Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A Harrowing Tale of Halloweeny Preschool Chaos
This morning was an adventure in motherhood to be sure. The details are so mundane, that it's amazing they had our hearts pumping. The lesson is that as mom, my job is to help my kid grow in confidence while also helping him learn to deal with disappointment and make the most of situations with the resources on hand.
Today was the trifecta of preschool chaos: Halloween parade to dress for, last minute face paint to purchase, and throwing the class party with a toddler in tow. We left 30 minutes ahead of schedule after no less than five dashes back in the door to pick up the last bits for the party and snag a diaper and wipes for Matthew, whom I forgot to change when he woke up. I called two Rite Aids on the road to find one that still had face paint, but when we pulled into the parking lot, I discovered I'd left my wallet at home. Daniel was really bummed, as was I. There was enough time left to drive back home and grab my wallet but not enough time to get back to the store before school started. We talked about how it made him sad and how we could still do face paint for tonight's festivities. I apologized and he forgave me, and we talked about how I might have some tricks at home to still make him look appropriately spooky.
So we dashed back home, I grabbed my wallet and then dumped the contents of my makeup kit into my sink and fished out some mascara and dark brown eye shadow. I then rushed back to the car and applied the shadow on his eyes, nose and cheeks, letting him check it out in the mirror. He wasn't impressed, but accepted that it was as good as we could do for the morning. We drove off, and all the while I was begging Matthew to please stop whining for box of cookies, as they were for Daniel's class party. I say begging, but I yelled as we drove down Wade Avenue. I took a breath, and Daniel and I laughed about how I was letting Matthew drive me absolutely batty. We got to school just five minutes late, where I applied mascara around his mouth. No doubt face washing will be brutal tonight!
After Daniel's class put on their parade and singalong, they headed outside for pictures. My poor kid looked like death shivering in his bones and hollow eyes. Bones pajamas are NOT warm, so Matthew and I ran back to the car to find a flannel shirt and vest before Daniel headed to the playground. Matthew and I then finally headed up to Daniel's empty class and got his diaper changed, which he later pooped in during the party (every party has a pooper, right?), and Daniel's class returned for story time and the craft and snacks we brought. Daniel was so proud to be the snack helper as he handed out cookies and juice, and he was even more proud when he pulled up a chair for his kid brother to join him. The kids had a wonderful time and thanked us for the goodies.
As mom, you don't win every time. Your kids will be disappointed at times - and it will be your fault. You do the best you can with what you have, and you accept that sometimes life is just going to be a little crazy. Your job is to help reframe perspective, keep your cool, not drive too fast, and help the kids laugh and feel safe again after you snap. Of course, add several heaping doses to grace on top and don't forget to ask for forgiveness and ACCEPT it when it is given to you. Happy Halloween!