|Are those tears of joy behind those eyes? Riiiight.|
The deal is, Craig drops Lila off at school around 9 a.m. every morning. And I pick her up at 1:30 p.m.
My creature of routine loves school and all that comes with it: her uniform, her shoes, her lunch bag, her backpack, EVERYTHING. She loves school. “I go school now? Now? NOW?”
Every morning, Craig tells me that Lila is welcomed with greetings from her teachers and classmates who are so excited to see her, “Hi Lila!”
Every morning, she walks in the school and forgets about Craig immediately. She NEVER says or kisses Craig goodbye. Ever.
Oh Lila, my spirited child.
Then I pick Lila up in the afternoon. She stands by the gate until she sees me.
Then WITHOUT FAIL she RUNS from the gate as soon as our eyes meet and screams, “LILA NO GO HOME!!! NO!!!” She doesn’t yell it. She screams it.
She has done this EVERY afternoon since she started school. In August.
All of the other parents smile and judge me as their little cherubs run to them yelling, “Mama! Papa!” I know what they’re thinking: “Ah, that Gringa. Her daughter runs from her. She must beat her at home. She must be a horrendous parent.”
The teachers smile at the daily routine.
Even the school administrator smiles… politely.
I can’t stand polite smiles.
Then, every.single.day Lila’s sweetheart of a teacher ambles over to her in the midst of the insanity that is preschool pickup time and PEELS her off of the slide, whispers magical words to her and Lila reluctantly walks toward me.
All of this takes anywhere from 3-8 minutes and it drives me CRAZY.
SO. Today was a new day.
I warned Lila last night about the “new day” and told her that when Mommy comes to pick her up from school tomorrow, and she sees me, it would make me so happy if she would STAY at the gate and not RUN to the slide. I explained that she needs to be a big girl, blah, blah, blah.
Now before you think I’m a heartless mother who wants to hurt her child, know that I have tried every soft and sweet approach possible. Now? I’m over it. Ask my family who sees Lila regularly, she is a tough cookie. EVERYTHING is done in Lila’s time. Not ONE minute sooner.
So enter TODAY.
I walk up to the school and watched Lila leave her classroom, walk through the gate and into the courtyard. She immediately walked toward the gate where she gives me the stink-eye every afternoon.
I said, “Hi Lila! Wait there. Mommy’s coming.”
I took a deep breath and ignored the teachers, other parents AND the school administrator
laughing judging yet again… opened the gate, walked over to Lila and told her it was time to go now. She said no.
I stood her up and walked her out.
She screamed all the way to the car. In the car. (Hence the photo above). And for about 5 minutes in to the drive.
Then finally she was quiet and we talked.
Bottom line: she doesn’t want to go home and take a nap (I know), she doesn’t want to leave school (I know) and she loves Miss Luly (I know.)
She also made it clear that she “no love” me at that moment. (“I no love you.”) Her words, not mine.
Then 2 minutes later she was smiling.
TODDLERS ARE INSANE. Or is it just MY toddler?
So, tomorrow she promises that when she sees me, she is going to give me the biggest HUG ever and I told her that will make me sooooo happy.
If I was a bettin’ lady, I’d put $300 down that Lila is going to run like the wind. Again. Tomorrow.
Ah, my spirited child.