September 9, 2013

Preschool Drop-off

You could write a comedy routine based entirely on the antics of dropping off children the first day of school.

Today was Danny's first day of his second year of preschool. He woke up excited, but was a little anxious before walking in. He asked me a few times if I could stay with him and I assured him that I would stay for a few minutes. He didn't want me to take his picture. He definitely didn't want to smile. And he wanted his snack to stay in his backpack, not in his cubby basket. But then the doors opened and we walked in. He found his name tag and the apple with his name on it. We stuck the name tag on his shirt and the apple on the tree and then, in a stroke of brilliance, the teachers abandoned the idea of circle time and called every child to the table to play with play dough. Danny found a spot and was delighted to find hot pink play dough in his cup. Then he found a pair of scissors - who would've thought of letting them cut play dough? These women are brilliant! - and he starting cutting the pancake that he had just rolled out. After a minute, I braced myself for tears and said, ”okay, Buddy, it's time to say 'see you later mom' so I can go.”

And without a moment's hesitation, he said brightly, ”see you later Mom!”

I guess play dough and scissors was all he needed.  Ah, my child. How I love it when you are this easy! :)

Working with play dough is serious business. 

The real entertainment, however, is in watching the parents.

There was the mom who was in tears, and the daughter who was bawling inside.  “I can’t leave while she’s still crying!! I have to wait for her to be okay!” 
“We don’t have time for that, honey. It could take all day,” muttered the husband as he rolled his eyes and their older children stood by amused at their mother. 

There was the pregnant woman peering in the window at her four-year-old blubbering, “I’m crying! Why am I crying?! I didn’t think I would cry!!” 

There was the mom who practically skipped out the doors of the preschool, giddy that her kids are finally in school once again. 

There was the couple who held hands as they somberly walked out, consoling each other down the sidewalk toward their car. 

There was the mom exclaiming, “We were here!!!  We were here on time 8 minutes ago!!  But, she didn’t have any shoes on!” As if anyone is really worried about her sweet preschooler missing the first 10 minutes of play-dough.

There was the mom who fearfully asked her husband how it went.
“It was fine,” he said. 
“Did he cry?” she pressed.
“It was fine,” he repeated. 
“Promise me he wasn’t crying.” 
“Come on,” he said, “Let’s go to McDonalds.”
“You didn’t promise me!” she countered, “You’re not telling me the truth!”
“Come on. Let’s go.”

There was the dad who encouraged his son, “Come on, buddy! This is the real deal!” 

There was the mom who consoled her older child.  “I know you’re mad at me, because you wanted to stay and play…” and her younger child who sobbed, “I wanna stay and play! I wanna stay and play!” 

Somehow, all the parents and even the kids made it through their first day successfully. When I peered in through the window at the end of the day, Danny and all of the kids were standing, jumping, stomping and roaring along with the story as though they'd known each other for months. 

All the kids went home with big smiles on their faces, crowns reminding them how precious they are in His sight and their letter with round cereal glued onto it.

I'd say, it was a successful day.