Those drives

10 Feb

Sadly , it takes seeing a bad example in front of you to learn what not to do.

As I pretty much do child pick up and and drop off 95 percent of the time, I am the first one to accept I have good days and bad days on these drives .

My mood at drop off is largely dependent on whether we are on time or not and how Bandar behaved as a whole in the mornings. Case in point today morning when she refused to even try a tomato cheese uttampam I had slaved over the stove for, I immediately brought in orphaned children with no one to cook for them into the picture. In today’s case we hugged and kissed before we left the house and the drive to school was full of pleasantries.But a few days ago, the drive was not so pleasant as I was reprimanding Bandar for something silly she had done at home in the process of getting ready . So she listened quietly to me all the way there and then burst into tears as we got to school saying we had wasted the drive discussing the bad deed that she had done  and had missed out on spotting Groundhogs which she had been excited about for months – being Groundhog Day that day ( Feb 2).So then I had to hug and sooth her in the parking lot and carry a 35 lb teary eyed child and all her paraphernalia into her classroom , only to say goodbye 1 minute later. I longed to check in on her through the day but of course it sounded silly to call up her school to ask if she was okay. But I vowed to make our morning drives atleast breezy and fun after that.

Evening drives home on the whole are better. There has been one incident when Bandar was pissed off with the snack I got her and kicked up a fuss that also involved actually kicking me and that led to me taking away the snack altogether and being very angry with her all the way home and her screaming bloody murder in the backseat.Needless to say she has never kicked me after after that incident or even voiced more than a mild unhappiness at an undesirable-to- her treat . So I have no qualms with the way that incident transpired at all.I would have been a bad mother if I hadn’t corrected behavior then and there.But with that one exception, our evening drives are more relaxed and we usually engage in conversation about our day as I drive her home. 

 Witnessing an incident related to another child and mother pick up situation at Bandar’s school this week, I realized yet again how important it is to make these drives pleasant and leave all reprimanding to be dealt with at home if one can. This is given of course that the issue can wait and doesnt need immediate course correction in those 15 minutes behind the wheel.

Bandar has a girl called K in her class. K is definitely more than a little mean to the others. She taught Bandar the word “spank” and threatened to give her a good dose of it too during a simple imaginary game of “family” when Bandar was the child and K was the parent. So it is safe to assume K has picked up the word and associated action at home. More recently, Bandar proudly told me to “shut up” and on prodding told me that K had taught her that. On the whole though , from what Bandar tells me K is better this year than she was last year . This week however at pick up one day , I noticed K’s mom having a serious conversation with the principal of the school, undoubtedly about something that K had done. The mom than ended the conversation,walked into the classroom, picked up K without a smile and headed out to the car. K followed sadly asking her mom about five times in 30 seconds if she was mad with her. Her mom simply told her she would see.And then the car door shut and I couldn’t eavesdrop anymore .

I thought about K a lot that evening , I wondered if what she had done had been that egregiously notorious. It probably wasn’t from what Bandar told me about K in fact being really nice recently atleast to Bandar. But it had been serious enough to warrant a conversation with the principal . K’s sad eyes which are usually mischievously glinting had had such a forlorn , beeseeching look about them that I couldn’t help wondering if Bandar looked and felt the same when I wasn’t in my best mood at pick up or drop off. I wonder how I would have handled it if I had been K’s mom. I would have been upset after my talk with the principal no doubt but would I have walked on without looking or listening to my pleading child. Experience tells me I would have been equally cold at that point and would have probably handled it the same or even worse.I have very very low tolerance for bad behavior in a four year old child.But seeing this incident as an outsider, reminded me to take that deep breathe next time , try to make the reunion after 9 hours apart happy each day and save the actual conversation on behavior if possible for the home.

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3 Responses to “Those drives”

  1. anisnest February 12, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    how I miss these pick up routine.. Ever since we moved to this home M does both drop off and pick up and I am missing it badly. I love that moment when the kids runs to you to hug during pick up.. As you mentioned that reunion after 9 hours is very special.. I so miss them 😦

  2. Meena February 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Dont be so had on yourself, pop. Kids are the most forgiving of people. They will remember only your love and will not hold you to your anger.

  3. Meena February 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    *hard

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