This week didn't run as smoothly for the kids as last week. Nothing earth shattering, just not smooth. Isaac mistakenly went to the wrong class, but everybody has to do that once. He also took a spill off of his bike. You know how they say most accidents happen close to home? Yup, it was just up the block. He really enjoys ridding his bike to school. The independence has already done him good, I see him trying things on his own and taking responsibility more. When he came home Thursday he was obviously attempting to break the sound barrier (which is fine on an empty bike trail), but when he exited the trail into our neighborhood he didn't slow down. He went down the incline to fast, kicked the pedal backward to hard and derailed his bike chain. His bike flipped over, he tore his pants and skinned his knee.
He was shaken up, his pants are unsalvageable and his chain needed to be reattached, but otherwise he's fine. If Mike and I weren't 100% confident in his ability to get to and from school he wouldn't be ridding his bike. We know he can do this safely on his own. He's blessed to live so close to his school and have a bike trail from our neighborhood that runs part of the way to school. We live in a great neighborhood that's always abuzz with families walking to and from the elementary school and even though I don't know everyone's names, I know we all look out for each other's kids.
Once Isaac was cleaned up with Neosoporin on his scraps we had a serious talk about bike safety. I told him to think of it this way "You can drive 70mph down the highway for miles and miles, but when you hit the exit ramp if you don't slow your car down to 40mph you can hurt or kill someone or yourself." He fixed and tested his bike chain this morning by himself (and was beaming with pride). We discussed bike safety again this morning (with Mike this time) and made a concrete plan for where to meet us if it's raining to hard to bike home. I think that overturned bike and scrapped knee were a good reality check. I'm certainly proud of him for not giving up on ever ridding a bike again (as he would have in his younger days), but viewing it instead as a learning experience. I told him "It was caused by your bad decision, which is great news because it means you can prevent it from ever happening again." I don't think he realized how grown up he's becoming until he got a chance to dust himself off from that spill.
Miss Roo's week wasn't all sunshine and roses either. She was out of sorts most mornings this week. A fire drill during nap earlier in the week (thanks guys!) brought us the night of 100 meltdowns and threw off her schedule. She's been cranky, mean and not herself. Thursday morning was by far the worst. She refused to get up. Then she didn't want to get dressed and then her breakfast was all wrong. There were tears over the way I did her hair and not letting her bring toys to school. When we were ready to get in the car I had to enlist Mike to carry her kicking and complaining to her car seat because she wanted to play on the computer before school (that has NEVER been allowed for either kid). We chatted on the way to school and I tried all my usual tricks: made sure she had her listening ears on, asked her to throw bad attitude away, talked to her about all the fun things she was going to do, and even sang a song. When we got to school she had a fit in the parking lot (so embarrassing). I was sure she would get to her classroom and be all smiles (it had never failed before). Instead she had to be coaxed into the room for several minutes at which time she laid down on the floor and did her best Gandalf impression.
I hugged her and encouraged her to make good choices. I was completely certain that my leaving would inspire better behavior. For the most part she did alright from what I hear, but she had a bad note at the end of the day. It said "She had a lot of trouble cleaning up." That was a surprise because obviously she knows the drill and is usually a great helper. Then one of her friends told me she was crying during outside time. Riley claimed that she "missed Mommy." At the end of the school day on the playground? Nope, don't think so. One of her other friends chimed in that "It was because she said a bad word." The teacher in the room at the time wasn't the same teacher who had been on the playground with her, but she had heard about it. Roo and her buddy were trading silly insults "cheese buggers", etc and Roo apparently called out "ass". I imagine that it got quite a reaction from her friend and she repeated it to the delight/horror of her classmates. She was taken aside by the teacher who addressed how inappropriate the language was at which point Roo cried because she was afraid the teacher would tell me what she said.
Having gotten to the bottom of things I am certain she was overtired all day. I'm a little stunned that she used that word at all, but she was very rational about it on the way home. I suggested silly things to call our friends like "cotton headed ninny muggins" or "silly gilly gumble" and reminded her that no game that hurts someone's feelings is a good idea. That even if she didn't mean to hurt someone's feelings that's not a nice word and it isn't allowed at school. She chimed in saying "Yeah, no potty words at school." I explained that no one is allowed to use language like that at school not the parents, not the teachers, nobody. Then I asked her if she's ever heard a princess say that word. She hadn't and we agreed if princesses don't say it Roo shouldn't either.
Just like with her brother I wanted her to recognize her poor choices and then learn and move on. We didn't dwell on it after that conversation and I made a point of getting her to bed early that night. This morning she was herself again. Bubbly and reasonable (for an almost 5yr old). She promised to help clean up and only use nice words at school today.
To my independent, problem solving children: these are just bumps in the road, they won't be the last. I'm proud of you.