Well this morning was unlike any morning we've had since she's started school. She fought me at every turn this morning. I always try to give her 10- and 5-minute warnings as we go along. I've found that if she knows what to expect, she is more cooperative when the time comes to perform a task.
"Abby, it's almost time to get dressed. Just a few more minutes." I said.
"NO! I want to sit on the couch and watch tv!" she screamed.
What? Where did this come from?!
"Abby, it's time to get dressed." I said.
"NOOOOO!!!" she screamed, throwing her toy across the room and herself on the floor.
"It's time to get dressed. 1..... 2..... 3." I said, taking a deep breath.
The 1-2-3 count works like a charm in our house. It's as if it has some magnetic pull and resistance is futile. Back when the 1-2-3 method was first introduced in our house, if Abby didn't come at the count of "3" I went and got her. There was no "3.5" or "4". For instance, if I say "3" and she isn't standing in front of me, that means that I am going over immediately, picking her up and dressing her. End of story. With proper execution, the 1-2-3 count can be brilliant!
So back to this morning. She screamed "NOOOO!!!" at every menial task that must be done in the morning. You can imagine that how much fun I was having. (Perhaps now would be a good time to let you know that I am fluent in sarcasm.)
Now I'm used to Abby not wanting to do what she is told, but usually she can be talked into it knowing that school is the reward. But today, and it broke my heart, as I was putting on her jacket, she looked up at me with tear filled eyes and without screaming (for the first time this morning) said, "Wanna stay home." Ugh! I wanted to keep her home with me and snuggle on the couch watching cartoons all day! But instead I said, "Honey, you GET to go to school! School is a privilege. It will be so much fun. All of your friends are there."
This is my new thing. School is a privilege. It's not something we have to do. It's something we GET to do. How fortunate are we in this country?!! Sure, I can gripe about the quality of our schools (cough-Idaho-cough) but we get to go to school. And it's even more spectacular that Abby gets to go to school. There are plenty of countries where girls aren't allowed to go to school, let alone a little girl with special needs. We are really and truly blessed.
I'm so thankful for Abby's teachers and her school. I'm confident that Abby will have a bright future, with teachers and teacher's assistants along the way who care for her and care about her education. And I will be there every step of the way, reminding her of the privilege she is blessed with, and reminding them of the importance of their job and how much they are appreciated.
Now let me remind you that I am not a perfect parent. I lost my cool once this morning and told her to "shut up" rather than "be quiet" during a particularly aggravating scream.
Most of the morning, what I was really tempted to
"Shut up and quit yer screamin'!
Get your butt dressed and get on that bus!
Mommies' got a nap to take and a blog to write!"
But I tried really, really hard to use encouraging words.
And this morning, I did a pretty good job.
In the end, so did Abby. She whined a little bit when she saw the bus, but she sucked it up and had a smile for the bus driver.
I hope she has a good day at school.