Time to go to school and how did that poo get there?

We were getting on our shoes and I was about to take the kids to school. And then I hear it, my three year old was in the bathroom saying something about poo. I crack open the door, hoping for the best, but knowing better since I've got three boys that went before him, but what I saw was new. There was crap smeared on the toilet seat and it continued into the crack below the seat and somehow there was a clump sticking horizontally to the base of the toilet. And all I could think was, "Under what circumstances...?" I'm not sure what happened in there, but he stood there with a worried brow and his Spiderman underwear draped around his ankles.
This was bad timing. The boys needed a ride, NOW, but I had a potty training clean-up that needed to happen NOW. So I did what any mom would do that was about to set herself up to disappoint her children and told them to start walking and I would drive down and make sure that they would not be late. {Porter has a thing about being late. It is not only not his style, but it increases his blood pressure to unhealthy heights. Unfortunately, yesterday (when we were late) I promised them that it wouldn't happen again - what was I thinking? What mom of four kids can promise such a thing? I can because I knew it was the only way to get Porter to cross the threshold of Brookside Elementary after the bell rang. SO I did it. I made a promise that not only could I not keep, but I broke it the very next day with a promise.}
Well, the clean-up and bath took longer than anticipated. Surely the boys were already at school. Surely the walk wasn't that far. I put the two youngest kids in the van and sped down to the street, quite sure all was well and that I had pulled off a rather impressive juggling act. But just about 400 yards away from the school, there were my two boys walking and talking, trusting that they wouldn't be late because mom said so and there I was 5 minutes after the bell rang picking them up.
Well, they took the news pretty well. They slid out of the car at the school and dutifully walked forward. Christian went in but just as Porter was about to step into the school, he stopped and ran back to the passenger-side window. His eyes were swimming. It didn't look good. I offered all the bribes I could afford. It had not been a good morning; I was holding back my own tears. Tears were streaming down Porter's face and his eyes were red. Mid conversation, he dove head first into the van through the window. We had a long conversation about not making this a habit. He understood. Tomorrow is a new day. I'm going to admit that I've enjoyed having him home today. I'm glad he was here. We went shopping together while Stafford was at preschool and Warrick was at his friend Tanner's house. We had a good time and good conversations. We bonded. He'll be older soon and won't cherish just being with mom quite like he did today. He has consequences like no playing with friends and things like that, he gets that, but I think he feels it was worth it today. After Warrick went to Kindergarten, Porter spent a long time out in the sandbox with his little brother. They dug tunnels and buried their toy castle and Stafford felt big and important to be playing with his big brother and no one else. The two of them are now both in their rooms sleeping.
I don't feel that rigidness is always the key, sometimes it is, but not when there are lumps of poo stuck in places that they shouldn't be. On those days, sometimes its okay to be soft and it's okay to break a few rules and it's okay to have together time and while it's still not okay to break promises, it is okay to forgive yourself, make the best of the day and to hope for better cards tomorrow.


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