The Lydster, Part 78: Dilly-Dally

Her great motivator is competition.

Ah, bad daddy, with no current picture; this one’s three years old.

One of my primary functions on the weekday is to get Lydia to school on time. Despite, or possibly because of, living virtually across the street, it is a challenge to get her there without feeling rushed. Sometimes, it’s her need to go to the loo one last time. But mostly, it’s that she gets distracted, by a book, or something she wants to draw, or by dancing to the music that is quite evident in her head.

Conversely, when it’s something else that SHE wants to go to, and we’re taking longer than the daughter expects, she complains. Lately, she’s taken to say, “Don’t dilly-dally!” This is not a phrase in the front part of my vocabulary, and my wife uses it only rarely, so I don’t know WHERE she got this phrase.

One of the things she does to procrastinate is to play this annoying game of “Throw the clothes past daddy,” which involves her taking the clothes she has picked to wear that day and tossing them out of her room without me catching them; lately, she’s been wrapping them around her stuffed animals for better ballast.

Her great motivator is competition. If it’s time for pajamas, I’ll say, “I’m going to beat you upstairs,” and invariably she’ll run up the stairs. Or if she’s lollygagging to the car when we need to go somewhere, I’ll race her to get the seat belt fastened first. About 96% of the time, she legitimately wins these contests, and the other 4% of the time, I think she’s just letting me win. One sure sign of her overtiredness is when she declines the competition.

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