Sh*t I Say: “Remember Your Jacket”
Today is the seventeenth day of the April A to Z Challenge. During this month I will be writing blog posts every day (with breaks on Sundays) about the topic “Sh*t I Say” starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. This is one crazy project, y’all.
Remember your jacket!
I say this every day to Kyle before he trots off into the entrance of his school. The entrance is a magical arch that opens into Schooltopia, a moniker I gave his school the first time I visited it back in 2010 when our family was home shopping. It’s a sprawling campus for an elementary school – especially if you are seven years old and the world is still really big.
Every day Kyle plays a bizarre form of handball with his peers against the enormous retaining wall that separates the asphalt play yard from the soccer field behind the school. And for a while, every day he would take off his jacket and leave it there.
And then we’d have to paw through the lost and found bin to find the jacket. This lost and found bin is always overflowing with discarded jackets, sweaters, lunch boxes, thermoses, hair accessories, and assorted other forgotten items that were meant to be toted around by children. Since this is Southern California, the lost and found box is outside. One time it had rained, and on the day we had to paw through the box, everything in it was soggy. Awesome.
Finally I just had it. I instituted the jacket vs. video games rule. If Kyle forgets to put his jacket in his backpack, he can’t play video games that afternoon or evening. OH THE WHINING. His first reaction was to tell me he didn’t need a jacket anymore, but this was on days when the temperature was a chilling 40 degrees. Not gonna happen.
We did have a few days when no video games were played because the jacket had been abandoned in the play yard. The funny thing is, Kyle doesn’t play video games every day anyway. But the idea that he can’t is enough to modify his behavior.
So it worked – he remembers his jacket every day now. But since I am me, I cannot help but remind him. Every. Day.