1.18.2011

Don't Make Me Stick You In the Car In Your Underwear

I was reading a post at Big Mama's blog the other day about the daily struggles of trying to get her seven-year-old daughter dressed for school.  While I felt a slight twinge of pity for their plight, I will admit that I became a little smug thinking about the victory I had claimed in our own morning clothing war.

You know what they say...  Pride comes before a fall.

Let's rewind to last Friday.  The boy had a little bit of trouble getting up for school that morning.  He was fresh off a four-day break from school thanks to the three inches of snow that fell at our house during The Great Southern Blizzard of 2011.  Bear in mind, that the child had only been back to school for four days after Christmas break.

Needless to say, the additional time off from school had the boy in full vacation mode.  Late nights gave way to peaceful slumbers, sometimes until 10:00, which in turn became lazy mornings spent roaming around the house in his boxer briefs until I insisted the child put on a t-shirt before I would agree to serve him lunch.

Just keeping it real.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, Friday.  After dragging my poor child from the bed and feeding him breakfast, I sent the boy off to take a shower in an effort to tame the rooster tale that had been perched on his unwashed head for the past three days.  

Twenty minutes later, I realized that the boy was still in the shower.  The child loves to stand and soak in the hot water.  Knowing that time was running short, I marched into the bathroom, reached my hand into the shower and turned off the water.  After the boy quit protesting, I urged him to dry off and go get dressed.

When ten minutes had passed with no sign of the boy, I decided to go investigate.  I found him, clad only in boxer briefs, sitting on his bedroom floor with a Lego submarine in his hand.  I gestured towards his clock and reminded him that we had to leave for school in just a few minutes.  He needed to put some clothes on, and he needed to do it quick.

Five minutes later, nothing had changed.  At that moment, I knew I had no choice.  I had to utter the words that I hadn't spoken in four years.  I looked at the boy, gave him my evil eye and said, "Don't make me stick you in the car in your underwear."  He quickly grabbed some clothes and was dressed in no time flat.

Upon hearing my threat, I saw a twinge of fear in the boy's eyes. I could tell that he was remembering a morning, not unlike this one, back when he was in Kindergarten.  During those days, every morning was a fight to get the boy to put on his clothes.  By the time he would finally get dressed, we would have to race out the door and would barely make it to school before the bell rang.

Then came my brilliant idea.

One morning, when the boy was being his usual poky self, I walked into his room carrying a timer.  It had been set to go off in 15 minutes.  I informed the boy that when the buzzer rang, we would be leaving for school.  I didn't care if he was dressed or not, we would be going nonetheless.  He didn't think I was serious.

When the fifteen minutes were up, I walked into the bedroom and found the boy standing in the middle of his room wearing, you guessed it, underwear.  I told him that it was time to leave and he needed to head to the car.  His immediate response was to shriek, "YOU CAN'T TAKE ME TO SCHOOL LIKE THIS! I'M NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES!"  

I reminded my boy that he knew what time we had to leave and that it was not my problem if he had decided not to get dressed.  With that, I picked up the screaming child and carried him to the car.  Once inside, I tossed him some clothes which I had secretly stashed inside, just in case.  He quickly threw on the clothes and we made our way to school.  

Thankfully, I never had to do it again and our mornings are much more peaceful as a result.  It's a good thing to.  The boy has grown so fast, I think he would have an easier time carrying me to the car than I would have trying to lift him. 

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