“Mr. Smithback is taking tardies really seriously,” Ivy tells me.
I try not to roll my eyes. Mr. Smithback should try waking up the morning Clara monster. Or finding Jane pants that are pants that she will wear, not the pants she chose the night before to wear because those ones, in the morning light, will clearly not do. And he should do this all while listening to Ivy yell at everyone that we are going to be late to school.
Instead I tell Ivy what I’ve been telling her every morning that she complains about the timeliness of her sisters. “If you want to be on time you are going to have to be helpful in the morning.”
In my mind this would constitute things like not sitting in the seat that Jane always sits in knowing that it will cause her to freak out and refuse to get in the truck. That girl should learn to be flexible but we should not have flexibility lessons before 8am. Perhaps being extra nice to Clara. Clara needs to learn that when things don’t go her way it’s not, as she says, because “Everyone is being mean to mee!!!” That girl needs to learn how to handle bumps in her road but we should not attempt to teach this lesson before 8 am either. And not demanding ridiculous things of her mother. Her mother hates the morning and always has. Talking is barely acceptable, don’t make ridiculous demands that will get you yelled at by a cranky mother and cause you to stomp, pout and sit on your sisters’ jackets that they are trying to put on. I, said cranky mother, probably need anti-morning cranky lessons but, let’s be honest here, that’s not happening at any time of day.
But, “Mr. Smithback is taking tardies really seriously.” So Ivy, bless her early morning heart, made a plan.
She and her sisters packed their bags and lunches the night before and asked me to put them in the truck. Ivy lined up shoes (with socks!) and jackets before she went to bed. She woke up earlier than the rest of us to dress herself make her mother a cup of hot tea (bless her early morning heart again), start breakfast for her sisters and wake them up.
The last two mornings I’ve woken up, sat and drank my tea in relative peace while Ivy fed her sisters and then I drove them to school.
Mr. Smithback is taking tardies really seriously and I love him, and Ivy, for that.