This morning K and I had a fight. When I dropped her off at school, she was very angry with me. She wouldn’t speak to me or even look at me.
A little background: we got about 8 inches of new snow last night. I can remember loving new snow. It’s not quite so charming when you’re the one responsible for driving in it and removing it. So when we got up this morning my main mission was to shovel our driveway. I made sure the girls got dressed and would get breakfast, then let them pick from several pre-approved, pre-recorded shows to watch while I proceeded to add another notch to the chiropractor’s belt (if I had one, anyway).
Shoveling took me about an hour. Luckily for me, it was a light snow, but there was still a lot of it. I was wet with both snow and sweat when I came back inside, about 15 minutes before we needed to leave to get K to school (and then B, and then me to work!). There were cereal bar wrappers all over the couch, no one’s hair was combed and feet had socks, but no shoes. I went into commando mode, barking out things that needed to be done. Teeth weren’t brushed either, and K still had a backpack to pack. And she went into la-la-land…..I took B upstairs to brush her teeth, then I changed into dry clothes and made myself slightly more presentable. When I got back downstairs, K was still lolly-gagging in the bathroom, never having even taken the cap off the toothpaste.
I started to get a wee bit angry.
We did make it out of the house, but there was a lot of yelling and frustration on my part. While I will admit I maybe shouldn’t have belabored everything quite as much as I did, I’m still perplexed by her complete withdrawal from the tasks at hand, none of which are any different than what we do every other day of the week. I kept reminding her that she is almost 7 years old (next month!).
When I dropped her off at school she would not meet my eyes, and proudly, angrily marched into the building, without a smile, wave or blown kiss. It hurt, but I knew she was upset, and I can’t say she didn’t have some right to it.
I thought about her all day.
When I picked her up at the after school program today she said, “When I was walking down the hall to my classroom I had a bad thought. I thought, what if I never see you again and the last feeling I had was to be angry at you?” The tears leapt to my eyes – I think I wiped them away before she saw.
Oh, baby, I’m sorry about this morning too. Let’s make it a great night. And it was.
Mary Margaret informed her daddy today that I was mean because I keep trying to put my Charlie Brown ornaments back on the windowsill when she would prefer to have them in her stocking hanging on the banister. I guess there will always be days we make them angry. But I think her remark is remarkably insightful of an almost-7-year-old. A lot of grownups wouldn’t have thought of it.