Despite her admirably brave attempt at stoicism at Kindy drop-off this morning, when it came to goodbye time, Baby G crumbled. With downturned eyes squirting tears like lawn sprinklers and a Lucille Ball-esque wide open mouth emitting air raid siren-like howls, my daughter cried so forlornly I thought – for sure – my heart would break.
Miraculously, I kept it together and maintained my Mary Sunshine air of calm and happiness. I was legendary, I tell you. My performance was Oscar worthy. Yep, I kept it together until, in a pathetic sobby-gulpy-snotty-whisper, Baby G said, “Mama, I AM SO SAD because *sniff* we just have not cuddled enough times today!”
Boom. Bullseye. Instant lump in my throat. Suddenly blinking fast to keep the flood of imminent Mama-tears at bay.
Smiling the fake, toothy grin of a demented Mary Poppins (in the vain hope that my grimace was reassuring her that she was going to have a lovely day) I backed out of the classroom. My gutted heart left a bloody trail on the floor right up to the spot where I finally stopped because the sheer guilt weighing me down was too heavy for me to move one more step. I was the Worst Mother on Earth. I’d done a terrible thing to my baby by taking her to that primary coloured, Baroque classical music filled, joy infused place called Kindy. Acting as if that Invisible Umbilical Bungee that connects us was non-existent…what was I thinking? Now my baby was scarred for life.
I couldn’t get that angst-riddled, chubby little face out of my mind.
Oh, the guilt.
I sniffed, pulled myself together and decided to peep through a crack in the door just to check that she was okay.
Would she be a traumatised figure, rocking in the corner? Would she be howling and beating her chest?
Baby G was dancing. And smiling. And clapping.
Practically celebrating her hard-earned win.
Gulp. When you’re beaten, you’re beaten. After 33 unchallenged years, someone has finally taken the title I earned when I was four.
There’s a new Drama Queen in town.
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