Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Today's walk to school left me with a throbbing headache. It wasn't an atypical walk, but nonetheless today I found myself poorly equipped to handle Allie's stalling tactics.

It started before we left the house. I had left Allie and Sean to get their shoes and coats on. When I return to the room, Sean is ready, and Allie is standing there, giggling, no coat on, wearing not shoes but an old pair of slippers.

She has a gift for pulling stunts like this when we are running late.

Several minutes later, after having had to put her shoes on myself ("I CAN'T! It's too HARD!" says the girl who is perfectly capable of putting her own shoes on), we are finally on our way.

"We need to walk quickly today," I tell them. Sean shoots off ahead of us down the street. "Okay, maybe not that quickly."

I look behind me to see Allie standing perfectly still on the sidewalk. "Allie, what's wrong?" I ask, more charitably than I actually feel.

"I want you to walk BEHIND me! Not in FRONT of me!"

"Not today, sweetie. We need to walk together."

Cue the waterworks. And the headache.

In an attempt to circumvent a power struggle, I scoop her up so that we can catch up with Sean. She removes her hat and pitches it on the ground. I'd have to characterize her expression as triumphant. The waterworks diminish, the headache swells. Sean continues on his way, blithely unaware of the shenanigans behind him.

Somehow we make it to school without my head exploding, and then back again. The walk home is a little better, with just a few detours and demands and shoes that mysteriously fall off little feet.

If anyone else had caused me such grief, I'd be stewing for at least an hour afterward. But this is my child. And with her, you know what can make all that stress seem a distant memory? An hour snuggling in the rocking chair and reading books. I almost forgot about the difficult morning.

Till we are on our way to pick Sean up. And I hear, "No, I want you to walk BEHIND me!"