Being Late

I overslept this morning, which meant that Grace was late in gettng up. We normally have to leave for school by 7:30 to get her some transition time at school. But I didn’t even wake her up until 7 and it usually takes her an hour to get breakfast, get dressed, brush her hair and teeth, and all the other things it takes to get her out the door.

Here is the big problem. When I am late, I immediately move into the running, frantic mode, rushing to get things done. But the more frantic I get, the slower and more belligerent all the girls get. I’m running from the bathroom to the closet, trying to get us where we need to be on-time. They slow to a crawl, acting as if there is no problem in the world and meandering from room to room.

I’m never sure whether this is part of parenting a child with ADHD or being the sole male in a house full of women. What I do know is that it makes me crazy. I try again and again to understand, to slow down, to cast aside my anxiety. Yet, on a regular basis, I find myself as the arbitrar of time, pacing in the living room, shouting reminders that we only have five minutes until time to leave, and wondering why I am so worked up.

This morning, as it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to make things happen any faster, I gave up. I sat down at the piano and began to play with themes as a way of relaxing myself.

Of course, after all my pushing and cajoling, Grace immediately bounded down the stairs and shouted, “We’re late. It’s time to go! What are you doing playing the piano?”


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