Most weekday mornings, getting Clay out of bed in time to meet his 7 a.m. bus is like extracting your leg from a knee-deep mud puddle. It has to be done carefully, in stages and with much patience, or you’ll have a wet leg, a lost shoe and a kid who is still asleep.
My wife is the early riser (I do my best worrying late at night), so she faces the daily routine much more often, and it is not pretty. I’ll spare you the details, but it takes place in phases that begin with removing his comforter and enticing him to the sofa downstairs for a few more minutes rest to forcing his limp, dead-weight body into some clothes while he lulls in a state of stupefied, semi-consciousness. Much like someone watching Jersey Shore.
So, here’s the question. Why, on a day when we get the dead of night call that school is closed for snow, is Clay up and raring to go, unprompted, at 6 a.m.?
While you are mulling that mystery of the universe, here’s one more thing to think about. Our school district closed yesterday, while most others in the area instituted a mere 2-hour delay. Why the discrepancy? Why the closing at all?
I think the problem is that the incentives are mixed up. You can’t leave the decision about whether to close school to some supervisor who peeks out the window from a warm, soft bed. He or she gets the day off if school is closed. What kind of motivation is that? It is like asking the dog whether he wants to eat now or later. You pretty much know how that is going to turn out.
I have a better solution. Put together a committee made up exclusively of parents of special needs kids, and leave the decision whether to close school to them. In that case, my wife points out, it would take an iceberg falling directly on the school building to prompt a closing. To which I say, “Isn’t that exactly how it should be?”