Oh how I’ve enjoyed our close proximity to our girls’ preschool. No need to hurry out to the car and strap each girl into her car seat. No need to rush over to the school parking lot only to wait in line as other parents back out, park or drop off their kids. We simply walk down the street, turn the corner and walk one long block. It’s a nice, enjoyable stroll through our neighborhood.
One morning, however, walking to school was a far longer, frustrating journey than ever. In fact, I would have appreciated having a stroller with a 5-point harness to contain one of my twins on the walk to their preschool. We might have gotten there with a lot less heartache and back breaking pain (on my part).
From the moment she woke up, K decided that she didn’t want to go to school every single day. She carried this theme throughout her change of dress, breakfast, teeth brushing and finally choosing her lovey to sleep with during naptime. The belligerence began when I would not let her bring her 2’ high tug-along Spotty the dog to school as her lovey. “Sorry, too big…because Mommy said so.” And K began with her new theme, “I don’t want to go to school everyday.” I tried distraction and offered up her little, cuddly chocolate dog. After a little encouragement, she decided to take her chocolate dog *and* her lamb. No. Not two. Only one lovey is allowed. That’s the rule at school. “But Mommy.” “No buts.” And again with the “I don’t want to go to school everyday.” I tried leaving without her. After crying about not wanting to be left alone, she decided she liked being at home alone. I returned, grabbed her chocolate dog to leave in the house and carried her out the front door. Of course she was screaming and crying by this time.
L and I took off down the sidewalk. She screamed and cried for us to stop. We did. K stopped. Cried. Would not catch up to us. Did not want us to walk without her but she did not want to walk with us. L and I took off again. Crying and screaming. We stopped again. K was about 20 feet behind us. Wouldn’t catch up to us. Didn’t want to hold hands. Ran away when we backed up to her. Finally got to the corner where she did not run away as we approached her. Impatiently, L says, “Mommy, they’re going to start [without us]. Mommy, we have to go.” I felt bad for L. She’s been such a trooper through her sister’s little episode. But she enjoys school and wanted to get there on time.
I then carried K for the length of one house. Not a good idea. My hips and back screamed. Cajoled K into counting the number of cement squares in the sidewalk to the stop sign (there’s 121 by the way). L is having a ball. Mommy doesn’t usually play games on the way to school. I thought K was getting over her tantrum when after counting 30 steps, she says, “Mommy, this is not cheering me up.” I said, “Let’s take 3 deep breaths.” Count squares. Take 3 deep breaths. K giggles. “Mommy, I’m still not cheering up,” K whines. K’s smile vanishes.
At least we were at the stop sign. Their school is just kitty-corner to where we were standing. Crossed the street. “OK then, let’s jump, jump, jump,” I tell my girls. Take ten steps. Jump, jump, jump. 20 steps. Jump, jump, jump. Saw an old classmate drive by. Smiled and waved. Walked the rest of the way to classroom smiling and laughing with the old classmate.
Just before I opened the door to their classroom, K says, “I’m not cheering up, Mommy.” K frowns. I hurry them both into the room. I looked for reinforcements (preschool teachers). One comes to my aid. K cries when I leave but doesn’t cling. Whew!
Man oh man, how I would have loved to have my car. Better yet, how I would have loved to have Pappa drop the girls off that day.