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The Morning Drop Off

February 5, 2010

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.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 9:09 pm

    That was simply put a “humorous” read but I am sure it was anything but a simple process. It’s good she got naps now. My 1st grader is at her worst when I pick her up at end of day without a snack. I discovered what hypoglycemic and dehydrated really meant. I felt like singing opera – no mic needed. Good thing you have boundless patience and meditated calm and humor. Enjoy yr weekend.

  2. February 5, 2010 9:15 pm

    oh my gosh I had forgotten all about school days. Although your’s had a lot more frustrating humor than I remember the Teen’s being when he was in preschool

    All I remember from it was tearing myself away from him EVERY morning and feeling sick for hours.

    JJ isn’t going to day care…not one single day till we absolutely have too (or kindergarten starts) haha

    I love your stories Ameena.

  3. February 6, 2010 5:24 am

    Mommy guilt is a big problem for me. I feel like that every time I drop her off at daycare… and she’s only there part-time… and she’s only 9 months. I can only imagine how it will be when she’s older and starts saying all the cute things Maya says… especially the “FOR REAL” and “by mommy, I love you” that just melts my heart!

    Have a great weekend Ameena!

  4. February 6, 2010 5:25 am

    This is a perfect post. I like it!
    Thanks for the comment on my blog —a lot of people misunderstood the post…they thought it was MY words and that I am married, etc…I am NOT.. 🙂
    It was an “excerpt” from another blog that I linked…now i know people skim vs. read 🙂

  5. February 6, 2010 5:28 am

    Awww…this was such a well-written post! I loved reading it. And Maya’s “N” cracks me up 🙂

  6. February 6, 2010 5:33 am

    This is a great story! As a kid, you never realize how much effort parents put into seemingly simple tasks. And then you grow up and realize how much work it all is!

  7. traynharder23 permalink
    February 6, 2010 5:56 am

    reminds me of when i was working summer camp. wow. some parents are great (like you) and some parents expected us to provide entertainment, food, and water, and escort their children everywhere. i should do a post on that.

    anyways, your daughter is SOO cute. and dude, my mom would have smacked me for being a smart ass too.

  8. February 6, 2010 6:38 am

    You are a great writer. I am always entertained when reading your posts! This is interesting for me since I’m a 1st grade teacher, so to read the perspective of the parent is pretty neat. Her school must be private, no?

    • February 6, 2010 9:41 am

      Thank you for your kind words!

      Maya is in a private preschool right now…how do you teach 1st grade without going crazy??

  9. Danielle permalink
    February 6, 2010 7:07 am

    This was really entertaining to read 🙂 I never remember pre-school being that involved. Then again, I’m sure my mom would beg to differ. She gets that “mommy guilt” too

  10. February 6, 2010 7:11 am

    Aw the life of a mom 🙂 It’s all worth those words “Mommy I love you!”

  11. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    February 6, 2010 9:32 am

    such a production! pre-school is full of all sorts of crazy procedures nowadays, i remember just getting dropped off (turning around and not seeing my mom there, she made quick escapes…maybe that’s why i’m so effed up haha) and having ONE cubby to shove all my crap in. and we didn’t sign ourselves in, writing backwards or forwards. pretty awesome that she’s ambidextrous though! you’re a great mom. i find it incredibly refreshing that you don’t have a phony “oh the only interest i have in the world is my kid, i’m the best most devoted martyr, errr, mom, in the world!”

  12. February 6, 2010 9:37 am

    Haha such a cute story!!! Maya seems like a one-of-a-kind child, and I mean that in a good way! I work with kids a little older than her (5-7 year olds) and they are a trip.

  13. February 6, 2010 9:56 am

    You capture the joys, stresses, and humors of being a mom so well. I’m not a mom, but this is exactly how I see myself thinking…though I do think I would have smacked her to kingdom come and back, or at least thrown everything in my arms in her general direction 😉 She is adorable, and the name-writing thing is really quite funny.

  14. February 6, 2010 11:47 am

    Lovely post! Parenting sounds… interesting. I love how you approach it with good humor though. You’ve managed to capture the various aspects of parenting in a lighthearted and comical way. Well done!

  15. February 6, 2010 2:29 pm

    Hi Ameena,

    Great blog – Books + recipes + restaurants are totally my thing! (Kids, well…I’ll wait on that one!)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I post about books on Thursdays, and recipes on Tuesdays…

  16. February 6, 2010 3:12 pm

    Hahaha Maya sounds hilarious. 🙂

  17. February 6, 2010 3:29 pm

    Ooooh, don’t be so rough on yourself.
    I’m seriously terrified of having kids.

    Motherhood is HARD especially in this society. You work, you cook 3 dinners a night, you clean, you read, you blog… You’re doing a great job!

  18. February 6, 2010 4:35 pm

    Oh girl, every day in motherhood is an exercise in patience. Some days we have far more, some days far less 🙂 I always feel awful when i am short and impatient with my little soul precious kidlet and dont wait around for her to dawdle and poke and touch and grab every little thing…when im like cmon hurry up! but sometimes we just have to 🙂 and seriously you’re an amazing mama and yes, I dont know why or how teachers do it! As i say this, we are planning on homeschooling LOL so i too will be mother AND teacher. But it’s exciting.

  19. February 6, 2010 6:49 pm

    I really admire all you moms out there! I don’t have any kids (yet) and I’m scared to take the plunge because I will have to change everything! But when we are given the gift of a child, we just adapt and instinctively know what to do. So amazing! Hats off to you! 🙂

  20. February 6, 2010 8:09 pm

    You’ve got to love a precocious preschooler who’s already showing off her sassy side! 🙂

  21. whydeprive permalink
    February 6, 2010 10:07 pm

    I just love your posts. You always make me laugh.
    Maya is so adorable – her N’s will get better. I remember when I was her age I couldnt say “world” I had a lisp and would always wind up saying “wowold”. I was so worried tha the other kids would make fun of me when I started kindergarten. Because obviously they would be listening very closely to me when we sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
    My mom tried and tried and I just couldnt get it. Then the day before kindergarten I got it right. I still remember how excited I was. I ran into my parents room to say it again for them.
    Anyhow, what I was going to say, is her N’s will get better, and considering how much you talk about her, I would say you’re a pretty fabulous mom already.

    • February 7, 2010 9:37 am

      Hi Leah –

      Thanks so much for the kind word…it is people like you who make me feel SO much better about myself! I have high hopes for Maya mastering her “N’s” before kindergarten this fall!

  22. February 7, 2010 5:19 am

    Do you live my life? I do that times 2 and feel the same way I do. I find it refreshing that a mom feels and does things the way I do 🙂

  23. February 7, 2010 10:06 am

    Haha Maya is so adorable- I love all your little stories about her and how she always has that huge smile on her face in her photographs 🙂

  24. actorsdiet permalink
    February 7, 2010 10:20 am

    very well written, very honest, ameena!

  25. February 7, 2010 10:48 am

    This reminds me of my hubby. He is so high maintenance. I make hubby what I call his “diaper bag” which has everything he needs when he has to go somewhere. Still, he is my heart, so he’s worth it 🙂
    Hope you are having a fab weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  26. February 8, 2010 6:40 am

    You’re one dedicated mama!

  27. Suzanne permalink
    February 10, 2010 9:14 am

    Oh my goodness this is my life exactly! The school drop off in the morning, the vowing to myself that I will be more patient when I pick her up and the complete dismissal to hold her own bags/stuff is so true.

    You are not alone in this madness!

    • February 10, 2010 1:59 pm

      Thank God Suzanne…so nice to hear that I am not the only one!

  28. May 25, 2011 1:32 am

    It’s 5:30 am here and I can’t sleep and don’t want anyone else to wake but this post made me laugh out loud. You are such a good Mom, I can just tell despite your sarcasm.

  29. September 24, 2011 11:05 am

    oh my, having a kid will take away from all my internet time. 😦

    • September 24, 2011 7:35 pm

      Having kids won’t cut out your internet time completely but unfortunately it will definitely eat into it!

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