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Thursday, October 28, 2010

What is worth $10?

The bus for the middle school came and went. I heard it from my office downstairs. I knew J was still asleep. Here we go again. I called the school and talked to the attendance-line voicemail and said that J overslept and missed the bus AGAIN and would be walking this time. I said that I didn't know when he would get there.

At 7:15 a.m., I went upstairs to make a cup of tea and noticed that K had woken himself up and was in the bathroom. I opened J's door and said, "Are you planning on going to school today?" He seemed somewhat awake but not really, and said rather groggily, "Yeah." I said, "Well, you've missed your bus and you're walkin'!" The anguished cry that came out of his mouth was almost heartbreaking, but I had to stand firm and hold my ground. He cried, "NO!!!!!!" but I walked away and went back downstairs.

A little bit later, K hollered down the stairs, "I guess J didn't have a poptart today." I yelled back, "No, that's because he didn't wake up. He's in his room crying because he missed the bus." Maybe I shouldn't have said that, but it was the truth.

Around 7:45 I heard the front door open and close and I ran upstairs, knowing it was J going off to school. I knew he didn't take his meds, so I opened the door and found him on the porch. I asked him if he took his meds and he said he hadn't. I said, "You need to take those." He came back inside, took them, and went back out the door. I said to him, "Run."

You may be asking yourself, 'what does the subject line of this post have to do with being late for school?' Earlier in the week, J missed the bus and had to pay his dad $5 for a ride. I told J that I would take him if he paid me $10. Yes, $10. I work and driving him to school would take 30 minutes out of my day and I figure that's a good rate for me missing work. So, the way I figure it, either J didn't want to part with his remaining $10 in his wallet or he just forgot about that offer. He didn't bother trying to coax me into driving him. I think he knew he had blown it by turning off his alarm and going back to sleep. Maybe he'll learn a lesson.

Monday, October 25, 2010


We are teaching our 13 y.o. about responsibility. In fact, he is "learning" about it in his Health class, but I don't think he really knows what the word "responsibility" means.

Last night, before bedtime, we were discussing a Parent Gram that comes home each week from the Health teacher. This discussion took place between my husband, our son and I. The Parent Gram is a sheet of paper that tells what is being taught in the current lesson. There are questions the parent can ask the child that pertain to the lesson. One of these was, "What does responsibility mean to you?" When our son was asked this question last night, his answer was, "Knowing you have to get stuff done and you do it." He's 13. I guess that's what he thinks it means.

This morning, as I type this, it is just about 7 a.m. My son should be on the school bus. Instead, he is asleep. He has yet to wake up. I reckon he'll awake suddenly, look at the clock on his nightstand, burst into tears and run downstairs to tell me he just woke up. I know this will happen because it has happened before. Usually my husband is home and is able to take J to school if he misses the bus, but today I am here with just two sleeping children.

My husband and I once decided to make J walk to school if he missed the bus. First of all, the school is several miles away and the road to the school is not safe during commuter hours. There are no street lights. There is no sidewalk. We then decided that if J missed the bus, my husband would drive him IF J would fork over $5 to cover gas, time, etc. I thought that would end the missed-bus scenarios, but no. Here we are again, today.

So, you see, we are teaching responsibility to my teenager. I cannot wait until I can explain to him that being responsible means waking up on time and getting to your bus stop on time. It means not being dependant on other people to get you where you need to go.

In ten minutes, I need to wake my other child if he does not wake up on his own. He is eight and in third grade and has the exact same alarm clock as his brother and, guess what? It DOES work and it DOES get set and my little man wakes up most days on his own because he had the forethought to set the alarm the night before! Now, if only his big brother would think like that!