Wednesday, September 22, 2010

End-of-Day Meltdown

Yesterday marked the first time doing the new commute via bicycle. It had actually been awhile since I'd ridden a bicycle at all; I used to do it all the time when Jada went to the further school and Aaron was home a couple of days a week, but since late August, there had been no occasion. So upon walking Jada to her school, throwing Aaron into the child seat in the back, and tackling the straight uphill due north to Aaron's school, within minutes I was seriously gassed. Thankfully, it was a cool morning and the lights worked in my favor. After dropping Aaron off and dashing back to the office, I clocked in at 8:20, almost a half-hour faster than I had done the previously day when I was on foot and bus.

Again, as with the day before, it was the commute home that proved problematic. I estimated how much each leg would take and then tacked on 20 whole minutes, just to make sure I wasn't pushing up against the 6:00 deadline, after which I actually have to pay a hefty fine to the after-school program for being tardy. (Well, it's $15, but that's hefty for me.)

What I didn't factor in was Aaron's crankiness this week. New school, new surroundings, and change conspire to make him even edgier than normal, and when I arrived to pick him up and race him off to Jada's school, the fireworks began and got increasingly worse: "I wanted to get my helmet," "I want you to carry me," "now I want to walk," "hold my hand," "I can do it myself," "I need to go pee-pee," "I want you to go outside," "I want you to come inside," "I want the door open," "I want the door closed," "I need a handkerchief," "you hurt my feelings," and, finally, "my pee pee's not working."

I didn't help matters by meeting each escalating remark with more frustration in my voice. Gone was my 20-minute buffer, as well as my patience, as I pleaded with Aaron to hurry up, go pee pee, get off the floor, get down the stairs, get up the stairs, and so on. We made it to Jada's school with just minutes to spare, way too close for my comfort. I know I have to be patient with the little guy, but he can just be so difficult and oppositional sometimes. Until he gets into a rhythm, I guess I'm going to need to give myself a bigger buffer.
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