Thursday, September 08, 2011

So'd you like school?

My pretty treat after a teary drop-off.

 And her answer would be...not so much, guys! Not so much.

Girlfriend was not pleased when I left (nor was I, truthfully) and when I picked her up 4 hours later, she was...crying. And: "Mumamamammamamamaaaaaaa!" I think part of that was hearing my voice outside the door, but the teachers did report she was on/off sad the whole time. Kind of makes me pukey to hear that, but I wasn't exactly surprised and hey, I know she'll adjust. (I guess?) Blergh.

Still...she was so happy to see me and so into her sandwich (hunger strike during school, apparently) and just so pleased to be back in love again, it made me feel like I'd subjected her to medieval torture instead of a delightful little play day with graham crackers and teapot sets. Double blergh.

I don't know. I'm feeling sadder than I'm letting on... because she wouldn't nap all day and now she won't fall asleep -- she's too scared to be away from me. She's screaming and sweaty and anxious and clinging to me and I'm not even a little bit annoyed. I'm just guilty and ... sad. Just sad. And thinking she just might not be ready for this.

I know most everyone will tell me it's an adjustment and she'll get over it, but my heart is heavy tonight. I'm proud of my mothering; I work really hard everyday at creating a life for her that is peaceful and creative and silly and happy. It's my job. So when she's feeling just the opposite of those things, it makes me feel like I'm failing. And I can't always see what's happening just yet -- are these growing pains or is this a mistake? Is this a path to better things for us both or the beginning of bitten baby nails?

It didn't help that my friend from playgroup picked her son up at the same time and? The teacher handed him over with: "Not a tear! Not one!" What the flip? How? I love this friend, tho, because she was zero smug. "He'll have his days. I know he will." Maybe...or maybe not.

But what did I do during my time off? I got a treat and then I ate it on my couch. I took out the trash and folded some of her clothes. I played Car Talk loud on the speakers (those guys make her nervous) and plucked my eyebrows. I put on mascara. I went to therapy. (Go me for scheduling a session during a decidedly emo time.) I perused expensiveyugly boutique clothes and then I bought a sandwich. And then it was time to pick her up. It was nice. I didn't wring my hands or cry in the fetal position; I actually relaxed and had a fine time.

Post eyebrow fixing and mascara applying. Ha.

I sure looked a little prettier with some solo time.

Tomorrow my little family boards a plane for a long weekend in Sun Valley, Idaho. I've never been to Idaho! Whose a 'ho? It will be fun to see our friends and get fresh air and kick up our legs. I'll try and take some fotos.

And now, my newly-arrived-from-Portland-Maine chamomile and lavender tea awaits my mopey mouth. Smush.


  1. Um. I'm so sorry. That sounds horrible.

    Wish I knew the answer. My mama instincts tell me to do what they need (which could possibly be the reason I have a child attached to my body every second we are together), but a friend of mine just had a lot of luck play acting "going to school" with trains and her son stopped crying after a year of crying every day.

    I'm glad you got some you time.

    Big hugs.

  2. Oh I would be so upset, too. Throwing am idea out- what if you got a mothers helper person once a week instead? Help Harper adjust more slowly while still giving you time (albeit mostly around the house). Just a thought.

    I'm endlessly surprised at how complex parenting is and how the "right choice" is rarely obvious as you are constantly not only dealing with an immediate moment but also trying to think long term. Had my own "what to do?" moment ( tho it wasn't a big deal like yours) with her being so young in her dance class. She was only half getting it and I felt like I'd thrown her in the deep end, and yet she was loving it and was blissfully unaware, so... Anyway, a hug to you for getting through a hard day. Hope your girl got some quality sleep last night and is feeling back to her normal self today.

  3. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Try staying at the school for a day or two then reduce the school time to zero over time - grey - not b/w.

  4. Was anonymous by default.

  5. By staying at the school, H will make friends and get use to the adults and then your good to go.

  6. Hey, you. I say give it some more's just so normal for a toddler to cry when getting used to a new situation. She'll be fine! It's similar to the Ferberizing thing for sleep....and you need your mascara time! mom

  7. :(

    Bowie only did that to me once, when we left him at a friend's house to go out for dinner. But, I do remember feeling awful, and never wanting to leave his side again.


    I would give it more than one day, but if your gut is really telling you she's not ready, then she may not be. She's still on the young side, you should both be enjoying this time.

  8. I agree with Laura, I mean she seriously might be too young. Every little one is different! Of course you need your alone time but if she is still so upset at night it might be just a little too soon for her. She will eventually fly the coop and have little friends and love away time but maybe not yet. But a mommy's helper might be perfect for both of you! So glad you got a day alone though:)

  9. I love you and I would have cried and felt awful when I picked her up.

    You know what to do.

    Kiss kiss hug slobber.

    PS) I would probably miss you too if you were my mama and did all the fun crap you do and fed me real good foodz all the time.

  10. You could talk to the teachers and see if maybe you could come a little early or stay later at drop off to explore the class together. And then get there early for pick up. The kids love seeing parents in their surroundings. That's not to say she still won't cry, but it sounds encouraging that she at least took breaks from crying. We had 3 year olds last year that didn't take breaks for 2 weeks. (I admire those teachers. For reals.)

    Kids cry. And every child is different with how long they'll acclimate to the classroom. I say stick it out. It couldn't possibly be easy for everyone out there, just like all situations with a kid. It's normal anxiety for the both of you on the first day.

    Take a breather and relax for your vacation!

  11. I think you have so many good takes on this. I do like Celina's idea. When I was teaching, there were 3rd graders who would have a difficult time at the beginning of the year. And of course, K through grade 2 would have more mothers escorting and leaving crying children. I would give it a couple of more times so Harper can know you will be back to get her at the end of play day. Hope you enjoy Idaho...I played golf at Coeur d'Alene would be worth it to see the beautiful lake and geraniums if you get a chance. I know the CCowans are not into golf, but you might take a ride on a cigarette boat out on the lake.

  12. YAY! You make me so excited for Lucy going to preschool. I think I will have a harder time with it than she will.


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