Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Through Her Tears

Beth called me at work yesterday. She was sobbing. Through her tears and her gasps for air she told me her bus had left. She was outside on the porch, sobbing.

As we talked she was able to calm herself down a little and the story emerged. She was in the bathroom brushing her teeth and when she came out, it was gone.

I wasn't surprised.

This is the note I put on the counter every Monday night:

Good morning Beth!
You get to go bowling today!
Set your alarm for 7:30 AM.
Wakey Wakey at 7:30 AM. 
Your bus comes at 8:45 AM.
Be upstairs and ready at 8:45 AM.
Have fun today!
Love you!

(Wakey Wakey is what Hannah Montana's dad used to tell her every morning.) I put a note like this on the counter every night, if Beth has someplace to be the next day. When to set her alarm and when to be ready to walk out the door. 

When the DART bus arrives at your house, you have 5 minutes to be outside. If you don't respond after 5 minutes, they have to leave to pick up the next client. They will ring the doorbell, call you, they really go out of their way to give these riders an opportunity to respond.

Unfortunately, Beth has developed a habit where, when her bus pulls in, she goes in to brush her teeth, wash her face, etc. When they ring the doorbell, no matter how much I coax, she won't answer it. I end up telling them 'just one more minute.'

Yesterday I was at work so when they rang the doorbell, Beth ignored them. When they called the house (I heard the voice mail when I got home) she didn't answer the phone, so... they left.

It hurts so much to watch your kids learn a lesson the hard way. Especially when they're adults. You can't spank them or ground them or insist they do things your way. When they become adults, all you can do is give advice. Offer suggestions. And hope. And pray.

When they look the other way or choose not to take the advice, sometimes it works out fine and they're able to figure it out on their own, but when it doesn't, it is the hardest thing for a parent! You wanna rush in and fix it, make it better. But you can't.

Sitting at work yesterday all I could tell Beth was, "I'm sorry." "I'm so sorry Beth".

Last night we asked her what she could do differently in order to make it to her bus on time and she repeated all the things we've been trying to tell her. This morning, she was up, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten and coat on before DART even arrived!

That big blue and white bus pulled into our driveway and Beth was on the front porch as the driver was coming off the bus! She missed bowling yesterday. She sure wasn't going to miss art and karoake today!


Becca said...

Oh, this is soooo something I could see Samantha doing, too. I tell her we're late, hurry up and go brush your teeth, and she decides at that time she's going to play with the cats. Or read a book. Or...or...or...

I love, love, love that you asked her how things could be done differently next time, that you made *her* come up with her *own* solution. Love it. I'm so glad she was ready on time today, but so sad that she was so upset yesterday. :-(

Jennifer Scott said...

I'm so sorry she was so upset. It's so hard when they have to learn the hard way, but sometimes, it's the only way they can learn.

Maybe she can try setting her alarm for earlier & using different cues to start her out the door routine. Like a second alarm upstairs set for 20 minutes before the bus comes so she has enough time to get ready & out the door.

Unknown said...

I can already imagine this same scenario in about 15 years. Owen will do everything BUT put on his shoes or try to get his jacket when we are getting ready to walk out the door. Very frustrating for sure, but I really like your approach, Cindy. She is an adult and you treated her like one by asking her what SHE could do differently. I think the message clicked, at least for today!

Kristin said...

So hard. Hopefully she learned that the new way is best!

Cheryl said...

Sorry that happened to Beth but it sounds like she learned a helpful lesson from it.Hope she continues to be ready on time and not miss the things she likes to do.