The worst part of each day is when I pull up to school and have to get my children out of the van. By the time we arrive there, I’ve been screaming at them for 45 minutes until my voice is hoarse.
Each day, it begins with polite requests to put on shoes and get backpacks. When these are ignored, my voice gets more stern until I’m raving and bodily dragging kids to the car in various states of undress. They weep the whole way to school and Miles makes “whale sounds” such that I can barely concentrate on my driving.
Then they refuse to get out of the van. It’s a family culture they’ve decided upon and I’m really sick of it and we are working on it.
Today, the crossing guard (who is daily witness to my horror) felt the need to tell me the kids don’t act this way when Corey drives them to school.
Hers is another voice joining the chorus of people who feel free to criticize moms, yet offer no actual assistance. It would have taken her the same amount of time to grab Oren’s hand for me while I crammed Felix into his shoes, but instead she just felt compelled to observe that my children save the worst of their behavior for me.
As usual, when I’m with my kids, I can’t take time to speak back to people like that. It’s all I can do to keep them alive and from running into traffic. And so I kept them safe. I got them shod. I talked to them about how their disrespectful, uncooperative behavior hurts my feelings and makes for a bad morning. Again and again, I remind them. Tomorrow, I’ll remind them again.
And someday, they’ll be peaceful, respectful adults. But damned if I don’t wish upon them hellfire, feral children.