Thursday, November 29, 2012

Line Leaders

Yup.....when I fall behind, I find myself writing multiple posts in the same day, or on consecutive days, don't I?  And today is no exception.

This one is a less happy story.....this is a new issue that we've been having.

This story is about Ballerina.

We've known for a while that Ballerina wants to be first with everything.  For any activity, she insists that she's the "Line Leader".  Music Man really doesn't care that he's following his sister.  Big Brother is a bit more of an issue.....he too likes to be first.  Sibling issues I can deal with.

But things have become more dangerous.  When I pick them up at school (and to a lesser degree, when I drop them off), Ballerina needs to be the first one to the car.  Since I'm not AT the car, but waiting for them outside of the school, she doesn't necessarily know where the car is.  She runs off to find the car.  I am careful to park so that she shouldn't have to run into the parking lot, but there aren't assigned spots.....I can't guarantee that one of those will be available when I arrive at school.    In the morning, I can make sure that she never has to go into the parking lot, but not in the afternoon.

The last 2 afternoons, as soon as Big Brother comes out, she goes running.  She has to beat him to the car.  The first day, I was able to get one of those spots and she ran to the car and waited for me, and (at my request), Big Brother chased after her (which may have made it worse) and made sure she stayed put until I could get there with Music Man (who was doing everything in his power to go as slow as possible [including body drops]).  With Big Brother's help, Ballerina remained safe waiting at the car.

But the next day, I was later arriving at the school and was unable to get that parking spot.  She ran off and, despite shouting after her that the car isn't in that same place (like she'll understand this when she's on the race to be "First"), when she arrived at the expected parking spot and didn't see the car, she started going into the parking lot to see if she could locate our car.  At 3:05, there are numerous cars driving to pick up their children, buses picking up other kids to bring them to day care, and lots of activity.  Fortunately, she stayed near the sidewalk and we were able to get her under our control before something happened or even came close, but we are facing a potentially dangerous situation.

When I dropped the kids off at school today, the administrator who takes care of the Learning Center program at the school pulled me aside to speak with me to come up with a strategy to get my children safely to the car.  It's been decided that, starting Monday, they will be receiving curb-side service......I will drop them off in the morning and they will all be escorted into the building and they will be escorted from the building to the car in the afternoon.

Once again, I'm relinquishing some control.  I really like our drop-off routine in the morning, and enjoy seeing the other Moms in the afternoon.  But my children's safety is at stake.  So, next week, we'll give this a try.  Hopefully, Ballerina will realize that being first isn't the most important thing.  Hopefully, she'll realize that safety is far more important.  And, if she can't abide by the rules, she's going to be losing privileges faster than she earns them.

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