Awful Daycare Days

Mario in his "old" toddler room

I took Mario to school this morning and this is what I got to hear:

“No, mommy, please don’t leave me here.”

“Mommy, let’s go home.”

“Mommy, please stay with me.”

Needless to say, when I walked out to my car, I was soaked from the tears streaming down my face.  Yes, that coming from a woman who prides herself on being strong and independent and fierce and tough.  One cry from my baby boy and I am shot.

Why can’t transitions from one classroom to another be less difficult?  Why can’t I have the kid that is always happy and content no matter where he is in the world?  I have a niece who seems to be like that.  She is always so excited to go to school. She loves her friends and her teachers.  She sits around on Sunday and talks about how excited she is for Monday morning.  Is there an “I love school” gene that I can extract from her to place into Maria and Mario? 

People tell me that the kids have too much fun at home and that is why they don’t like school.  Maybe they have a point since I am always doing things with them when I am home (they benefit from the guilty mom working outside of the home mom syndrome).  Maybe a little of their angst and crying is actually manipulation since they both know it breaks my heart to see them cry and I will usually give in on anything once they start it up.  No, it si more likely that they need to be with their mom more than they are and I am turning them into little monsters with ADHD and depression.  

Maria and her preschool friend

I have gone through this before with Maria.  She hated preschool when she first started and now she loves her girlfriends. She would probably still pick to be with me over going to school but once she is there, she has a good time.  Mario will get to that point to – I think…  He is an outgoing, fun-loving little guy and should be making lots of friends with his antics and collegiality.  But in the meantime, it breaks my heart to see him so sad when I leave. 

I did research on this issue (of course!) and almost every site mentioned that allowing your child to take a favorite toy or comfort item with them to school may assist with the transition.  They also mentioned having a “buddy” in the room from their old room may help.  I have been sending Mario in with his “blue blankie” and his “bink” everyday but I guess I do put them away immediately because I don’t want him walking around like Linus from Snoopy.  Maybe I could give him a picture of his mama and papa to put in his pocket and look at when he gets lonely.  It seems a little weird and egotistical though. Wait, I got it!! — I could just load his candy-loving self down with bags and bags of M&Ms everyday so he could concentrate on chowing those down until I returned.  He may get a tummy ache or a headache but then he could just sleep til I got there.  Yeah, I think I am onto something.   No, I think I am merely losing my mind with grief over my boy.  

In the end, he will survive.  He will grow up and be sitting at the kitchen table, age 16, and I will mention how I used to fret and worry about taking him to preschool each day and how he would cry for me and beg me to stay and wail until I gave him one more hug and kiss.  I will lean over to kiss his cheek and tell him I love him and he will push me away and snicker “Mom, those days are so, so gone.”   Yeah, that is when I will actually miss them.

Mario - already the teenager - sitting at the pool by himself eating Doritos

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