the great outdoors

There was a discipline incident at school yesterday. Caroline found herself a little puddle leftover from a rainstorm over the weekend and proceeded to squat and splash her hands in all its mucky muckdom. Michele told her no, redirected, and took her inside to wash her hands twice (which as Michele said only further encouraged her to splash because the little kid sized sink is by far her FAVORITE part of her classroom) before she eventually had to sit her down away from the other children for some gentle discipline. I washed her shirt last night with some of our laundry because it was brown and crusty from the dirty puddle. Yuck. I have seen Michele correct other children’s behavior and she does a great job; saying No, explaining consequences for a repeat performance, and executing the consequence without missing a beat. The consequence is usually sitting in time out alone away from the fun and the other kids. In Caroline’s case it was sitting next to Michele on the paved part of the playground away from the puddles, sand, and toys. She stayed away from the mucked up puddle after that, or so I heard.

This morning when I dropped her off she walked right over to the little table, pulled out a chair, sat down and started banging on the table for a snack. This was approximately 20 minutes after she finished scarfing down 3 blueberry mini muffins and a cup of milk and also after she pushed the very same banana she was currently gnawing on away. We are polar opposites in this regard. I am annoyingly indecisive, while she knows exactly what she wants and precisely when she wants it.

As I finished loading cups and plates into the dishwasher before we left this morning, she raced off to find Steve who was leaving to go to work after I made the mistake of saying, “Daddy’s going bye bye, go say bye to him.” He couldn’t leave the house until I retrieved her from the front door because she wanted to go with him and when he closed the door behind him the cries of anguish were heartbreaking. Sorry Steve, I think she misses you, but it was the not going outside factor that pushed her over. We zipped up her coat and waved goodbye to Daddy from the gaping open front door and I picked her up while I packed my own bag. As soon as I placed her down so I could put on my own coat she raced off to the front door and kept walking to the door to the living room, “ah da” ing as she went as if to say “hurry up Mom, outside, let’s go, c’mon, outside, aren’t you ready yet??”


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