Just when I start to marvel at what a big girl the newest Kindergartener is becoming, she goes and demonstrates that she is unmistakably 4. Hanging on to her sanity by the tiniest of threads 4. Capable of torturing her mother's soul over the most minor of details 4.
Yesterday the minor detail was forgetting to pack clothes to change into after school. She wears a uniform during school but likes to change afterwards. She forgot to put clothes in her bag last night and only realized her mistake 100 yards from the school. Thus began the full scale nuclear winter meltdown. There was crying, refusing to walk and lots of commotion. After five minutes in the parking lot and one phone call to her father, I finally grabbed her arm and dragged her into the building and down the hall. While holding her brother. Who was also crying by this point because it's a well known fact that wigging out is an infectious disease.
But she was going to be late for school and I didn't want her to be late. It's only the second week. It seemed like a noble goal at the time. But there I was pulling a crying kid by the arm through the front office and down the main hallway of the new school. There are few things as mortifying as the public display of your inability to get your kid in line. But I’m here to tell you, having the public display in a new school compounds the shame exponentially.
Once I dropped her brother off at his room, we continued on to her building. Still pulling her along by the arm, of course. Because the nuclear winter meltdown was still in effect. Outside the door to her building I made my way through my arsenal of tricks. I tried a pep talk, negotiation, threatening, hissing, you name it. The best state I got her to was silent weeping with her finger in her mouth. What the hell.
All that over a change of clothes? She’s only one of maybe 3 girls that change clothes after school. Every other kid at that place is still in their uniform when I get there. The sky hasn’t fallen on any of them. And aren’t kids supposed to like being like everyone else in the class?
It’s one day. We’ll make sure we pack them tomorrow. I’ll pick you up early so you won’t even have time to change. You will not get to do anything fun ever again and I will take away everything you own and burn it. Especially the pink stuff. And your birthday. Yes, I will take away your birthday and you won’t have one. You’ll just stay 4 forever. I will leave you standing right here in the hallway and never speak to you again for the rest of your life. I will drop your backpack on the floor and pretend to leave. I will cross my arms and look annoyed. I will avoid eye contact with every adult that walks by. I will silently curse my husband for leaving town again and throwing this kid’s morning routine off. I will ponder where the hell my life went wrong and take deep breaths to keep from screeching.
We finally made a go of entering the building. Her noise level disturbed another class that had it's door open and that teacher came out and tried to talk my kid down from the ledge. Then my daughter’s teacher came to check on her. Then one of the director’s of the school came over to check on her. Seriously. Kill me now.
I finally left her crying with the director and went to my car to think mean negative thoughts. I’m told she stopped crying and joined right in on the Pledge of Allegiance when she walked into her class 2 minutes later. Whatever. Torture my soul but let everyone else off easy. Seriously, whatever.
I called my husband in the car to let him enjoy my wrath afterwards. He loves when I do that. Especially when it's a long distance call while he’s on a business trip. I believe I even hung up on him at one point yesterday when he failed to be appropriately sympathetic regarding some subtle nuance of my rage.
Do not feel sorry for him though. Because at one point he said something akin to, “There isn’t really anything I can do from here." I'm pretty sure we can all agree the correct response should have been, "Everything will be okay. You’re doing great. I love you.” His life would be so much easier if he'd just memorize those words. I forgave him by lunch and allowed him to listen to me complain for another 15 minutes. But seriously, clothes to change into? Really? What the hell.