The Morning Drop Off
Dropping Maya off at school is always such an involved process. You’d think I could just slow the car down, have her jump out, blow her a kiss and be done with it, right?
If only it were that easy.
Prior to leaving for school this morning I had to make sure we had the following:
1. A blanket for nap time.
2. Her lunch box with lunch and extra snacks.
3. Rain boots.
4. Extra shoes (she can’t run in her rain boots).
5. Rain coat.
6. Maya’s umbrella.
7. Extra socks.
8. A book for storytime.
After collecting the aforementioned items we drove to school, miraculously found parking, and started to unload everything. I grabbed the blanket, extra shoes, her rain coat and umbrella, my umbrella, and my purse. Then I asked Maya if she could hold her lunch box and guess what my smart ass kid said?
“Why can’t you do it? You have an extra hand.”
If I said something like that when I was a kid my mom would have smacked me from here to kingdom come and back. Then she’d tell my dad and when he got home from work he’d smack me from here to kingdom come and back. Me? I just sighed and rolled my eyes. With 10 pounds of stuff in my arms I had no energy left to come up with a comeback.
Once inside the vast classroom I managed to get in my exercise for the day as I traipsed around putting her things away…I hit her mailbox, her clothes cubby, her coat hook, the umbrella collector, the lunchbox holder, and her sleep cubby. Since when were classrooms this equipped? I remember throwing my paper lunch bag under my desk and calling it a day.
Next Maya had to sign in. I know I should be more patient with this process. I know I should! But honestly, it is a mind-numbing, teeth-gritting procedure to watch Maya sign in. First of all, she is ambidextrous. So, if she feels so inclined to use her left hand that day then she writes her letters correctly. But if she feels like using her right hand then her letters go backwards.
Seriously, how on earth do teachers do this every day?
And don’t even get me started on her “N.” We’ve practiced it a 100 times but she still makes this funky horizontal “s.” I hear positive reinforcement is the best way to parent so I decided to look at the good instead of the bad. “Good job on your first name!” I said.
To which she replied, “Take a picture of me signing in, Mama!”
Every time she does something right I have to whip out the camera. If Pavlov was still alive I believe he and his dogs would find this kind of conditioning quite fascinating.
It took everything I had not to ask my little diva why she signed in under Thursday. I’m going to guess that her father forgot to have her sign in one day this week, thus the domino effect, but I’m not going to open Pandora’s Box so I’ll let that one slide.
We moved on to storytime. Maya’s school tells us it is unhealthy for our kids’ psyche to leave abruptly and they suggest we read our kids a story as a segway into departure time. I am all for reading so this should be no problem. Except that it’s never just one book. The bargaining starts with Maya who asks for 3 books, I say 1 book, and we end up compromising at 2. And then after the second book Maya says, “One more FOR REAL Mama?” For real? How can I say no?
After the third and last story is read it is time for Maya to “push me out the door.” Again, her teachers suggest that if she is the one who controls when I leave then it is easier for her to say goodbye. I think this is a fabulous idea but the problem is (and there is always a problem) Maya pushes me SO hard that I nearly fall on my face every morning.
After I stand up and pretend that I intended to trip all over myself, I head back to my car bracing myself for the worst part of the preschool drop off. And as I’m get into my car I hear it.
A little voice calling, “Bye bye Mama! I love you.”
The guilt….there are no words. As I drive away I vow to be more patient, more calm, and more understanding. We will conquer her “N’s” and I will read her 3 books! I will be a better mom!
My vow usually lasts until 4:30 when I pick her up. I ask her how her days was but she completely ignores my question. Then she proceeds to dump all her stuff on me and asks me why I don’t have a snack for her.
And all my good intentions go out the window. Until the next day that is, when we do it all over again.