Don’t be confused. Motivation is completely different than bribing. Don’t look it up.
Today we walked to school. Yesterday the bags of school supplies kept me from taking on walking to school with three kids. Today Michael didn’t have an extra 3 bags of school supplies with, so we walked to school.
I have very vivid memories of walking to school especially from the later years of grade school when we had to lug our band instruments to school. I remember my parents’ strict instructions about waiting for the cross walk sign to light up before crossing 4th avenue and how I was supposed to keep an eye on my little sister while we trudged the 1/2 mile to school. I did neither of those. I walked with my neighbor friend and both our little sisters trailed behind us and we ran across 4th ave with careless abandon that only kids armed with a carefree sense of invincibility can.
I don’t ever remember walking to school being a big deal. We just did it. That is what we were supposed to do so that is what we did.
We live so close to the boys’ school that it is silly for me to drive them, but this year’s scheduling, and because I don’t think the boys are old enough to walk to school alone, dictates carpool drop off three times a week so I can get Elise to preschool on time.
Today everything worked out so we could walk to school. Elise doesn’t start school until next week and Patrick doesn’t start kindergarten until tomorrow, so he was even able to ride bike. After we dropped off Michael, I let Patrick and Elise play on the playground for a bit before we headed home.
On the way home Patrick was excited to share his awesome new skill.
“Mom LOOK!!! I can ride bike with no hands!”
I told him how great he was because that is what modern parenting is – telling your kid how awesome they are for completing the simplest of tasks.
Patrick you put your breakfast dishes on the counter?
You are the most responsible and best kid ever!
Michael you tried to tie your shoes?
Wow kiddo, I am so proud of you for giving it your best effort!
Elise you peed on the potty all by yourself and then pulled up your panties and shorts?
You would think the Macy’s Day Parade was marching through our home’s halls with all the fanfare that ensues after a successful potty trip.
All of that said is to preface Patrick’s next statement which was delivered straight without the slightest bit of irony.
“I can ride bike with no hands. I bet I am the best bike rider in the whole world!”
You hear that people? I was lucky enough to join the “walk to school” movement with the best bike rider in the whole world. Red letter day folks.
Rose bushes trimmed, 20 foot lilac cut down to 4 feet, evergreen hedges are a foot shorter and all the perennials are cut back. Thanks to a 18.95 an hour truck and some stomping down by Tim, we were able to load it up in one trip to the compost pile.