It’s hard to believe that Kaylee could go from this:
in a little under 3 hours, but she did. My darling little girl who was so excited to head to pre-school that morning was now sitting in the back of my van wailing as though the world had come to an end. Oh, no, she didn’t have a bad day at pre-school. In fact the teacher said she did wonderfully. No, she was screaming because she didn’t want to leave.
I showed up a few minutes before pre-school let out and had to wait for the door to the classroom to be opened. When it did I heard the childish call of, “Come on in!” that I remember so well from Cameron’s time in this very classroom. I happened to be closest to the door and so was the first parent to enter the room. Generally the teacher would have the kids put on their coats, hats, and gloves, and grab their backpacks before the parents came into the classroom. Cameron would notoriously be the only kid not having done any of those things.
My little Kaylee though had all of her stuff on just like she should. All bundled up like that I didn’t immediately spot her, but seconds after I walked through the doorway her little head peeked around the other kids and she said, as if surprised, “Mommy, you pickded me up!” Uh yeah. What did you think I was going to do? Leave you here forever?
With her pre-bundled I figured that getting out of the classroom was going to be way easier than it was last year when I had to spend at least 15 minutes wrestling Cameron into his coat and then figuring out where Kaylee had disappeared off to since she’d bolt the second my attention wasn’t fully on her. Boy was I wrong.
I went over to the parent files to see if there was any paperwork that I needed to take home. Seeing that they hadn’t added a folder for Kaylee yet, I turned to gather her up and leave and that’s when the trouble started. Apparently me coming to pick her up didn’t make her realize that meant we would be leaving. For some reason, even with her coat on, she thought she got to stay for the rest of the day. Even all of the other kids leaving with their parents didn’t clue her in.
She and Cameron do share one thing in common, their stubborn streak. And so it was that I had to push, prod, poke, cajole, persuade, and wheedle her toward the door. It wasn’t until we got to the front door that she absolutely refused to go any further. I finally threatened to carry her to the car if she wouldn’t cooperate. Well that compounded the problem as she burst into tears. So now I was trying to keep her moving when she pretty well couldn’t see where she was going through the flood of tears pouring down her face.
I’ve dealt with enough tears in my life that I knew the best way to deal with this was to scoop her up and get her out of there as quickly as possible. The sooner it was out of sight, the sooner it would be off her mind. I packed her up into the car and left the parking lot with her continuing to wail in the backseat. Part way home it seemed that leaving the pre-school wasn’t making things any better, in fact it seemed like she was just crying louder (though that could be a result of my annoyance with the sound than any actual fact).
I finally offered her the option to go pick up daddy for lunch so she could tell him about her day. That marginally cheered her up, and by the time we got to Matt’s work she had at least stopped screaming. But that didn’t mean she was in a good mood. Daddy made the mistake of asking how her day was and she scowled at him. She refused to answer any questions about pre-school and would only say that I made her leave. Evidently she wasn’t going to let that go any time soon.
We hoped getting to lunch would improve her mood. Maybe she was just hungry or something. Wrong again. She was more happy than she had been once we gave her crayons and paper, but as soon as we asked her about school she would give us a crusty look and go back to her coloring. This went on through most of lunch, until we finally got the idea to offer her dessert. We said if she ate all of her lunch and cheered up we would allow her to get a bowl of ice cream for dessert.
Well that did the trick. She perked up immediately, scarfed down the rest of her lunch, and happily gobbled down her ice cream. She even consented to answering a few questions about pre-school during that time. She confirmed that she had a good time, she got to play with play-doh, met some new friends, and even went potty like a big girl.
I probably should have left well enough alone at that point since she had finally cheered up but I felt it would be prudent that she understood that she would not be going back to pre-school on Wednesday. Believe it or not, she took the news rather well. She just asked when she did get to go back to pre-school again.
I think pre-school is going to be really good for her, especially once she gets the whole routine down and stops crying every time we have to leave.