Guess where I was yesterday? Give up? Well, I’ll tell you. I was at DSW, all by myself. That’s right. After a month’s delay, little lady finally had her first day of preschool. Her school, where second son will be taking an enrichment class on the same two mornings she attends (jackpot, baby), was supposed to open in September, but construction and two hurricanes delayed the permanent electrical hookup. I think it was for the best. A month ago, she might have balked.
Let me tell you, I was nervous. I didn’t know if she was going to go. She had met the teachers, been to an open house, but was nowhere near excited to start. She kept saying things like, “I’m all done playing with my friends,” and, “I already went to school,” in reference to her park meet and greet. Even the day before she started, she said, “I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay home with you.”
And that morning, “School’s boring!”
Then, there was my husband, “What if she’s not ready?” Which only added to my own anxiety about leaving my baby girl with strangers. It was driving me crazy. On one hand, two hours to myself, two times a week, for the first time in eight years, too good to resist. On the other hand, little lady, potentially crying and clinging to me as I walked out of the classroom, not so great. And, for what? So, I could got to Wegmans by myself (my husband’s words, not mine). Still tempting, but not nearly as enjoyable.
So, I alternated between talking school up and saying nothing at all. Then, yesterday, the day of reckoning came.
Amidst crying children and minor chaos, little lady and I walked into her classroom and hung up her backpack. We were the last ones to arrive, which turned out to be a good thing. She didn’t have to witness and dramatic separations, which only causes other children to think, where the hell is my mom leaving me?
The teacher greeted her, and little lady, hesitantly, gave her a hug. That was all I needed to see. Leaving a child at preschool for the first time, is much like pulling off a band-aid, it can be either slow and painful or quick and painless. My advice, always choose the latter.
Seizing the moment, I quickly gave her a kiss goodbye and never looked back again. Well, at least, she never saw me look back again. I spied on her through the door for a few minutes, just to be sure she was ok. She never even looked for me. She jumped right in and started playing puzzles with the other children.
My lurking paid off in more ways than one. I was still there when the director sent in reinforcements to deal with the criers, who, in my opinion, needed to either get with the program, or be isolated. Crying in preschool is as contagious as a wildfire. It needs to be stamped out immediately, before it ruins the entire landscape.
Satisfied, and without any tears of my own (can’t say that for the first two), I left, knowing that even though number three started preschool a whole year earlier than number one and number two, she did it the same way, a little hesitant, but without tears. That’s good enough for me!
When I went to pick her up, before she noticed me, I took this picture. I think her face says it all, a little weary, a little bored, but she’s putting on a brave face. She kind of looks like she’s on a bad date, doesn’t she?Way to go little lady! I think it’s going to be a great year.