Friday, 5 February 2016

That first day... of being away

So finally, that day is here. When you decide that it's time for the chick to spend a day outside the nest for the first time, with no one from home around her. It could be daycare, preschool, a long playdate... anything.  I can promise you this - that it will be heartbreaking for one or both of you.

It was K's first day at preschool. As I began this, I was sitting in a room off the hall where the school is housed (and she can't see me) and listening to her sob hysterically. Weird that, because on her previous visits to any school or playhouse, she has always been reluctant to leave and happily ignored me.

The thing with K is that she does not believe in genteel, ladylike sniffles. She lets it rip out loud, for the whole world to hear and she's done that since the day she was born. Of course, it makes the whole world think that you are the local axe murderer practicing on your child (while quite the reverse is true.)  

She seemed ready and interested so we decided that it would be good for her to get to school or a playgroup and socialise with other kids. She does get a fair amount of play with her canine sibling, but I somehow can't help thinking that it's not quite the same. Also, the puppies playing together are lovely but I draw the line at both of them playing with the same tug toy in their mouths. 

Anyway, getting back to K and her first day. The sobbing lasted (with breaks) for about 15 minutes. I know that a lot of my friends and readers would say "that's downright cruel". I agree, with some kids, it would be. With K, I am aware of her capacity to spout and shriek at a moment's notice and of her triggers (I want to wear yellow leggings, with a purple skirt and red hoodie, or else... WAH!. "Darling, it hurts my eyes, please don't" - *smack* the little fist throws the offending, (read, not-quite-as-eye watering garments) away, connecting with my nose on the way. WAH! "K, please be careful darling, you hit me there." Louder WAH!

You get the general drift. The point being, that I can distinguish (usually from tone and context) the reasons for her crying, and if it's the "I'm not getting that chocolate, so I'm distressing the neighbours three streets down by shrieking incessantly) then there are ways and means of dealing with it, not necessarily by Ma, who is often cast as the villain of the piece.

As it was, K did one of her lightning transformations into Miss Sunshine after those 15 minutes and became ridiculously twee and cute - enough to make a sensible mom throw up. And four days in, she has taken to school like a champ. (I just dropped her off that second day and went back to pick her up after four hours, with nothing worse than an accusing, "Where were you? You abandoned me" question. I might have felt much guiltier than I did - which was a whole lot - had I not seen that she was having a blast before she saw me.)

You may have a different story. In fact, you probably will, given how each kid is different. But these are kids, not cookies and there is no perfect age for ANYTHING when it comes to babies and kids, and grown-ups for that matter.

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