This is not a good morning for my daughter, Lauren. The shoes scattered across the floor hint at the latest struggle to occur before school.
Loud sobbing (of course) combined with dramatic, breathless gasps starts after Lauren, a highly organized child, can't find her matching shoe. It goes downhill from here. So much for breakfast.
First, Lauren walks out the house with one sandal and one gym shoe.
She comes back and changes into combat boots and long shorts.
"That actually looks cool," I say.
Next, in an elaborate attempt to reel the entire house into her chaos (which she does) Lauren walks out in pink house shoes.
That's when my passive "it's your choice" attitude ends. Even her cranky-not-a-morning-person father wakes up to weigh in.
With no time to spare, the girls and I make it to the car. Lauren is still sobbing but at least she's sobbing in matching cowboy boots. Using my best cheerleading voice, I tell everyone to shake it off. "A bad start in the morning, doesn't mean the rest of the day has to be bad."
"Yeah, what happened a half-hour ago is in the past," my youngest daughter said proudly.
I look for Lauren's reaction but only see the back of her head because now her body is twisted like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat with her face plastered across the passenger window.
By the time we roll through the school drop off lane, the tears stop. I wish the girls well and head to Starbucks. As I order my triple espresso, I think about how I've driven dozens of forgotten lunches, violins, even shoelaces to school this year.
Back home, it's time to focus on me. I'm ready to apply for several new jobs I saw advertised. Just as I open up some tabs on the laptop, the phone rings. It's the school.
"Hi, Kim. Lauren stopped by the office. She needs her communication folder."
Sure enough, I look around and the folder is right where I put it even though I told Lauren her signed lunch form and money for a class treat is in the pocket ready to go.
My instinct is to get in the car and head to the school - again but I stop myself.
Actions have consequences. Taking a page from Love & Logic Institute's school of thought, I tell my husband that Lauren is going to have to feel the embarrassment that comes when a teacher asks for something and you're unprepared.
I hope she learns an important lesson about organization.
I hope she shakes off negativity.
As I write this, it's only 10 a.m. and believe it or not, I still think it can be a good day.
How about you? What do you do when your child forgets something? What if it's important and you have the time to deliver it - do you?