Last night I was getting close to the end of my rope. Work has evolved into 12-14 hours day after day as we head into the 1st run of a new state exam. Lots o stress, lots of work to get people to the finish line. This was the work that has come in since Monday. Monday, folks. More is coming in before the weekend is out. I have not even turned on a TV in almost 2 weeks other than for the boys, not even at the beach. I'm really, really tired and am trying to just hang on 'till the end of school. Primal Scream.
I've had some interesting parent meetings and conversations of late, none of which will be discussed other than to say, "thank you to parents who do the right thing." Thank you for not defending behavior, or language, or actions that you know are blatantly wrong from your child.
Back to last night where I proclaimed to myself that if I had to go home after wasting an hour dealing with a camp sign up snafu then I was going to punch someone. I didn't even have the energy to dump a bag on a plate and schlep to the table. Ben suggested we go to Moes. Frankly I'm a Chipotle kinda gal, but the boys love the queso and chips.
The boys were horrible, especially Ian who I had to physically restrain to keep him from trying to run out the door everytime someone came in. We would have moved tabled but we already had such a mess where we were sitting. Ben headed to the bathroom where I had to eventually go and knock on the men's room door asking if he was ok.
He finally emerged saying he had an pee accident. I assured him that no one would know and once home we would take a bath and change clothes. Then he stopped me and whispered, "I was really mad so I put a bunch of soap in front of the door so some one would fall down."
As much as I wanted to put parenting on autopilot, I leaned down and said we need to walk back in and let the manager know so that someone didn't get hurt by falling. Ben protested, he started crying asking if Daddy had to know. We sat back down with Ian in my lap and quietly said that it was ok that he had an accident. It was ok to be mad and also sad that it had happened, BUT the right thing to do was to let someone know.
We found the manager (a 20 something confused looking guy.) I assure Ben that I will be beside him and want him simply to tell the manager that someone needed to check the boys bathroom as there was soap on the floor. I told Ben that he didn't have to say he was mad or why he was mad, but simply to let an adult know and that he was the one responsible for putting the soap on the floor.
Ben stammered but finally said he was sorry. He even added he was mad and that is why I did it, obviously leaving out the pee part. Once we were home, I had gotten the kids ready for bed I told Ben that I was proud of him for doing the right thing, to own up and take responsibility.
While not the huge, sweeping life and death moments of life, to me this is where you teach character and the values you want them to carry into adulthood. Sometimes one step forward leads to another in the right direction.