I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life. Hard crap. Death, divorce, taxes. All of the things that could break a lesser woman, however, I had no idea what hard could be until Audrey started pre-K. See, I know my daughter. I know her sweet little heart, but I also know that one of the main reasons she is still alive is because she’s cute and she’s probably only cute to me because she’s mine. I know these things, I’m not trying to kid myself. So sending her off to someone who might not find her as cute as I do worries me, except for the fact that I know that legally they can’t kill her so that’s good, right?
I knew we would have some issues. I thought to call her teacher and give her a friendly warning but surprises are just so much fun. Audrey is “strong willed”(bossy) to put it nicely. She’s a leader, not a follower (again, bossy). She is vocal with a wide vocabulary and smart (bossy and a smart ass). Too smart sometimes while not being afraid to call you out. In fact, the other day I told my husband that I SWORE she gives me the “get your shit together, mom” look. Seriously, she does. In her defense, I often do need to get it together.
On the first day we had a long talk on the way to school about behavior and making good choices. I thought we were clear. That day upon pickup, a very sweet looking (and young, very very young) Miss Johnson pulled me aside and said “We had a tough day today.” Seems Audrey decided sharing was for amateurs, so was listening, cleaning, and pretty much anything else. Also, sand in the shoes. CRISIS! Crying melt down. Hysterics. And… Scene.
Day two: Wash/rinse/repeat
Day three we had a breakthrough. I decided to have a long talk with Miss Johnson about ways we could mutually team up to defeat the thumb-sucking dictator and reign supreme. I shared with her some ways that we work through issues and crying at home and implemented a sticker system to be done at home. You call it bribery, I call it winning. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
The deal was that if Miss Johnson said Audrey had a good day at school she would get a sticker for her chart at home. After 8 stickers she could pick a prize. Not surprisingly she choose a stuffed Parasaurolophus. I know right? Who wouldn’t?
Several great days followed. She was like a new kid! Then we had a bad day. Audrey again decided cleaning up the toys was for the staff and refused by staging a sit-in under her desk and crying. Later that day she didn’t get picked to do some job (oh NOW you want to help?) and this time chose to crawl under Miss Johnson’s desk. When they politely tried to pry her from her den she hit the teacher’s aide in the arm.
A few more good days….
And then…the day from hell.
Oh this particular day I walked in for pickup to see a haggard looking Miss Johnson who clearly looked in need of a stiff cocktail. She started off by saying, “Now I want to just say that everyone’s child has had a day today. All of them. ALL. OF. THEM. However…”
And this is where it gets interesting. So apparently Audrey got a little tired during Circle Time and decided a nap on the classroom kiddie sofa was in order. At this point, judging from the new grey hairs on Miss Johnson’s very young head (she’s got to be 25, tops), I could only imagine that she could have cared less about the impromptu nap time. Except, of course, Audrey took it a step further when every time she spoke (you know since she was TEACHING and all), Audrey would loudly yell, and yes, this is a direct honest-to-God quote, “WOULD YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN, I’M TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!”
I definitely didn’t plan this whole pregnancy thing out so well, timing wise, with the whole preschool thing because I don’t think I’ve ever needed a cocktail so bad in my life.
Cheers to you, Miss Johnson. Somebody get this girl a shot of vodka and a cookie…after hours, of course.
PS, can we talk, just briefly, about drop off. What the hell is the deal with school drop off? The first day of school I drove the wrong way down the drop off lines. Yes, I was that mom with my husband following behind me, completely mortified and cursing in way I’m sure would make a sailor blush. You would have thought I was clubbing a baby seal or letting Audrey mainline crack in her car seat! I’m new here people! Pre-k mom coming through! Drop off is like a well choreographed minivan ballet where nobody invited me to practice. Drop off scares me. Whatever Minivan Mafia, I’ll park and walk. I like the exercise, it’s only 106 out.