the universe.

A little background. Darling daughter started public high school this year, after several years at a 2-days-per-week program 12 miles away. Twice a week, I drove her and picked her up. Had to. No other option. This year, we started by having her ride the bus. School is one mile away. That lasted a week because there wasn’t time to get her stuff after school and get to the bus in time. Without thinking it through, I said, “Hey, I’ll take you and pick you up.”

Here’s what I forgot. Darling husband is rarely here at going to school time, so KEPLER and I take her to school. Does Kepler enjoy this process? No, he most certainly does not. He has shown his displeasure many a morning by refusing to budge. He’s a strong kid, and it takes both me and DD to hold him (gently!) by the upper arms, and perp walk him to the car.

Isn’t it Steven Covey who first emphasized the power of being proactive? I finally got proactive yesterday.

Kepler needed to understand what I was asking him for. I was waiting around for him to catch on, and wake up one morning, and say, “Mother, I now see that it is futile for me to be so obstinate about taking big sister to school. I’ll be right with you as soon as I complete my morning ablutions. It won’t be a problem anymore.” Ooh, good plan there, mom.

See, obvious, like I told you.

But, poor kid, before I got specific and slowed down enough to explain it, he was in a whirlwind of activity every morning, usually me looking for my glasses. And then my keys. And my shoes. And his shoes. (another thing to be proactive about, obviously).

First try had me explaining that I wanted him to cooperate, but I didn’t make it very clear what that meant.

Our first trial run was yesterday afternoon on the way to speech therapy. He was doing well, until he determined that me placing his unfinished cup of milk into the refrigerator was decidedly unwelcome and should not be tolerated. FINALLY we got into the car, but I decided he hadn’t been cooperative enough. Which then made me realize that I had to get really specific.

So, I explained that I wanted him to cooperate and I explained exactly what cooperation is. In this case, it’s simple: put on your shoes, put on your jacket, walk to the car, when asked. Such cooperation earns the privilege of listening to the Frozen soundtrack (for the 87 millionth time).

After speech therapy, he COOPERATED. This morning, he COOPERATED. This afternoon, he COOPERATED. I guess I cooperated, too, by making it possible for him to be successful!

Small victory, but trés, trés sweet.

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