It recently came to my attention - aka I got in trouble by the principal - that Daisy had 16 tardies to school in a quarter. I knew she was late because I was there, but I didn’t realize there were so many times.
For us, morning isn’t just a time of day; it's a journey with fire-breathing dragons and damsels in distress. The kids are still adjusting to the divorce. Violet said recently, “I jus wanna be a reguwar famwe.” I told her there’s no such thing as regular, and even if there was, we are every bit as regular as the next family.
Violet is still struggling with the realization that there have to be kindergartens in this world, and she only gets dinner with her mama twice a week. Sometimes, morning is all we’ve got. I have decided I’d rather be a few minutes late than scream at Violet until my eyeballs pop out of my head while she curls up on the floor, civil disobedience style, refusing to get dressed. When I'm dealing with Violet, Daisy pauses from fighting with her sister just long enough to stand in as her defense attorney or counsel me on my approach.
And that’s my cue to remind Daisy that she is the daughter and therefore not responsible for defending or parenting her sister. I am all about nipping that codependent tendency in the bud, and it brings out the wild-eyed mother lectures, “You are the kid. Give it up! Hand it over! You are NOT responsible for taking care of the family!”
On one tense morning, Daisy stormed out of the car when we arrived to school, refusing to speak to me. Later, her teacher expressed concern that she came to class so upset and unable to work. Overall, Daisy is doing much better – academically and socially. We just haven’t mastered our morning routine, and when I say we, I mean Violet. Which really means it’s all my fault.
So I told the girls the principal is watching us and we are in trouble, starting many a paranoid discussion of when the principal might be able to see them and how. It’s helping – we’ve been getting to school on time.