Maura can be…balky…in the morning. Like, stubborn immovable cow balky. It’s not her fault – she gets her non-morning person from me and the stubbornness from both sides of the family.
This morning was no different. After pulling her from bed and getting her dressed, she wandered the house in a daze looking for just the right things to bring to school. Which were two Frozen books and one book on American Sign Language.
(side note – she showed me the sign for “bird” yesterday.)
I get her all ready and tell her to put on her shoes.
“Honey, you have to wear these shoes. They’re your only shoes.” (That’s a lie. She has a pair of pink Crocs, but she’s been forbidden to wear them to school after she spent a day kicking them off and walking barefoot.)
“Fine. I’ll put your shoes on for you.”
“Hey, what about, after school, we go buy new shoes?”
Yes, I salvaged the mood with some new shoe bribery (though not really a bribe, she’s overdue for a new pair). We put her books in her backpack, she got her jacket on, I shooed her out the door. Once outside, she points to the car.
“No hon, you’re taking the bus.”
Seriously, she LOVES the bus. She adores the bus. Buses make her as giddy as…well…a school girl. I wonder if she thinks we’re getting shoes now, so I do the “You’ll take the bus to school, and you’ll take the bus home. After school, we’ll take the car and go get new shoes.”
Until the bus arrived.
“NOOOO!!!” She goes to dart away. I’m already onto her and latch onto her arm and do the “You need to ride the bus to school, and home.”
She becomes an immovable force, digging her heels into the ground. However, thanks to working out with a personal trainer, I’m all set to strong-arm her towards the bus. We get to the door of the bus, she grabs onto the hand rails and uses that to push back against me as she digs her heels into the ground.
Now, people may think I’m joking when I say at the gym “I need to be able to lift 100 pounds, because that’s how much Maura weighs.” But it’s not a joke. I wrapped my arms around her middle and hefted her onto the first step. She balked, tried to resist, but then finished going up the steps with only minor guidance from me (aka, I didn’t have to propel her forward as she dug her heels in more.)
I’m sure the car that stopped for the bus was wondering what the heck was going on. I’m also sure we look a bit ridiculous, the tall girl leaning back into the short mom who’s trying to heft her forward, who then says “Good girl!” when the tall girl finally moves forward. Yes, I’m praising her for not being as much of a stubborn little non-morning person. Yes, I get her into the seat with a smile and buckle her in while telling her not to pound on the window and that after school we’ll get new shoes. Yes, I get off the bus smiling for the world, waving to the girl who has been such a pain. It’s what I do. It’s what has to be done. Her getting on the bus in a mood doesn’t necessarily mean the whole day is a bust. It just means she’s not a morning person. And my reward is a moment of quiet contemplation with my coffee, which I raise in a toast towards the direction of the school, wishing them all the luck in the world with my stubborn little chick.
It’s not like this every morning. Some mornings, she’s golden, getting herself dressed and helping make her lunch, getting on the bus with a big smile. Some mornings, she’s a little disorientated, not fully awake, and easily steerable. And some mornings…are like today.
It’s just life. We embrace the good mornings, and shrug off the bad ones with a laugh at the ridiculous picture we paint to the world. And it’s only for a few more years. Then, once school is over, that girl can sleep in every morning possible.