At a recent "how to be a better parent" class we attended, Jesse opined that our children fight with each other more than they get along. I don't think that's necessarily true, but I've been trying to notice the get along aspects while diffusing the fighting. This morning was a great case in point. For the getting along, anyway, not my poor diffusing skills.
I had to be at work on time, which requires us to leave the house early enough to get the girls to early arrival at school. Usually we attend early arrival every day, but since the holidays it's been hard to get back on schedule 100%, and we've ended up at regular arrival more often than not. Today, we left so early that I decided we had time to stop by the dry cleaners first. Have I told you how much I love my new dry cleaners? I initially went there, on trial, when I learned that they will donate a percentage of their gross to our school. When I called for directions, the guy who always seems to be there instructed me thusly: First star to the left, and straight on 'til morning! How can you not love that? Then, they sent me a letter with a coupon and an invitation to join their "VIP" club, which I did right away. Now, they have my card on file, I have a personalized laundry bag which I can drop off at any time, 24/7, and they have all of my preferences on file as well. There is nothing not to like here, folks.
This morning was the first time to use their drop-off chute, and when I got there,I ran up to toss in the bag. Foiled! There was a combo lock, and I hadn't received the code. When I stepped in to ask for it, he (same guy, natch), said sure, just tell me the capital of Vermont.
Keep in mind it's 7:30 AM, I'm trying to get the girls and myself in on time, and I've never been good at geography anyway. Now, if he'd asked me to spell it, or define some esoteric word, I'd be all over it, but not a state capital. "Burlington?" (My mom & Jesse's went to college in VT, I should know). Nope. "Stowe?" Nope. "Kids in the car, late to work?" "Montpelier," he kindly & quickly replied, then adding, after taking my bag, "Wait, I have something here for you." By this time, the girls were headed inside to see what was taking me so long. He handed me a bag of laundered shirts, about which I'd forgotten, and took us outside to show us how to use the coded chute. After his demonstration, I asked each girl to try it, ensuring that I'll never have to get out of the car again when I visit. Love it! Anyway, he was genuinely a nice guy, and the girls had fun learning their new useful skill.
We finally got to school, where I can again stay in the car while they hop out, and Hannah unlocked the security gate by punching in the right code (see? there IS a theme), held open the heavy gate for Hazel, and they both headed in to early arrival. As I started to back out, they both came running back, Hazel yelling "Wait, I need my piano binder!" I gave it to her, and waited while she tried to get back in. Usually she can, but today, no luck. Just as I was about to go help, Hannah came running back again from the classroom, to open the door for her sister.
Sweet, sweet girls.