Today I realized that in order to be a good parent to one child, I had to be a bad parent to the other one.
First, let me explain the weather. When the forecasters call for a blustery day with a wintry mix, you know the day is going to suck even before the sun feebly casts a pallid shadow over the world. Old crusty, icy snow covered in wet, heavy snow, then ice, then rain, makes for treacherous driving conditions and appalling walking conditions. Snow boots would be overkill but rain boots would require two layers of socks because the cold just seeps through. In short, it’s gross out. This is the type of weather even God uses as an excuse to curl up under the covers with a good book from Lucien’s library.
Enter a delayed opening for my oldest and a school cancellation for my youngest. This actually worked out to the benefit of the little guy since he woke up with a cough and a sniffle but presents a serious problem for the older one. See, Daddy does mornings. With him out and gone, this means it is my responsibility to get my oldest to school. While I am perfectly capable of suiting up and getting the job done, my son has no such inclination. Every single time we have to take his sister to school in the mornings, he cries. He cries in the car (because his hands are cold and he refuses to wear gloves). He cries as we park and walk the last block to school (because he doesn’t want his feet to get wet). He cries when we wait for her to go inside (because he wants to be carried). He cries on the walk back to the car (because he is now cold and wet and wants to be carried). He cries on the ride home (because he wasn’t carried). This entire process doubles the time it actually takes to walk her inside. Add in being under the already atrocious weather and I was looking at 20 minutes of pure, unadulterated, grade preschool torture.
My neighbor has children who attend the same school. However, both are way older and they haven’t seen a car seat in ages. School is only five blocks away and both neighbors are very safe drivers.
So, do I send my daughter to school without a car seat and expect her six-year old self to find the right door and line up properly? Or, do I bring the sort-of sick little guy out in nasty weather, soaking everyone in the process?
Well, what would you do if your mother asked you?