Rush Me, I Dare You

24 Feb

lunch boxes in waiting

Morning has made my strapping, vibrant 14-year-old turn into a crotchety old man.   I’ve never seen anyone move so slowly.  What I find so amazing is the more I try to encourage or demand he hurry up, the slower he actually moves like he is saying, “Rush, me. I dare you.”  And now, using science I can prove that it is actually happening.

Take Newton’s third law of motion.  It states how forces always occur in pairs. Every action is accompanied by a reaction of equal magnitude but opposite direction.  In our home, Newton’s law is demonstrated most consistently between 6:30 and 7:20 a.m. weekdays and 8:30 – 9:15 on Sunday mornings.

Case in point:  I’ve seen the extreme where the beast actually lays down on the bed when I lovingly advise, “We need to leave in 2 minutes!” It’s like I have flipped a switch in his brain.  It may be the stubborn switch, the brat switch, the you’re-not-the-boss-of-me switch, but it is some kind of switch any time I attempt to encourage punctuality.

Earlier this week discussing the scenario with my husband, I found myself actually describing my beast like a crotchety old man.  Here’s why.  To hurry things along in our morning routine, I sometimes take his shoes, backpack and binder to the car so all he has to do is grab his breakfast and follow.  The other day after about 1 minute alone in the car, I returned inside and found him sitting at the table with a glass of water, taking all his pills, one at a time like an old man.  Tiny sip, allergy pill.  Tiny sip, chase allergy pill.  Tiny sip, vitamin #1.  Tiny sip, chase vitamin #1. Tiny sip, vitamin #2.  Tiny sip, chase vitamin #2.   With a leisurely glance in the distance sprinkled in between each step. Seriously.  I wasn’t sure whether to burst out laughing or lose my lid!

I’ve made the dictate that he has to get everything ready the night before so he cannot delay or stall with the fine art of packing up the backpack.  And he absolutely is not allowed to make his lunch the day of.  Somehow that activity takes the same amount of time as a gourmet meal.  If it isn’t made by the time we need to leave, he isn’t making one and must buy.  (Seems like that could be a reward, but right now we are in the “taking-your-own-lunch-is-cool” phase.)

And gone are the days when he used to wear his tennis shoes like slippers, never untying them to take them off or put them on.  Newton’s law in action – tell him it is time to leave, and he meticulously unties, inserts foot, straightens the tongue, tightens the network of laces, reties, double-knots, adjusts socks… a 30-second event takes 4 minutes.

My latest tactic is to wake him up earlier thinking more time will result.  Along comes Newton’s law again — the pace just slows.  I want him to be able to eat breakfast at the table, have time to read his devotional and feel ready to meet the day.  Maybe Newton’s law can become my ally?  Maybe I just need to tell him he’s acting like an old man — then, maybe Newton’s law will adjust and he’ll act like the beast I’d much prefer him to be.  It’s worth a try. Dare me?

Parenting Tip: Nothing you do can prepare you for the onset of premature aging.

[1 Timothy 5:1  Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers.]


2 Responses to “Rush Me, I Dare You”

  1. Billie Martin February 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Bless your heart. I actually laughed and I know it isnt funny. You need to write a book. I really think you could get it published.Wish I had some advice for you, but I dont. I will pray about it and I will keep loving all of you.Love Billie


  1. The Home Schooling Strategy « Bringing Up Beasts - March 28, 2012

    […] complained about not getting to school on time. I’ve complained about receiving acknowledgment from my beast when I’m on campus with […]

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