Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to Prevent Children from Running Away

Oldest daughter has threatened to run away. For the 5th time this week. And who can blame her? After all, I did pick her up in the bike trailer from school. And I am also guilty of taking her to Girl Scouts this afternoon. Oh, and I consented to letting her have a sucker. Plus, I spent my usual 2 hours helping in her classroom today- just like every Tuesday.

But I wonder where she even picked up that "I'm gonna run away" phrase. Very original. I can remember using that one on my own mom and she usually countered with "Let me know when you are going to pack your bags and I will help you."

I just don't know how to respond to my own daughter. It's a tricky little manipulative corner these sneaky kids back us into.

What I think she is really saying is:
I'm sick of the pile of laundry in the loft.
Because whenever I look at that pile, the first thought on my mind is "I'm gonna run away."
I used to have a great system for laundry. I did one load every day- two, if necessary- and I was able to keep up on the laundry. This was successful for just over a year. And then I got pregnant- and way sick. And the system was thrown off. And I have not been able to get on top of it again in the past year. And it's driving me crazy.
But that is neither here nor there, for what will I do with a runaway daughter? I don't know.
But I do know this: when it comes down to it and she is ready to run, we will have a difficult time packing her little wheelie suitcase- because there are no clean clothes in her drawers- they are all in a pile in the loft. So, here is my theory: she will get so frustrated sorting through the clothes to pack her little bag that she will give up on the running away. Because, hey, it's easier to put up with the meanest of mean moms than to have to sort out the Mt. Everest of laundry hanging out in the loft.

Problem solved.

OK, OK, I confess- I am purposely failing at laundry in an attempt to retain my children.

And now I am off to bed so that I may awake at 5:45 a.(crazy)m. so that I might continue my effort to shape myself up for this pioneer trek. And then I will walk. Because, really, all I want in life is to be an awesome walker! (and to figure out why blogger does some of the annoying things that it does whenever i add a pic or center a phrase. aaarrrgghhhh!!!! yes, and that)

14 comments:

Sarah said...

Cute pun at the end! The best way to get all the laundry done is to be waiting to have to take a trip at a moments notice. I've been doing laundry for 2 days, but we'll be ready to go...
Good luck. My mom gave us each a laundry basket. She sorted our clothes, and we had to fold (or choose to be wrinkly!) and deal with our own clothes. I don't think your kiddos would be ready for that - but it's good to know the possibility of an ending. :)

Me said...

Lets hope that she doesn't decide to just run away without a bag..after getting discouraged.

Best of luck, both with the kiddo and the walking!

Amanda said...

(here from BSU) I love it! Yes, that is why my laundry is so piled up, to keep my kids from running away. Oh, but that won't work for my boys - they LIKE dirty clothes! LOL

Cute post!

wonder woman said...

Wish I could come over. I got no problems with laundry. Love to fold and watch all my TV shows.

Good for you, getting up so early to exercise! You're going to be a great Ma.

Karen said...

I can remember more than one occasion in my childhood where I actually made plans with a friend to run away from home. We actually planned out where we would stay, wrote out the "don't bother looking for us" note, the works. I mean, it was a LOT of dishes.

I look back and laugh. Running away seems so glamorous when you're 8 and don't realize the world is so full of danger.

Nathan said...

Okay ...

First, I love your mom's comeback. I definitely need to remember that one.

Second, the laundry idea is a brilliant way to keep them from bolting. I wonder why people didn't think of it before.

Kellie said...

When I look at (or smell) my dirty laundry it makes me want to run away, too!

Shannon said...

Let's not mention laundry. I have a cute little running-away story. I came home from the store a month or so ago and Steven was soaked from the waist down. I asked what happened. Turns out he'd been mad about something and ran away for 1/2 hour. He took his coat, but that's it and sat in the snow in the back yard until he got cold and "came home". I was gone and no one else even notice he'd left. No atttempts since then, though! Good luck helping sweet daughter pack her bags!

Mechelle said...

Or... you could go with her. My mom used the "I'll help you pack" line too, always made me mad, but it worked. But if you packed your bags, and everyone else did too, and went with her, because you all love her, then it wouldn't really be running away. Unless, of course, it really is the laundry she's wanting to run away from. :)

Tink said...

Ha! Very cute. And your daughter sounds like my daughter--a drama queen!

Ruth P said...

They must teach that in 1st grade. Since Heidi is only in kindergarten she has only learned, "That's not fair!" and "You never let me have any fun!" I can only look forward to what she will learn next year! Thanks for the heads-up. :)

Elizabeth said...

So far no run away attempts here, but I sense one coming....I think I should stop doing the laundry now so that I will be prepared when the situation arises- LOL!

Randibee said...

Tell her next time she wants to run away, that she is welcome to run away to my house and be an extra slave...lol.

Fiauna said...

Just stalking in from blog stalkers. Oh my word. How funny. My son went through a I'm-going-to-run-away phase a two years ago. He actually made a few blocks away a couple of times. I'm laughing now.