This morning was rough. I was up all night back and forth between kids with various middle of the night needs, so when my alarm went off, I was already not in the best mood, but I’m an adult, so I trudged on. I made breakfast and woke up the kids, Alice was less then great waking up, and even after giving her an extra five minutes I had to carry her out to eat her breakfast.
We have a tight schedule here on school mornings, wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed and out the door. Usually I leave a little wiggle room so when they’re dragging their feet we’ll still leave on time, but today they seemed to be dragging their feet through the mud, up to their knees. So, when it was time to get dressed and I saw Alice hadn’t even taken one single bite of food I lost it a little. I used my meanest mean mom voice and told her if she wasn’t done eating in 5 minutes when it was time to leave, she would have to go to school with out breakfast, and that was that. Alice was upset but still slightly defiant because, you know, she’s six. So, she begrudgingly ate her food but as slow as possible, while staring at me. I grabbed her toothbrush and clothes for the day and got her ready right as she finished eating but the damage had been done. She was upset with me and I wasn’t very happy with her at the moment either.
I know this isn’t a huge deal, and I’m sure these little arguments happen to every mom, every day, but I also know having a bad morning can completely ruin anyone’s whole day. So, as we got into the car and I buckled her in I gave her a kiss on the forehead and asked, “Can we have a do-over?” She nodded and smiled.
We started “do-overs” last year, probably for the same sort of situation. If one of us is having a bad day and yells, or has decided they don’t want to listen, or has just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and has been a jerk all day, we call for a do-over. I want both my kids to know what is expected out of them, but I also want them to know that our family is a safe place where they’re allowed to be themselves. We have all been overly emotional at one point or another, and this one little thing let’s us take a breath and reset to where we should be instead of continuing with bad behavior and ending up with a junky day all around.