Skip to main content

Day 4 of Kindergarten

This is a true story. I'm sharing it for all the cute 20-something and 30-something mommies. With love from a 40-something mommy.

On day 4 of Kindergarten this year, Amber decided it would be more fun to stay home. She wanted to snuggle with me and read stories, she wanted to play in her room and have time to make mini books and do whatever she wants. As the realization hit me that the honeymoon was over, I made an important decision. We couldn't fight this battle every day this year. It had been a really LONG six months of spring break, and she had gotten out of the routine of going to school. I need her to be at school. I don't even care how much she learns, but she needs to interact with peers her own age and be with a teacher who isn't me. It's a beautiful thing.

photo credit Rachel Lacy

So Day 4 rolls around and she says, "I don't want to go to school today." 

Me: "Well, your job is to go somewhere for five hours. That's how long Kindergarten is at Sonshine Kids. Would you rather go to Bridlewood and be gone for almost EIGHT hours?" 

A: That's a lot of hours. 

Me: Yes, it is. 

A: No, I don't want to go there. Can't I stay home and go for a walk with you and S? 

Me: No, she has physical therapy today so we're not going on a walk. Do you think you can find a babysitter, somebody who will take care of you today? 

A: What if I go to B's house and play with baby Melody? 

Me: That's a great idea. Why don't you call her and ask? (So I text my friend B really fast with these instructions: Just say No.) So A gets on the phone with B and asks very sweetly if she can come over and play with sweet baby Melody. My friend nails it, and is kind and loving and says, "No, today won't work. But I'd love to have you come over another time."

At this point I was thinking I'd won the battle. Then A chimes in, "What if I go over to play with A and her dog Fufu? 

Me: That's a great idea, let's call her and ask. (So I text my friend A really fast and tell her to just say NO.) So my daughter gets on the phone with my awesome neighbor A and asks if she can come play with Fufu. My neighbor nails it and says, "No, Fufu needs a bath and she can't play today. Maybe you can come over later..."

So then we have a moment of silence where my daughter just sits there thinking, and I remembered all my Love and Logic training to keep my mouth shut. And she finally says, "I guess I'll go to Kindergarten today." So we leave the house and arrive at her school 22 minutes late. We'd missed the temperature check in the car line dropoff, and we had to ring the front doorbell. The teacher greets us and I say, "Can I tell you about our morning?" And she listens really well and validates everything that just happened and says to my daughter, "I'm really glad you chose to come to school today."

By the time five hours had passed I'd already done 27 other things and almost forgotten about the whole shenanigan. I pick up my sweet girl after Kindergarten and the first words out of her mouth: "Can we go visit baby Melody right now?"

I'm pleased to report that we've been on time (okay, mostly) every day since. There was a minute of hesitation on Day 5 but she quickly remembered all the work she'd done the day before, trying to get a babysitter for herself. I'm also happy to report that once I turned over the "getting ready" process to my daughter, she accelerated her pace and she can finally complete all nine before school jobs: put away pajamas (let's be real, they're usually on the floor and I don't care), put on big girl clothes, brush teeth, go potty, make your lunch (assemble all the components), fill water bottle (okay, that's usually me because she's SLOW), eat breakfast, brush hair, put on shoes and socks. She usually chooses to brush her hair in the car which is fine with me. And sometimes she skips brushing her teeth, which I figure we might pay for later in dental bills, but hey. Look at how much progress we've made.

So in a nutshell: use Love and Logic. It works, it makes parenting so much more fun. I'm having more fun as a mom now than ever before, because I have so many children making so many choices all the time. I want to give them as much power as possible. I trust them to take care of themselves as much as possible. The whole point is to work myself out of a job. One final note here: I want to express gratitude for my husband. He works his tail off so that I can stay home full time. That is a big deal, and I realize that I am seriously lucky.

If you can't take a class, then find a book about Love and Logic ideas. Something like this. Ask your friends about their hard experiences with kids. Ask them for help in raising your kids. Moms need backup, and that community with neighbors and friends can help you SO MUCH. I promise that parenting gets more fun as you go. I'm so glad I found Love and Logic. It has made discipline so much less painful.

I can't say it enough: one of the best parenting tools is Love and Logic. I wish I'd read their book or taken their class sooner. More ideas found here. It makes parenting so much more fun when you use love, logic and sound reasoning to let kids learn hard lessons.


Popular posts from this blog

2021 Christmas Card

December 2021  Dear Friends and Family, We love you and and miss y'all that are far away in WA and UT and other places!! This year we skipped our tradition of sending a Thanksgiving card and opted for a virtual Christmas card instead. It saved a ton of stamps and envelopes, but I definitely miss the glitter and sparkle. We hope you can feel our love even through a simple email or blog post. One tradition we couldn't skip was our gratitude tree, where the little leaves are a list of blessings. We are so thankful for God's goodness and mercy every day. Here's the highlight reel:  Cade graduated, made lots of Domino's pizza, read probably a thousand books, and is currently living in Provo, UT as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's heading to Helsinki, Finland in January. We are so proud of him and his hard work, we miss him but are excited for his opportunity to learn and serve. Shad spent a zillion hours with Marcus Ban


"How are you feeling about your son leaving soon?" has been my favorite question lately. My answer is kinda mixed. During July and August I was surprised and excited. Then on September 14 he flew to and from San Francisco by himself for a day. The purpose was a quick visit to the Finnish consulate for a visa. He had fantastic instructions to get from the airport to the BART to the consulate, but waiting for the interview took longer than planned. Leaving the consulate he had less than an hour until his flight was supposed to take off. That included a 32 minute tram ride, printing a boarding pass, airport security, etc. In all honesty, he should have missed that flight home. But he didn't. Call it a miracle or a test of faith, or whatever you want to call it. But for my boy who loves to be punctual, boarding a flight 7 minutes before take-off was pretty intense. Long story short, I think we all realized a few things that day. There are so.many.details I can't control,

Shoplifting: Tic Tacs at Target

 You know when you're at the store and one of your kids asks you to buy stuff? Then they ask again and again and again and again? My reply is usually something like, 'No, but thanks for asking.' And if they ask again then the reply goes something like, 'If you ask again, the answer will be no for like a week.' OR, "If you ask again, I'll take away your favorite toy," OR "If you ask me one more time, __________." Think of a punishment you will actually do! You can't make an empty threat here. If you don't have the energy to see it through, then just say yes. My older kids will often comment on how their younger sister gets a ton of stuff or privileges. If I'm tired and don't have the energy to win a battle, it's much better to JUST SAY YES the first time. That way, when I say NO on something, it carries more weight. So I explain to the older kids that they've already run me ragged and I no longer have the patience or st

Companions - Notes on Home MTC

November 18, 2021 Most people know that missionaries run around in pairs. Some of my neighbors have seen this version of a companionship lately. Let me explain. During Covid, the church did a pivot and changed the missionary training experience from in-person to virtual. During this process they realized there were a few cool benefits that were worth continuing even after the pandemic. So the new version of missionary training begins  at home  with an Elder or Sister doing full-time training with a companion online. Then they transition to  in person  after a few weeks.  My oldest son began on November 8 with training at home. When they are in class or working together, they are meeting and making friends with other missionaries in their district. My son's cohort has four young women and four other young men, for a total of nine kids all going to Finland in January. BUT when they're not actively working or studying together,  I'm his companion . All of the places I'd no

One More Syllable

It's been a year. One year ago we moved to Texas. One year ago I started asking people to call me Kristina instead of Kristy, thus adding one more syllable to my name. August is our anniversary. Last year we celebrated that anniversary by adding a cool new memory. That day we drove up to our house, found the keys and walked inside with the kids. We spent the night in our house without any stuff. Isn't it funny how places seem bigger when they're unfurnished? And that pool in the backyard? We knew nothing about pools and maintenance but just jumped in carefree. It was great. It was like being in a hotel but with room for everybody to spread out. Maybe it's time to explain the name change. For me, I had decided before moving to Texas that I wanted to quit using Kristy as my nickname. It served me well for many years and I still like it, but it's mainly for simplicity. When I'd first meet somebody, maybe I'd mumble or maybe I don't speak clearly enou

The Invisible Woman

Today I'm thinking about my mom. She spent a lot of years building and serving and lifting. She poured love and time and energy into her children, in a never-ending pattern. She did a hundred things that we still haven't noticed. I wonder if there's a coming of age that happens for a young mom, when she begins to realize how much work it is to BE a mom. Then maybe about two dozen years into this parenting thing, she begins to see  more stuff she missed. Then another realization comes when her oldest is almost grown. I'm still learning to see my mom and appreciate her as a person. But how can you see somebody who's been invisible? This morning I was talking with a good friend, another mom like me. She's younger and in a different season of mothering, yet we both can relate to sometimes feeling lonely. Sometimes we need evidence of progress, or at least a friendly word from a girlfriend. Maybe sometimes we just need somebody to notice and say thanks. Years ago I h


  My favorite quirk about my neighborhood is this: at Halloween all the skeletons come out of the closets. This one made me laugh out loud the other day. I was mad about something, it might have been the shenanigans going on around me or in my kids' schools or I might have been miffed about all the &*&%$ going on in the Middle East or South America or whatever. But when I drove past this skeleton, it just illustrated my current view of humanity. "Got my butt in a jam," with a skeleton literally stuck in a trashcan. I love my neighbors for their creativity, for loving the kids and for wanting to give them a fun Halloween season. I love the empty nesters for storing all this crap all year long, so that during October we can drive past and see something that makes us smile. Some of my favorites this year: I think that they're trying to illustrate that a good kegger might lead to trouble. ;) The skeleton wedding makes me smile almost as much as that gorgeous blue


Let's start with a fun list of opposites, skipping the usual favorites like hot and cold, and day and night. Instead here's a handful of spectacular rivalries.  Adobe and Apple Young Living and DoTerra McDonald's and Burger King Pepsi and Coke BYU and Utah TX Longhorns and OU Mercy and Justice Today my thoughts are on justice. Recently I took my girls to the dentist. My youngest doesn't love to brush or floss her teeth, she loves sugar, and hadn't been to the dentist in almost two years. After hearing good news that went something like, "Yay, good job everything is looking good..." Five minutes later I learned that there's six cavities with two more teeth that need silver caps and it will cost over $800 to fix everything. I was so miffed! Why get my hopes up before looking at an x-ray, and send them crashing down to earth after seeing the details more clearly?  When I die and go to heaven, I hope justice is Nothing like what I just experienced: I thoug

A church hymn I hated for five years

Hymn #223 Have I Done Any Good? 1. Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed. Has anyone's burden been lighter today Because I was willing to share? Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way? When they needed my help was I there? [Chorus] Then wake up and do something more Than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, A blessing of duty and love. 2. There are chances for work all around just now, Opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try," But go and do something today. 'Tis noble of man to work and to give; Love's labor has merit alone. Only he who does something helps others to live. To God each good work will be known. Text and music:  Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909, alt. James 1:22, 27 Alma 9:28

Church music, my favorite song by Pink, and thoughts from a recovering perfectionist

A song I've loved for years is, "You are perfect," by Pink, because it rings true for me:  I've chased down all my demons.  Or at least most of them. I've played the organ in Sacrament meeting dozens of times.  Occasionally there's a distinguished visitor or an important somebody sitting on the stand (literally two feet from my organ bench).  Sometimes it makes me nervous, but usually not too bad.  The time that freaked me out the most was when there was music professor in the congregation.  I remember having a little meltdown before church that day.  I told the Bishop, "I got a D in organ when I was in school..." and in his good natured, humorous way, he said, "We won't tell him."  Still, my anxiety was real.  I was worried about the songs, I was worried about the singing, I was worried about a lot of stuff.  Mainly, I was worried that I wasn't good enough and that somehow that music professor would agree. If you