#258 In which our hero talks about bad times when dropping off the kids at school.
Being that The Scientist and I both work, Lily and Macey go to day care. It’s a good day care, with a good mix of kids, and our children seem to enjoy it and actually learn something while they’re there.
However, in the past couple of weeks, Lily has developed a real problem with drop off. As in, she cries and carries on, doesn’t want us to leave, and generally makes everyone miserable. This is heartbreaking for my wife, and a pain in the ass for me (oh, I feel bad, too) and we really didn’t understand the change. When asked, Lily claims that some of her schoolmates tease her or hit her… some of these tales are probably true to one degree or another, but nothing that would elicite this reaction.
We talked with the day care owner, who’s been watching our kids since, well, since before we had kids, and she thought that Lily was just playing to our sympathies, and hoping to get us to stick around for another 15 minutes or so. Which usually worked. So we worked out a plan.
We told Lily that she’d get ONE hug and ONE kiss from each of us, and then that would be it. She had to march into class without crying or having a fit. She was none too sure of this, and asked if she could practice. Um, sure? we thought. So, we pretended the living room was school, and we walked Lily (and Macey, who had to be in the thick of things, even though she wasn’t having any difficultly is seeing us off) into class, gave her her one hug and one kiss, and left.
As extra insurance, I wrote Lily a note on the back of an old business card. I told her that she could keep it in her pocket, and if she got sad during the day she could pull it out and look at it.
“Can you read it?” I asked.
“Yes!” Lily replied. “’Daddy plus Mommy loves Lily.’”
“That’s right, sweetie,” The Scientist said. “We do.”
And naturally, Macey had to have a note, too. But she insisted that both she and Lily appear on her note.
And the next day we dropped off, gave her the one hug and one kiss, reminded her to look at her note if she needed to, and that was that. No crying, no fuss, no bother.
I’m constantly amazed at how a little planning and preparation can make such a difference with these kids.