This was Chloe’s first week of preschool. We were both anxious – but tried not to show it.
I sat with her during her first day. I attempted to be inconspicuous – in a quiet corner. But I must say, the little girls in her class loved me. I was definitely the most popular boy in class that first day. One little girl even wiped her booger on my face. Oh yes, she went “there”. But I remained calm – furiously searching my pockets for a Wet One – and smiling sweetly at her.
The second day Chloe wailed and cried as I was leaving. The teacher and administrators said it’d be best if I “just said goodbye – and left”. So I did. I turned around in the hallway to see Chloe running after me – the teacher gently leading her back to the classroom. I got in the truck, took several deep breaths, and called Mark for some support. I picked her up 3 hours later, and she was playing with the other kids. She didn’t notice I was standing there for about 5 minutes. Then her face lit-up and she ran into my arms for a big hug.
The third day, Chloe said she didn’t want to “be by herself” at school. She wanted me there too. I told her I had some errands to run and I’d be back very soon. She didn’t like to hear it – and she cried again. A sad kind of cry – not the kind of cry I hear when she wants a lollipop. But it was a cry of “goodbye” – her mouth turned under and her eyes filled with tears. Our first real goodbye. I picked her up 3 hours later. As I knelt down to chat with her classmates, I felt Chloe hug me from behind and she was sobbing a bit. It felt as if she was relieved that I came back for her. Now she understands that I’ll always come back for her.
On the fourth day, I brought cupcakes for Chloe’s class – to help her celebrate her third birthday. She seemed very proud to be able to share goodies with her new friends. As I was leaving, I told her I was going to run some errands and be right back. She gave me a big hug and kiss – and said goodbye – with a comfortable, confident smile.