(I love it when you're wondering what, ever, you will post about because you committed yourself to write something every day and just moments later a blog post falls right into your lap. But I just wish they were always funny or at least crazy or neat. Or involved really delicious food. Today's is none of the above.)
My title today is in response to a post I read over at Melancholy Smile yesterday. Her title was the same as mine only without the question mark. Her post is about a wonderful experience she had with teaching her daughter about money (part of which takes place in a car), it's value and purpose and about working to earn it (although I totally agree with her idea that basic allowance should not be related to chores done, as those are part of family life). It's a great post, great blog, great lady, and you should all check her out.
But, as I mentioned, and I'm sure you saw, mine has a question mark. MY post will also be about my daughter and money and being in the car. See? Practically twins. Except for the contrast in our parenting technique. . .
This morning as we were leaving the house to go to school, Evie was crying. Lately she cries about half the time because she hates going to school. She also gets stomach aches. When I was her age, I also used to get stomach aches, related to my fear of school. No fun. (except for the time when they thought it might be because I was allergic to milk and I got to have grape juice with my school lunch instead of milk for a while. That was fun.)
Well, this morning as she was putting all her bags into the car her little purse that she had just put her money in tipped to the side and out rolled all the change. She cried even louder. (The rest of this post happened over the course of the 7-8 minute drive to school)
I tried to console her. I asked what the problem was and then patiently asked her to please say it again (3 times) because I couldn't understand her through the sobs. I assured her that everything would be okay. I told her I'd be happy to help her get it when we got to the school.
"We can NEVER get it!! It's down in the seat belt thing! No one could ever get it out!" (I admit I got a tiny bit sarcastic here and told her to please stop worrying and saying such things until we had given EVERYONE an opportunity to try and NOBODY was able to retrieve the money.) "There's no way we can get EVERYONE to try, mom!!" Cry, cry, cry. (obvious out of character literalness/grouchiness. She understands my sarcasm)
Okay, at this point there was a bit of , "Evie, you have to stop crying about this." in a firm voice. Then I had a thought, "Okay, Evie, how much money dropped? It was probably less than 2 zloty (maybe 75 cents), right?" Yes, it was definitely less. "So really, Evie, that's not that much money! If we can't get it out I can even give you the money. It will be okay!!"
"But that's the whole thing, mom!!! (?) I thought I had hardly any money left and I was SO glad when I found that zloty, and now I've lost it!!!"
"But I can give you one zloty! There is no more problem!"
"But I'm so stupid!! I was so excited about it and then I dropped it!"
"Okay, Ev. We're almost at school and you need to try to calm down. Don't think about the money. Everything will be fine."
Whimper, whimper, cry.
In hopes of distracting her, "Are you ready for your performance in the assembly today?"
"It's NOT a performance!!! We're singing a song." whimper whimper.
"STOP IT, EWELINA!! NO--MORE--CRYING!!!"
Finally we pull into the school parking lot. While the kids unload themselves from the car, I tell them to try and have a good day.
So this reminds me of my post about how my kids freak out in which I discuss both their freak-out-ishness and how we deal with it. See, it's not only bee stings and doctors visits they freak out about.
I wish I could just feel empathy indefinitely. I wish I could lovingly assure them that their feelings are valid somehow. Still, always after trying and trying, and listening to so much wailing and sobbing, I lose it. Especially when I'm somewhere that I can't escape it. Like in a car.