killing me with honesty

At lunchtime today, I asked Lyd to put away her playdough so that we could set the table.  She immediately stretched her arms and whined, “I’m tired.”

This response has been frequent lately.  I ask her to do something, she responds that she’s tired.  Today, I Had Had Enough of This.  I informed her in no uncertain terms (but without yelliing – score one for me!) that her complaints of “I’m tired!” need to stop.  When she is asked to do something, she needs to do it.  If she really is tired, then she should be in bed.  I then asked her to repeat back to me what I had just said.  She did.  I then asked her to decide what her consequence should be the next time she complains that she’s too tired when she’s asked to do a job.

She thought seriously about this for a few moments and responded, “I would lose all my candy.”  She was referring to a small plastic bowl of (leftover Halloween — can you believe it!) candy that she recently re-discovered, and now gets a piece from every day.  I was impressed!  She was honest about allowing herself to be “hit where it hurts!”  My thought for a consequence would have been something more mundane, like losing TV or computer priviledges for a time.  So, I agreed with her, although I softened it slightly.  “How about we throw away only HALF of your candy?”  She agreed to that, and that’s where we left it.

And you know what?  She’s been pretty helpful all day!  She even helped me mop the floor this afternoon and had a grand time doing it.  It inspired me to do a quick mop of my kitchen floor as well.  My kitchen floor has been mopped twice in 6 days!  I think it might just faint!  🙂

Lyd really can be an honest child.  Last night at supper, Lyd complained that her head was itchy — “Because S [her friend] put sand in my hair!” she added indignantly.  Knowing that S is not an instigator of such antics on her own, I inquired, “Well, did you put sand in HER hair?”  A pause, then, resignedly Lyd said, “Yes.”  JJ and I couldn’t help but chuckle at her.  (And, Jen, I do apologize for the sand in S’s hair!  I’m sure it wasn’t S’s idea to do this!)

And when Lyd does actually try to lie to me?  It’s TOTALLY obvious.  And actually kind of funny.  Although I never laugh in front of her.  It’s just that her lying is so blatantly bad that it’s comical.

When does this stage of absolute, utter honesty end?  Never, right?  😉

The other night for some reason I was all worried that other kids will think Lyd is “weird” when she grows up.  I whined lamented to JJ, “What if she’s an outcast and no one wants to be friends with her because she’s weird?  I know that I felt weird all the way through school!”  JJ looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said something along the lines of “Good grief!”

He’s right; Lyd will be fine.  Although, like any normal girl, she will OF COURSE spend a sizeable chunk of her childhood, especially adolescent years, feeling weird.  Everyone does.  And It’s only been in the last 5 or so years of my life that I’ve realized this.  I now realize that even the “cool” kids felt weird in school.  And if they didn’t feel weird then, they probably have experienced it by now!  🙂  Everybody feels weird during childhood, yet we’re all more alike than we realize.

But, Lyd will be fine.  We went to the library park this afternoon, and it didn’t take 5 minutes for Lyd to make a new friend and begin running around with her all over the playground.  After half an hour when she came to me looking for a drink of water, I asked her what her new friend’s name was.  She didn’t know.  So, if she can manage to play well with a strange girl for half an hour without even knowing her name, she’ll be fine.

Speaking of making friends, Lyd starts 4 year old Kindergarten at our school this fall.  It’s an every morning program, 8:30 to noon.  Next year she’ll be in 5 year old Kindergarten, which is an all-day program.  I really debated about whether to put her in the 5 year old program now, as she will be 5 in October, but in the end I decided that having her be the oldest in her class would be the best choice for the long run.  One of my main rationales was that hey, if we were back in the Midwest, there would BE no other option.  She would OF COURSE be the oldest in her class.  It’s just that we currently live in California which has a screwy educational system that allows people to enroll their children earlier than most other states!  Besides, someone has to be the oldest in the class just like someone has to be the youngest.  Lyd has the rest of her life to be in school, and she will do just fine being one of the older ones in her class.

But in looking at the calendar today, I realized that six weeks from today, Lyd will have completed her second day of school.  Her second day of countless school days in her life.  My baby is going off to school!  She’s growing up!

And maybe I’m just a baby at heart, too, but I’m really glad that she’ll only be in school in the mornings.  I don’t know if I could handle not having her around all day.  Only one more year until she’s gone during the day for good.  And before I know it, she’ll be off to high school!  And then she’ll move out and go to college!  And then get married!  And have babies!  And…

Somewhere, JJ is reading this, rolling his eyes and saying, “Good grief!”  😉


2 thoughts on “killing me with honesty

  1. She is SO the same age as Naomi!!! The same “I’m tired” (which around here gets an “OK, then get your job done quickly so you can take a nap!” 🙂 ) and the same obsession with dumping sand in people’s hair (yesterday it was herself, Elaina, and two of her cousins! Argh!)
    But thankfully I get to keep my little girl home with me – she’s already been doing math and reading for a year now, and simply loves school! She is learning so much more than she would be at a “regular” school, in less than an hour a day, and the rest of the time I get to have her loving, cheerful, helpful self at my side. I get a twinge every time you say Lyd “has” to go to school this fall, and how much you’ll miss her, and I’m so glad that’s not me!
    I know I’m never going to change your mind, but oh, I wish I could – you don’t know what you’re missing!

  2. Hee hee, it sounds like our girls would have a good time playing together! It must be a four-year old thing. I’m glad homeschooling and homesteading and all the other stuff that you do is working out so well for you, Ruth! It sounds like you really enjoy it, and that your kids are just thriving in the structured environment you’ve created for them. What a blessing! I hope it continues being so successful!

    I won’t deny that I haven’t thought about homeschooling Lyd, especially when we weren’t sure that the school would be able to open this fall, but the fact is that I recognize that I’m just not organized enough to do it, and I know my lack of organization would do her education a disservice. Plus, our mother-daughter dynamic historically does not work well when I’m the teacher. I haven’t been able to bring her to music class for over a year now because she acts out too much when I’m the teacher. And frankly, while I admire people who homeschool, I just have no desire to be a homeschooler myself. I think that in order to be an effective homeschooler, you have to really WANT to do it, and I have zero desire for it. So, I don’t think it would be the right choice for me.

    I’m grateful that our excellent little school is still open right in our backyard. While I know this is not true in every case, in our case Lyd REALLY needs the socialization. Your family is so blessed that there’s always children around to play with; Lyd hasn’t had that blessing, and some of her behaviors when she’s around other kids shows that. She will benefit so much from a structured school environment with other kids around her age. And we have a really good little school. Lyd will only have about 5-6 kids in her class, so it’ll have a small-class feel.

    And there are things I AM looking forward to about school starting, the biggest of which is that the structure of the school day will impose on our family a structure it has often lacked yet desperately needs. For whatever reason, JJ and I have a hard time creating our own daily schedule and sticking to it. After many years we’ve gotten past feeling guilty about it, have accepted it as part of the gift of our personalities, and done the best we could. So, it will be helpful to (finally!) have a structure imposed on us, and it will be super-helpful for Lyd. I’m looking forward to getting things done in the morning without Lyd drooping around me, begging me to play with her, and I’ve decided that the baby and I will go for a morning walk with her in the stroller, just like I used to do with Lyd. I’m really looking forward to that!

    I’m actually not quite as sad about the whole situation as I made it sound. I think I was just focusing on the sad part as I wrote that post. But after a day of Lyd begging to watch TV and being all whiny, I’m ready to send her off to school! 😉 I’m sure I will still get teary on her first day of school, but that’s pretty normal, and I’m sure my tears will dry pretty quick as I realize the new opportunities that have opened up for me with her out of the house.

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