In girls we trust

Hanging in there today. I see our old habits slowly changing for good.

This morning Charlotte’s alarm went off for a full five minutes before it woke her up. “Mooom!” said Ellen, “Can’t you turn off Charlotte’s alarm? It’s so annoying!” “Nope.” And I didn’t.

Then she came into our room rubbing her eyes and said, “I’m not going to catch the bus today … I don’t think I want to go to school.” I paused, let the panic pass, and thought for a long moment. Then I said, in my friendliest tone of voice, “Just so you know, I have to take the car in to the car doctor, so I’ll be leaving at 7:30.” And I walked away. She started getting ready for school.

Downstairs I was greeted with “Moooom, my sandwich wasn’t good yesterday and now I don’t know what to put in my lunch!” “Me neither!” said Fenner. Whoops, time to go back upstairs.

The trickiest part was when Charlotte was the last one out of the house and I sat there wondering what my plan was if she didn’t come out and it became past time to go. Drive away? Can’t leave a 6-yr-old. Pretend to drive away? No, that’s just an empty threat. Time was ticking so I got out of the car and stuck my head in the door. She was still on task, it was just taking her a while. I said, “Charlotte, in a minute I’ll have to start driving slowly up the driveway to make my car appointment on time. So you’ll have to catch up.” As I’m saying this I’m thinking: I’m not sure this is a good idea, or even a safe idea, but at the moment I don’t know what else to do! As soon as I started to back out of the garage, the door opened and out she came. I still think I need a better plan, but even after all that we were still 10 minutes early for school.

Jerry’s doing ok too. When Charlotte and Ellen started squabbling loudly over a chair, Jerry quickly and quietly got up and went outside.

After that, Fenner decided to bake some Pillsbury croissants for herself. “How do you make these? You haven’t taught me,” she said. “Just follow the directions on the package,” said Jerry, “that’s what I have to do every time.” “Really? You do?” “So do I!” I said. She got out a pan. “This pan seems too big. Is this pan too big?” Jerry looked over and said, “That’s the one I usually use.” “What do you turn this dial to?” Jerry got up and went over to her. Uh-oh, I thought. “Turn it to bake … and then I’m just going to tell you this one thing — You have to preheat the oven so it’s hot when you put them in.” “I know, dad, that’s what I just did!” He came back to the table and sat down. “Enough,” I whispered to him. He smiled and said, “Ok!” “The oven seems hot enough, do you think it’s hot enough?” she said. “Fenner,” I said, “I believe you can figure this out and it’ll be ok.” “Yeah, I think it’s hot enough,” she said to herself. She put them in the oven, closed it, and walked away. Jerry looked at me and whispered, “The timer’s not set. She didn’t set the timer. Should I train her?” “No, honey … give her some space.” And he did.

It turns out she did set the timer and enjoyed some delicious golden-brown croissants.

Trust in them. That’s our new mantra. Believe they can do it. And if they don’t do it at first, believe they can learn and try again and maybe do it next time.

Trust in them, so they can learn to trust in themselves and in each other … and in us.

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 5: Roadmap for Success

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