Sunlight pervades but quiet and stillness fill the room. Alone in the stale air, I feel warm and dream of an iced mocha blend. I hear the kids singing next door. My cue. I pick up my bag quietly and proceed to tip toe out of the room. Then suddenly the doors slide open and Little Libra’s face pops out relieved at the sight of me. Doh!
“I’m still here. Go listen to teacher.”
And she closes the door.
This is how I’ve been spending my mornings, standing guard of a classroom, protecting my daughter from a sense of abandonment. She’s attending a one hour exploring class this summer to prepare for pre-school in June. My reasons: to prevent the morning toddler tornado from hitting the house, to get out of the heat, and to learn to socialize with kids her age. But the primary goal? To handle the classroom setting all by herself. It’s a preemptive strike against first-day-at-school terror.
At first, I took the tough love route and left her in class, tears and all. After 2 classes, I couldn’t shake the guilt. Plus I’m pretty sure the teacher wanted to kill me. So when a fellow mom told me she had to wean her daughter by spending 30minutes with her in the classroom for one week, which then dwindled down to 20 to 10 and 5 minutes, I thought Oh crap, I’m totally skipping a a rite of passage. Another Bad Mom Moment.
So every morning, I’ve been (redeeming myself) sitting right by the sliding door, cracked slightly open so she can see my face, my shadow or my shoe as she attends class. If I’m lucky, I get to finish a page from my book and even sit by the table 2 feet away and write a to-do list. She runs back and forth between me and class constantly, but the intervals get lengthier as the hour progresses. I try to resist the urge to watch her since I’m not supposed to be there. I don’t want her to associate Mommy’s attention with the classroom. I do love catching glimpses of her because she’s actually ready to fly (tears welling up). She just doesn’t know it yet. She can totally pull that heavy chair, toss around the ring of ribbons, rock that song with actions and crawl through the tunnel. Peanuts.
So this summer, I may be spending my mornings sitting in a quiet, stale room dreaming of crossing the street for my iced coffee but I am also witnessing my little one Blossom. Before. My. Very. Eyes.
Memory imprinted. Rite of passage secured.
Here are some books that we now read regularly. For some reason seeing her animal friends become independent is more effective that seeing her classmates with no mommies around: