Bless the Beasts and the Children—Even When the Children Are Beasts

Today, my daughter’s late arrival to preschool came courtesy of Mr. Grumposaurus, our almost-six-year-old. He couldn’t brush his teeth. He couldn’t put on his shoes. His motor skills had degraded to the point that he couldn’t even muster the strength to pull on his coat.

“Let’s go!” I exhorted him. (This is the worst thing to say to a child when you want them to go.)

He dawdled. He goldbricked. He malingered.

“We’ve got to get down to the car so your sister’s not late to preschool,” I said.

He flipped his wig. (It’s a bright pink glam rock wig.) “I WANT TO WALK!”

I explained that due to him literally fighting with me about everything he needed to do all morning, we didn’t have time to walk and we’re quickly running out of time to drive.

An aside–it was at this point that his sister noticed her Anna-from-Frozen doll’s shoes and decided Anna needed to come with us. She was of the opinion that Dad should go get the doll. When I found out Anna was still upstairs, sleeping, I said we didn’t have time and that I would wake her and bring her for pickup. So as we started down to the car the refrain went like this: I WANT TO WALK–I WANT ANNA–I WANT TO WALK–ANNA NEEDS HER SHOES ON.

Our youngest son is in the 90th percentile for weight. I was carrying him. I tried to go around the lamenters, which resulted in new screams about not waiting for them, being rude, etc.

The big guy refused to get in the car because he wanted to walk. I put the baby in his car seat. The big guy now had a new grievance– he wanted to get in first. (Fortunately my daughter had self-regulated by this point and was just watching her older brother with a slack jawed expression of disbelief.)

The oldest finally got in, but refused to take his coat off. Then he was upset that his harness was too tight.

Despite it all, we were only a minute late. I tried to explain to my son how on a long enough timeline, all of this stuff becomes pretty insignificant. It was his turn to stare, slack jawed, at me. Finally he bellowed that he was tired.

And now he’s sitting beside me, building with his Legos and happily chattering away about which pieces go where and what he’s building. And now I’M tired.

Bless the beasts and the children, indeed.

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