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. Read the rest of this entry
Look on the wall of any kindergarten classroom and you’ll find a list of rules like this:
From the minute they enter the school system, our kids are taught how to be good, play fair, be nice. It’s wonderful and delightful and, well, unrealistic.
I was the mother who mirrored those rules at home. I made damned sure my children said please and thank-you. I always facilitated sharing and turn-taking. We spoke about weapon-words and how to ask for things nicely and how snatching toys was bad. When my children started to fight with one another, I always jumped right in and mediated so they could learn that it’s not necessary to be mean. We did a lot of role-playing.
How very naive. Not to mention short-sighted.
“Why?”, you ask.