Eliza started pre-school a couple weeks ago, and on the first day, her teachers opened the door for her and she walked right in. I didn’t get an “I love you, mommy,” a “good bye” or even a backward glance. In fact, I could barely get the camera to zoom enough from the doorway (a threshold I was not supposed to cross) to get a picture of her because she had basically “peace out-ed” me for a play kitchenette.
I wasn’t hurt because I know my daughter, and I knew this is how she would be. No, what I was then concerned about, and still am now, is what she does in that classroom everyday while I’m not there. It is frightening to think a two-year-old is going to show everyone all the horrible things about you. In a lot of ways she is just a tinier version of me, but with even less of a filter (if that’s possible). It’s scary to imagine her pointing her finger firmly at a classmate and yelling, “NO MA’AN, NO TOUCH IT. THAT MY TOY!!!” Or she might tackle one of them and scratch him in the face like she does to Zach while watching me to see how I will react. Or she might demand, “COME HERE, RIGHT NOW!” to one of her teachers because she says that to me all the time (because I say it to her).
When I pick her up after two hours every day, thank goodness it is clear the teachers pick something positive about your child’s behavior that day to tell you about. (Today one teacher said Eliza had a lot of fun climbing on the playground with a classmate. Goodness, is that the BEST thing she did all day? At least on Monday she said Eliza consoled another girl who was upset. That shows empathy and concern.)
I’ll always wonder what happens during the other hour and 55-minutes of her time. I sincerely hope the teachers are trained to decipher normal behavior and that they will tell me if anything really odd happens. They must know I love my little munchkin because when I pick her up, Eliza greets me joyfully. Just as she struts right into class, she prances right back out to me. Today, she said she had fun playing on the playground, and then she said, “I MISSED you, Mommy.” I guess I can handle being ignored when I drop her off if that’s how she greets me.