This morning I give a salute to the “Whatever Works” method. Many years ago, I may have judged these choices, today, I’m like, Dang, we pulled it off!! WOOT!
Wil is congested, so not sleeping especially well, which means he is tired, which means his stubborn streak is at a high-level. As I coach early Tuesday mornings, when I arrive home, the kids and I have about 10 minutes or less to get out the door. So that means the girls take care of getting Wil up, making sure he gets dressed and make his breakfast. They do a brilliant job, but I knew this morning may be difficult after having a challenging morning yesterday. I told the girls that if they have any trouble getting Wil out of bed and dressed, not to push it, just let me know. If needed, he will go to school a little late so as not to make the girls late for school. Sure enough while I was just about to leave work 7:05, I received a text from Elizabeth:
“Mom, Wil is refusing to get out of bed or do anything.”
When I got in my car to head home, I called Elizabeth to get the lowdown. Yep, he won’t do anything. I pass McDonalds on the way home a light bulb went off. I suggest a breakfast sandwich and hashbrown for Wil if he promises to get up and get dressed. Elizabeth relays that to Wil. Yes, he’ll get up for that (of course!). The girls each want hashbrowns, too. Whatever you girls want! I tell Elizabeth there will be no time to spare when I get home, so please be ready to roll. I pull in drive thru lane, there are 3 cars in front of me. The first car in line is there foooorrrreeeever (in reality about 30 seconds but I calculate that I don’t have that time to spare, and certainly can’t take back a McDonald’s promise. I take a look inside and see only one guy in line. I back up, park, run in. Said guy is already seated and I’m first up in line. YES! I’m greeted with a friendly smile from the woman behind the counter. I order 1 breakfast sandwich and 3 hashbrowns (I didn’t even order coffee for me which clearly indicates the immediacy of this situation). Lucky for me the friendly woman at the counter is also very efficient. She delivers my bag of goodies in no time. As I run out I look at the drive-thru lane, and two of the cars that were ahead of me are still there. Thank God for small mercies. Another small miracle is I make it through the lights on Ann Arbor-Saline Road after I exit McDonalds. Smooth sailing home and I call the girls that I’m on my way. Wil still in his pajamas, they report, and won’t budge. No worries I tell them. Again assuring I will get them to school on time, even if I have to take Wil in his pajamas and go back home to get him dressed (I’d have 30 minutes at home after taking them to school before going back to work). As I pulled in the driveway at home, we had 2 minutes until we have to leave. Wil saw me with McDonalds bag and came out of his reverie to jump for joy, still in his pajamas. I handed him his sandwich, the girls their hash browns, and reminded Wil of his promise to get dressed. I ran in the bedroom and pulled out clothes for Wil, then literally dressed him as he ate; he expertly changed the sandwich holding hand as I pulled sleeves over his arms. Socks and shoes next, backpack grabbed, and out the door in a miracle of 3.5 minutes. Leaving later than we normally do, and the girls will not have the cushion of time they like to have to walk to their lockers, but still time to get to school under being tardy. I dropped off the girls with plenty of compliments on handling a challenging morning with grace and tact, and as we made the way to Wil’s school, his demeanor was still buoyant, post-McDonalds sandwich and hash brown. Wil typically likes me to walk him in to school. Today he wanted the independence of being dropped of at the circle drive. Huh, that’s another positive sign. I even got a loud “I love you, Mom!” as he exits the car and he got a loud, “I love you, Wil” back from me. He’s still congested, so guessing he will not have a full-force day, but at least he is off to a 120% better than only 15 minutes ago.
Oh, yes, many years ago I just might have judged the McDonald’s decision. But now, as a parent for 12.5 years and 11 of those years to a child with extra needs, I say hail to the “Whatever Works” method!