Don't sweat the small stuff

My son has been in kindergarten for almost one month now. It has, so far, gone exceptionally well - he loves school, and he's even beginning to open up about his day with me. I love hearing him talk about school! And I know he's happy there. But today? Today was a tough day. He just didn't want to go to school. And if you know my son, you'll know that once his mind is made up about something, there is almost nothing you can do to change it. He's very stubborn that way. Hmm... I wonder where he gets it from?

I was on my way to work when I got a call from my mom. She was trying to figure out how to work the DVD player, because Christos wanted to watch Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. She knew it was not a good idea to put the movie on, since it was 15 minutes before the time they had to leave for school, and I told her she should just talk him out of watching the movie and just get in the car to go to school. I could hear him saying "NO!" in the background.

I turned around and drove back home. I wanted to make sure he went to school, as I knew it was going to be 'one of those' mornings.

When I got home, he was riding his bicycle around the block. He told me he didn't want to go to school. I told him he had no choice, and that he had to go. I talked to him calmly, I reasoned with him, I told him he could come home after and play.

"No, I'm not going to school today."

That was pretty much it. I tried some more. I yelled, I even screamed. I threatened to call his teacher, even. I was at the end of my rope. I picked him up. He went limp, and he slithered out of my arms, and started to cry.

I was upset that this was happening, as we have had no problems yet with him going to school. But? Of course days like this are to be expected. And after a certain point, I think you just have to realize it's okay. It's one day. He's in junior kindergarten. And he'll go to school tomorrow. Was it worth it for me to continue pleading with him to go to school today? I didn't think so. I know tomorrow will be a better day. (It better be - it's picture day!) He's just a child, and he just wanted to play and go to the museum with his brother.

I kissed and hugged him, and told him tomorrow he was going to school.

"Okay, mommy!" he said, happily.

Yes, he won. And I'm okay with that. I know this won't happen often, and I know other kids sometimes don't feel like going to school, either. We really shouldn't sweat the small stuff.

What I'm really sweating over? What he should wear for picture day tomorrow! How stressful of an experience is that going to be? Any chance the school will let me in to stand behind the cameraman to make sure my son is smiling? And to make sure his collar is just right, and to make sure his hair looks good? Hmm... didn't think so, either.
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Lady Mama said...

I'm so relieved to read this and your wise advice, after my disaster yesterday. You're so right - it's just one day, and most likely tomorrow will be much better. But argh the stress they cause us sometimes. It's a wonder I'm not grey already!

Loukia said...

Yes, it's no wonder I'm not grey already, too! I am convinced I've had at least a dozen heart attacks since becoming a mom!

Mommy In Pink said...

Oh No! I hope your little guy is in a better mood tomorrow, especially for those adorable pictures! We definitely all have our "days." After all, isn't that part of the job description of being a mom?

P.S. - So sorry I haven't visited in sooo long! Life gets crazy sometimes. I will definitely try and stop by more often! Take care!

CaraBee said...

You have to pick your battles, that's for sure. I'm betting you wouldn't be the first momma to show up wanting to make sure her baby looked good for the pictures!

Rebecca said...

Sometimes they get something in their head (ie. not wanting to go) and that's it. My son did the same one morning at preschool, but he didn't out right refuse, just didn't want me to go. Once I left, he was fine and it hasn't been an issue.

The shine wears off after a few weeks and it's normal for them to just want to stay at home ;)

good luck with the pictures tomorrow!

Mama Kat said...

I do the same thing. If they're going to get THAT angry about it than one day home, especially at this age, is not a big deal. Transitioning into Kindergarten is not easy so I think they should be allowed a some exceptions.

Mom2Miles said...

That's a very mature attitude you have, bravo! I guess even kids should be allowed personal days, right? Speaking of picture day, my son refused to let me pick out a cute outfit & wore some old T-shirt. That was a case where I had to bite my tongue, but in the grand scheme of things I guess a T-shirt is no big deal!

Betsy Mae said...

Oh yes, it's just one day. I'm afraid that we might be in the minority in that thinking though!!!

As for picture days...omg, we've had a few nasty ones here! But the bad ones make the greatest keepsakes!

Haley-O said...

...And I got called out for quitting the gym because my kid didn't like the daycare. We are SUCH PUSHOVERS. I kid. THEY'RE FOUR. Big deal. It sounds like it was a nice treat for both of you. And, he's riding a BIKE? Crazy! My 4yo's still amazed that she can JUMP!

2 Little Irish Boys said...

You are crackin' me up about "what to wear" Sound just like me wanting to stand behind the camera dude!!
Also, you gotta pick your battles--great job! He has his whole life to go to school.

Avitable said...

Next time, just tell him you're going to Disney World, and then when he gets there, drive away with the tires squealing.

I would totally win at parenting.

Chantal said...

Its true, it is just one day. Sometimes we take personal days from work. It is exactly the same.

Nenette AM said...

I've done this with my kids too. By doing this, you're reinforcing that you respect his feelings, and right now, that's more important than anything else.
Learning to meet school/work obligations can wait.

You know, there are parents who pull their kids out of school for WEEKS to go on vacation. Don't worry, he's not going to miss anything. :)

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I love how stubborn a child can be - they are tough nuts to crack sometimes. I had many a time when I had to convince my little man that he had to go to school, and we got there most times. I mean, really, what are they going to miss? A little colouring, some recess, a snack?

I'm sure he's going to look adorable in his pics! I asked my son's teacher if she could make sure his hair was brushed to side before his pic actually. I figured it would save me from having to do the retake day.

Scattered Mom said...

You know your little guy best and what works for you AND him. :)

School pics are so much fun!