While it started well and good, the first day of school ended up being a disaster. After ensuring she had a good breakfast, packing up all of her required gear, and bracing ourselves, Will and I took Stella in around 9:30. She was excited and seemed to be in a great mood. Even after only being there once before, she dragged Will to the front gate and once inside made a beeline for her classroom. We asked a few of those frantic last-minute questions that parents ask to stall before leaving their kid for the first time. We got a little flyer which stated that Thursday morning there would be a Daddy-Doughnut party in honor of father’s day. Cute. Stella just ran straight for the toys and was too busy with 2 plastic elephants and a blue batter’s helmet to even say goodbye. We just left feeling pretty odd about that.
Once home, it was so QUIET. Will left for work shortly thereafter and I was left with Felix. In a couple of hours, I got a whole lot done and was looking forward to taking a nap with the baby since I still felt kind of crummy. I even felt guilty for enjoying the down time so much, and it was cool to have some time with just the little guy. The Three Stupid Cats were out and not cowering under a bed or stranded in the vomitorium. I adore my daughter, but she is a BIG personality. It was nice to have her safely occupied elsewhere for a while.
About 12:30 the phone rang. It was the principal at her school. While everything was OK, there were some “issues.” First, apparently lunch didn’t go so hot. She had a problem with sitting still with the other kids and then wouldn’t eat. According to the menu I grabbed, they were having fish sticks. Can’t blame her on that one. The principal asked if she was capable of “feeding herself.” I managed not to yell and answered politely that yes, my child was quite a capable eater. The straw that broke the camel’s back and caused the phone call was the nap time fiasco. Not only would Stella not nap, she would not lie down on her mat. When they tried to help her with that, she started howling.
Let me clarify. All kids can be annoying and loud, particularly when they cry and whine. But my kid has some serious oomph. She’s just a loud kid. Even as a newborn, when she cried, she CRIED. This has only gotten more enhanced as her lungs have gotten bigger. I truly believe that if there were a prize for loudest kid on the planet, my kid would handily kick everyone else’s little asses. Fortunately, she’s typically happy. But when she’s not….
Anyway, the principal had Stella in her office as she was so loud and disturbing that the other children couldn’t rest. This was OK, but not ideal. Did I need to come pick her up? Well, maybe. Could we maybe do half days this week during the “transition?” No? Well, we’ll have to make do.
So, less than 3 full hours after we dropped her off at school, I was picking her up. I did leave a pacifier, as she still uses that to sleep. Maybe that will help. The principal also said if she had a stuffed animal she just loved, we could bring that. In any case, she was very nice when I picked my kid up. Stella was fine. She was drawing with pen on the principal’s desk. She looked tired and seemed happy to see me but not in that “holy shit these people have had me in irons all day beating me with a hose get me the hell out of here” kind of way.
I’m torn on all this. Stella has never been a good sleeper, true. We did screw up by letting her do the co-sleeping thing. In hindsight? I should have bought a good bottle of brandy and Will and I should have just camped outside of her room for a few nights while she screamed herself to sleep. But at the time, that was unthinkable. On the other hand, I can’t believe that the school called me for this stuff. Surely they’ve seen this – and much much worse – before. I’m sure they’ve had kids that have never been in daycare and are brand new to the whole “line up and go to the cafeteria” mentality.
I know this will work, but it’s disheartening. I always have that “what if it DOESN’T work” voice. What then? I don’t think they have boot camp for 2 ½ year olds.