Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lesson Learned

A scene from my car, circa a few weeks ago:

"Why are you wearing those soccer shorts?!?!  Those aren't the right shorts!" I screeched at Lily, as I turned the car around to head home in search of the 'right' pair of soccer shorts.   I had discovered that she wasn't wearing the 'right' shorts for soccer practice just as we pulled in to the parking lot at the soccer field.  As we drove home, I lectured Lily for the umpteenth time about personal responsibility.  Don't you know the right shorts to wear to soccer practice?  Yes. Then why did you wear the ones you have on which clearly are NOT the right shorts?  I don't know. Awesome.

After we secured the right pair of shorts and started the trek back to the soccer field, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Lily pulling on her tie dye soccer socks.  "Why are you wearing those socks?!?!  Those aren't the right socks!"   Yes, she knew that she needed the other socks and no, she didn't know why she didn't bring them.  Again, awesome.  Back to the house for the second time to get the correct socks.  After two return trips home, Lily was finally wearing the 'right' outfit and I dropped her off at soccer practice.

Why didn't I just let her go to practicing wearing the wrong gear, you ask?  Well, that's because the very same day as all the parents from our team had received a strongly worded letter from the team mom stating that our girls were not wearing the 'right' practice outfit and from here on out, the league would be fining the teams for each new offense.  I was NOT going to be the mom that ignored the email and brought my kid with the wrong uniform the very day the email was way.  I suppose I could have plead ignorance and said I hadn't checked my email yet, but alas, I am a rule follower at heart and have known since the beginning of the season that they needed to wear a practice uniform, which Lily had dutifully worn EVERY practice so far.

Anyway, the whole point of that story is to illustrate that situations like that are a common occurrence in our house, with both Lily and even Violet.  I am forever running around to drop off forgotten lunch boxes, money for lab fees, soccer cleats, soccer shorts, water bottles, book reports, school goes on and on and on.  Lectures on personal responsibility are a dime a dozen around here.  I am firmly of the belief that at the ripe old age of 14 and 11, Violet and Lily are old enough to take some responsibility for making sure they are prepared for school and sports.  

Don't get me wrong, I do my fair share of following them out the door asking if they have everything they need while they roll their eyes and say that yes, they do - only to call me in an hour and say they need me to drop something off in the school office.  That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to think they can get out the door on time with the required materials in hand, whether it's a lunch box, homework or sports gear, especially when I specifically check with both of them Every. Single. Night to make sure lunches are packed, homework is done, uniforms are clean, permissions slips are signed, etc.  Even still, I get a frantic call or text at least once or twice a week asking me to drop off forgotten items.

Today was one of those days.  My phone signaled an incoming text and it was Violet, asking me to drop off her culinary jacket in the school office.  Said jacket was currently crumpled up in a ball on her closet floor.  This was the same jacket I had spied earlier while gathering laundry from her hamper and thought to myself "Hmm, I wonder if she needs that?"  Turns out, she needed it and was asking me to bring it to the school posthaste.

After not very much a lot of deliberation, I decided that  TODAY was the day that I would teach her a lesson.  I texted her back that I was sorry, but I would not drop her jacket off in the school office and she would have to deal with the consequences of not having it and hopefully that would make her remember it next time.  After a moment or two of parental guilt about the fact that I was not coming to the rescue of my precious little snowflake, I actually took an odd sort of glee in the fact that there FINALLY would be some consequences to all the forgetfulness around here and she would learn her lesson.  She never responded back so I can only guess that was was none too pleased with my response.

When I picked Violet up from soccer practice after school, we were talking about her day and I asked her if she got in trouble for not having her jacket for culinary class.  I was anticipating that she might say she got points taken off her assignment that day, or she had to do extra credit to make it up, something to that effect.  She's in high school, they're tougher on high school kids in those situations, right?  What she actually said was "Nope, we just got a new teacher for that class this week so she let it slide."

Well, okay then.  Somebody learned a lesson today, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Violet.


  1. I imagine when my kids get older and start texting, I'll be going through the same thing.

  2. Less stress on you to let them take the consequences (which sometimes happen)


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