I mentioned in my last post that Mason will attend his first day of preschool next week (eek! Tomorrow, actually!) on September 4th. However, a few days ago he had a two hour parent-less orientation in his new classroom and lets just say … I don’t think drop-offs will be the highlight of his year.
To make a long story short, our first drop-off went terribly. As in, the only way it could have been worse was if bodily fluids were involved. Oh wait, that’s right … Avery managed to drop an enormous foul-smelling load in her pants during the 5 minute drive to school. So thanks for that, Ave. Nothing better than smelling like a 3-day old port-a-potty at an outdoor concert when you need to be in close vicinity with strangers, that’s what I always say.
Anyways, drop-off consisted of myself, Mason, Avery and her Load standing in a tightly-enclosed entrance inside the school. We watched as other new students got taken gently by the hand of the receptionist and lead down the halls to their various rooms with nary a tear in sight.
And then it was our turn.
"Hi Mason! Why don’t you come with me and we’ll go find your class?” asked the smiling woman, kindly offering her hand in his general direction.
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!” screamed Mason, abject terror on his face. “No, mom, no!! Don’t leave me!! Pleeeeeease don’t leave me!!!!!!!!! Nooooooooooo!!”. Other children began to whimper as though they hadn’t really thought of the ramifications of being left at school until that moment, either.
“Please mom, pleeeease! I wanna go home with you! I wanna go home with you and Ave!! Pleeease!!!” he continued, tears pouring from his eyes.
It was at this point that the receptionist (and props to her, I might add) bent down, scooped Mace up and carried him down the hall as though nothing were the matter, even though my son was now screaming, flailing and kicking like a wild animal.
And I stood there, malodorous babe in one arm and car keys in the other, all eyes on me and my caterwauling son. And all I could think of to say as she struggled to get him through the door was “Back at 11?”.
I spent the next two hours worrying about him. I imagined him bawling through most of class, hidden away in a corner, tearful and afraid that his mom had abandoned him forever. Oh, how I wanted to be there that first day, to ease him in, answer his questions and offer comfort when needed. I worried, and wept, and tried to keep my mind on other things as I did a quick grocery trip, dropped the goods off at home and returned to the school.
Walking again through the doors I envisioned the pickup to be joyously tearful. I knew he had been thinking of me the entire time, wondering if I was coming back, eagerly awaiting the sight of my face.
It took them five minutes to pry him from the art table.
And then he had the nerve to hand me his beautiful, carefully decorated, first-ever I’m-a-big-boy-in-preschool-now piece of schoolwork and say to me “Here, mom! I made this for dad!”.
And so the year begins.