I’ve been seeing the viral blog post by Hands Free Mama sweep its way through Facebook with a lot of positive feedback accompanying it.
The sentiment is lovely. Stop and smell the roses. Savor life. Take your time and enjoy the sno-cone. Hey, I like frosty treats as much as the next guy, but, well, ok. I’m just going to put it out there…
Sometimes children need to be hurried. Wait. Let me rephrase that so as not to alienate 90 percent of our readership. My children need to be hurried sometimes. Olivia, in particular. She, like the daughter of Hands Free Mama, is a noticer. She takes her sweet time on everything. And I mean everything.
There are times, like when she’s enjoying a snack crumb by crumb, that I just sit and watch her. Happily. But, there are other times – every weekday morning – when we have a schedule to keep. I have a job. My husband has a job. She has school. We need to be on time for these things.
So yes, I regularly say things like, “Hurry up and put your shoes on. Put your shoes on. Liv, shoes. Let’s go. Time for shoes. Focus. Olivia. SHOES!” or things like, “Brush your teeth. Please hurry and get your teeth brushed. We’re going to be late. We ARE late. BRUSH YOUR TEETH. TEEEEEETH!!!!” I mean come on. They are small teeth. It should NOT TAKE AN HOUR.
I cannot afford the luxury of giving her more time and I’m not going to wake her up extra early when she’d rather (and I prefer her to) get a bit more sleep.
And there’s value in teaching children to respect the time of others. She just can’t live her life without regard for others. We can’t be 20 minutes late for a 25 minute swim lesson because then not only does she miss the lesson, but her sister misses it and there are only nine classes and sure, I have money to throw away, PLEASE, TAKE YOUR TIME WALKING TO THE CAR.
I want to say to the parents of noticers who now feel like shit because they’ve been ruining the child by telling them to OMG just wipe and pull up your freaking UNDERWEAR ALREADY – it’s ok. There is a time to say eff it and go with the flow and there is a time to get in the carseat and buckle it because there are nine people waiting for us to go into a movie and now everyone will miss the beginning because you had to think about which way to cross your ankles before climbing into the car.
Good grief, child. HURRY UP.