Yesterday, the girls decided they'd rather fight and squabble then get in the car nicely to go to soccer.
It was butt in the morning (as soccer does), they were all decked out in their uniforms, had eaten breakfast, had their water bottles. Their daddy and I were all ready to go. It was going to be a nice family morning. Only not.
Right at 8:45 a.m. one twin kicked the other twin in the head instead of strapping in. And I got out of the car and walked away. Carlos made them get out, and they all went inside. After my busting butt to get them ready and asking them repeatedly to just sit down and strap in the car, I was done.
Carlos gave them the opportunity to apologize to me and nicely go to soccer. They flat-out refused. (Haha, wow, they think they're something, eh?)
So, we stayed home.
And I was confident in that decision. My daughters' hour-long tantrum, their shock, their disbelief at their inability to make it better by trying to barter good behavior with me validated me.
Then, online, some people brought up a very valid point.
Soccer isn't like an individual trip to the park, or even like a playdate where the other mom will understand that your monsters are being monsters and plans need to change.
By not attending the game, we left their team two players down. And since it was 15 minutes before start, we couldn't give notice where anyone could see it or make preparations for it.
Should natural-consequence parenting take a hit when an entire team may be counting on your participation?
I thought about this for a while.
I decided, that at this age (six), parenting needs to override team commitment. My kids are too young to understand delayed punishment. I can't say, fine, let's go to soccer now, and then you're grounded for the rest of the day, or whatever. They'd be like, why? And they honestly wouldn't get it.
And I paid a billionity overpriced dollars for the privilege of dragging my butt out of bed on a Saturday to get them there, all so a bunch of kids can run in a huge beehive-like fashion for an hour.
I am obviously still upset at letting people down. The coaches are parents, and they work really hard for our kids. But I let my kids know that they let their team down, and we can't let this happen again. And I'd rather them learn this now, and be firm about this, so that I don't have to do it to them (or their teammates) when they're older.
And when they are older, if they're still kicking each other in the head when we get in the car, they'll go to the game. Then they'll be grounded for the next foreseeable future.
Because COME ON, ALREADY. You cannot just kick people in the head.
That's what the internet is for.