It could have been the sudden change in weather, or maybe just typical kid sleep deprivation that instigated the sudden mood change in little J this morning. Standard morning procedure was subtly interrupted by sudden announcements of not attending preschool today. “J, what could be better than today’s schedule of hand painting, making a gingerbread house from a milk carton, playing in the big yard, and having lunch with your buddies?” I’ll trade places with you in a minute
No, something was a bit skittish in those big brown eyes, and no level of modern day “choice” psychology was breaking the mood. This could lead to an “abandon ship” procedure. A desperate move, but worthy of using once to twice a year without serious mental repercussions. “No problem J. If you can’t make school today, I’ve left of list of some chores your mom and I need completed around the house. Be careful using the X-14 in the bathroom. It is very toxic. Here is my phone number at work. You can watch TV, after you make (and eat!) lunch. “We’ve got to go, hang in there pal,” as we gathered our day’s stuff and headed for the door.
“You can’t leave a kid alone, I can’t make lunch!” he protested. “My god, Jason, you’re right, what are we going to do?”
“Take me with you!” he demanded. I wish I could, I really do, but seems there is rule on Tuesdays, where nobody under five can be in the factory. Mom is going to a pink Barbie store. I guess you can go with her. Or maybe you can just go to school? The little brain was scrambled, and slowly the puzzle pieces were rearranged in his cute little head. Simple enough, he grabbed his lunch pale and headed for the car. This was a sure sign that school was in session. Abandon ship comes through.
Dropped the little fella off, gave him a giant hug with a wet cheek kiss, and signed him into class. He was tentative, but I assured him everything would be great. I meandered into an observation position and soon enough his pal Chandler grabbed his arm to check out the class lizard. From a distance he appeared back in prime condition, whizzing like a little locust. I marched on, feeling proud to have tackled another parenting challenge.
The end of this day was fraught with few suprises. Small issues, such as no olives for my martini, but the vodka was chilled to perfection. Waffs of food brewed in the kitchen, child number two was busy pounding child number three while number one fretted over tackling her math homework. Mom was handling it all in pure stride, while I analyzed the action and provided helpful reinforcement. Shuffled through the mail, and came across a safety pinned note. Safety pinned notes come from one of two things. Pinned to the door, because your wife left you. (That wasn’t it, as she stirred the stew in a panty less apron.) or … the teacher attached this to your kid for direct communication with the parents. Bingo. Note from Jason’s teacher:
Apparently J fell back into a funk when I left class that morning. His wonderful teacher picked up on the vibe, and began a nurturing back to happiness. The more she questioned and reassured him the further he pulled back, until finally this bouncy boy’s eyes were welled in tears. This required the teacher to coddle the boy in her arms, and gently hold him while the principal put a call into home. It was serious. They were going for parental backup. A talented teacher, she finally got J to open up. “J, I’m here to help, why are you so sad?” In panting sobs, he blasted out for the class, principal and teacher, “Cause my Dad says you HAVE BIG GUNS!”
I’ve got to stop talking to myself. Carol will be doing the drop off and pick ups. I grabbed the X-14 and began a serious scrub job on the toilets and tile.
Reporting from the front lines, l.t.shamon