This was a rough morning in my world. Brynna didn't care to get dressed or wear clothes to school. We go through this every once in a while. After a while of begging, cajoling, bribing and trying to force clothes on her squirmy body, she informed me (smugly, I might add) that I wasn't about to take her to school naked, so I might as well accept that we wouldn't be going to school today.
I tried again. Again, I met an immovable brick wall. Point 1 - I would not take her to school naked. Point 2 - I would not leave her at home alone. Therefore - no school.
I went into her room and gathered together some clothes and stuffed them into my purse. Then, I went into the kitchen, gathered her school stuff and Maren and took them to the car. I came back in the house and grabbed my mostly naked child (she was wearing tights) and carried her out to the car and sat her naked butt in the car seat. (Have I mentioned that we have snow on the ground?) Then I went back to the house and shut and locked the door.
When I turned back to the car, she was looking at me like my head had caught on fire. "Are you cold?" I innocently asked. Nod. "Do you want to get dressed?" Nod.
I helped her (as quickly as possible) pull on clothes and get tucked tightly into her car seat and buckled into place. Then I pulled the emergency blanket out of the backseat and put it over her lap and handed her the rest of her breakfast that she hadn't had time to finish. I shut the door and went and got in the car.
Then I started worrying. Did I do the right thing? Would this forever scar her? Was it acceptable to take her outside mostly naked to prove that she was going to school no matter what, or was that over the line? Was I cruel? Would the neighbors call social services?
Okay, I still don't have an answer to that last question. But as soon as the car was rolling, Brynna was happily babbling away about playing with her best friend and who was coming to her birthday party and what her favorite song is and how snack day is her favoritest day of all, so I think she is probably unscarred.
When we got to school she climbed into my seat with me and kissed and hugged me before hopping out of the car and grabbing the snack box. Then she sat the box on the ground and said "Love ya mom" and blew me a kiss.
I will never claim that toting that angry naked preschooler to the car was my finest parenting moment, but that moment later with the completely confident, composed (and, yes, fully dressed) kid blowing me kisses and walking away without worrying about anything in the world except sharing her wealth of bananas with her classmates may be.
Last week (I know, long, long ago, when last I wrote) I talked about the parenting roller coaster. This is it, people. Things sometimes go from heaven to hell in an instant. Sometimes they go from hell to heaven in an instant. I am sure that there was another way out of my predicament. I am sure that I could have eventually gotten her to school in clothes without exposing her to the cold wind atop our hill. But that's what I did. And for better or worse, there's no turning back.