I had to write about this because so many of you parents can relate. Also, I’m hoping a sense of humor can sustain the entire human race, not to mention those of us who had to send our perfect little angels off to school for the first time. *Sob*
Part I: The Drop Off
Despite Zach and I telling Brady how much fun school is, he declared he didn’t want to go. So we called in the big guns: we recruited everyone within a 20-mile radius to talk up the pre-school experience. “You will LOVE it!” “It’s so much fun!” “You won’t believe how much you learn!” Finally, the kid was sold. He was looking forward to writing on a chalkboard (do those still exist?!) and making new friends. This morning, his first day, he was ready to roll! He inhaled breakfast, brushed his teeth, and posed for six million pictures in his adorable first day of school outfit. In short, everything was going swimmingly.
The ride to school was filled with emotion. For me. Brady simply requested I turn up John Mellencamp’s “Paper and Fire” so he could rock out. Sure, buddy, have at it.
We had to wait in a line to get into the classroom (a great way to build anxiety in parents and patience in kids). Brady kept whispering, “I fink it’s our turn to go!” I held my breath as we crossed over the threshold…mostly because a parent in front of us had evidently forgotten to apply deodorant this morning. *DANG*
And there we were. The classroom is colorful and inviting. As the parents listen to the teacher explain procedural stuff, the kids play. Brady finds a few cars and makes himself at home zoom-zooming them around the floor. I fill out some paperwork and then it’s time for me to leave, to cut the cord, to entrust a stranger with my first-born. *SOB*
I announce to Brady that I’m leaving. He exclaims a little too enthusiastically, “Okay! Don’t forget your phone!” Dagger to the heart much?
I’m half happy he’s content, and half devastated that he doesn’t give a flying fart I’m leaving, and then they happen…
They, identical twin boys, start SCREAMING in unison. Like beyond sobbing. They are really freaking out. Fortunately (unfortunately?), my son is the world’s most sensitive 3-year-old, and when he sees the other boys in such anguish, that’s it. Brady’s little lip curls and tears well up in his eyes. I tell him not to be sad, holding in my own tears and what I presume is vomit creeping up in my throat. I ask if he wants to go over and make them feel better by introducing himself, and as soon as the suggestion is out of my mouth, one of the boys makes a break for the exit, and is
tackled hugged ever so gently by the classroom aid. At that point, I thought it best to keep our distance. Introductions could wait.
The bell for the pledge and prayer ring, and I tell Brady that means all Moms and Dads have to leave. (By the way, I am the only parent left, so I’m sure the teachers have dubbed me “That Mother.” Sigh.). His grip on my neck tightens and everything is starting to go black. I inform my little guy that if he doesn’t let go, Mommy will surely pass out. He obliges, and promptly takes hold of my leg. His teacher sees that I am having some difficulty, and comes to lend a hand. Actually, she lends her whole body; she wedged herself in between me and the kid, and attempted to distract him with a monkey. A monkey. I’m thinking is that the best you’ve got?! Brady is evidently thinking the same. He screams, I die a little inside and move toward the door. It was now or never. Even if it meant hearing his wails as I ugly cry the whole way to the car–which it did–I had to go.
I felt like the world’s worst mother, even though I knew I wasn’t. The twins’ mom is obviously the worst.
Part II: The Pick Up
The teacher escorts the kids outside, and Brady runs into my arms. I can’t help myself; I cry a little, but I don’t let him see for fear of another meltdown.
Me: Did you love school?!
Brady: I ate peanut butter crackers.
Me: What else did you do?
Brady: I want to go home and poop now.
That was the extent of our post-school conversation. Thank God I have a daughter, too, because if this me-no-talk-me-just-eat-and-poop boy trend continues, I will be forced to become a classroom volunteer and spy on my kid.
Good luck to all the other parents who have experienced The Drop Off this year! May peace and liquor be with you.