The call came in at 7:35 this morning, just as I was sitting down to the kitchen table, a cup of hot tea in my hand, ready to read the newspapers.
The Girl: Mom, I forgot my sneakers and I have gym class first period.
Me: Yep. I see them. You really want me to bring them to you? Now?
The Girl: Please?
Me: (Paused for a beat) Okay. I'll bring them right over.
This is not the first time this has happened this school year. One morning, after I'd asked all three kids if they had their lunch money, I got a call from the twins asking me to bring lunch money down to their school otherwise they wouldn't be able to have lunch that day. I've also been asked to bring in homework, a textbook and gym clothes.
I feel compelled to note here that the Picket Fence Post kids are pretty self-sufficient in that they make their own breakfasts on school days and pack their own school lunches. Actually, the 12-year-olds pack their own lunches and we're teaching the 9-year-old how to do it, something he proudly said he did this morning, though The Spouse and I suspect he packed himself a Nutella sandwich as opposed to a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich, but we didn't really think that was a huge deal so we let it slide.
That being said, when do I stop this practice of rushing the kids' forgotten items to school for them? If I have a business meeting or conference call or aren't at home when the call comes in, then I wouldn't run the items over for them. But if my work schedule is flexible and I have the time to do it, I generally oblige them though I'm beginning to think that maybe I shouldn't any longer.
If The Girl gets reprimanded and marked down by her gym teacher for failing to remember to bring her sneakers or her gym clothes, perhaps that would prove to be a better incentive for her to remember those things the next time, especially when Mom won't bail her out any more.
Do you bail out your kids like this?