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V is for victory, verbal contracts and vacation bible school


"I don't want to go mommy, please please don't make me go". We have been negotiating for weeks, in total we have made three pinky swears and two verbal contracts.. Conditions: "I will only go if you take me AND pick me up." A final handshake and the deal is made. You may think that I was sending my five year old to the underworld to sit at the right hand of Hades to rule as his bride for all of eternity. Only I wasn't, I was sending her to... Vacation Bible School.

VBS as it is so affectionately called, I have recently discovered is on of the most wonderful, happy places on earth. Three hours a day for a five days, children of all ages flock to our local churches to take part in good ole Christian fellowship, songs, crafts and most importantly for parents it buys us one more week of peace before summer chaos sets in. Not to mention that we as parents get to check our "being a good Christian parent" box as now both of my children can sing the books of the Bible in order to a catchy tune. Until this year I had never taken part in the VBS phenomenon, however now, it has now earned a coveted spot on my list of "great ideas" right in between buying colored underwear, as an alternative to white, for my husband and finding a delicious powder to mix with a avocado to make homemade guacamole.

So while I am patting myself on the back with a job well done. My five year old suffers through her own insecurities and has turned her week in VBS into a "week without mom, dad, the pool, my sister, my cats and my house." Contracts in place, on day one I march her freckled face, thirty pound scrawny little butt to school, I am rewarded with what was probably one of her top ten temper tantrums, even Charles F. Richter didn't see this one coming. When the dust had settled she had assaulted two teachers and traumatized twelve of her peers as they started to wonder if VBS was really the place for them as well. After the "hand off" I nervously bolted out the door and didn't look back. Day two was a little easier, only after we renegotiated the terms and now I would drop off and give a longer hug and kiss (I guess she saw me bolt on day one). As we roll into day three, there is nowhere to go but up and if we can all get out with a couple of hurt feelings and some broken fingernails than we are OK. Overall this has been a battle of wills. And although she did not win this round, as we are forcing her to complete the week, she definitely opened our eyes to her stubbornness and tenacity. Not to mention we did get a preview into what life will be like in her early teens. Her dreams of becoming a ballerina are now in the toilet as she has proven herself a strong negotiator and we will start to cultivate that seed very soon. In the meantime she needs to just get over it, as next year when I have the whole summer in front of me I am going to start early, and coordinate a solid two months of Vacation Bible School at all participating churches in a 20 mile radius. Seriously why can't I?