That’s what Will was saying over and over again this morning as he began his first full day at his new daycare center/preschool. Tears streaming down his face, the sentence coming in sharp, punctuated bursts because he couldn’t catch his breath in between his miserable sobs. It was heart-breaking.
I’m the first one to condemn the helicopter, Velcro parents who are far too attached to their children. I can’t stand it when they linger at the drop-off area, give their kids 8,000 hugs goodbye and break down in hysterical tears before they leave. It’s so much easier if you treat it like ripping off a band-aid. Get your kid settled, give him a hug and walk away. The pain is quick and everyone can get on with their day a little faster.
I know this. And I practiced what I preached this morning. But it wasn’t easy.
Will managed to climb up and look out the window as I was making my way to my car. His little red face, screaming incessantly, with one hand flat on the window pane begging me to come back. It tugged mightily at my heart strings, I won’t lie. But I waved once, got in the car and drove away.
Because that’s by far the best thing to do.
This is Will’s third daycare in three months. That’s a lot to ask of a kid. Plus he’s potty training, which frankly isn’t going so well. He was doing FANTASTIC before our former daycare provider started leaving him in his own piss and shit. Now he constantly soils himself and refuses to tell us when he has to go, whereas before he was 100% on peeing. I had to completely change his outfit just before we left this morning because he exploded all over himself without warning.
I hope this is the beginning of some stability for the little guy. Our adult lives are anything but stable right now and I worry everyday that he can sense it. That it negatively affects him. I know kids aren’t stupid. My parents had a rough go of it for a few years when I was younger and I remember every bit of it. My brother and I both knew what was going on, no matter how hard my parents nobly attempted to shield us from it. I just want him to be a happy kid, free of all the bullshit that saddles us as adults and parents.
Hopefully by ponying up and emptying our wallets on this primo daycare facility, it’ll give him the continuity and stability he needs. New friends, lots of time with other kids, teachers who are actually qualified to be around children. He’s a good kid and I’d really like to see him make some positive strides in the next few months.
Which is why as much as my heart was telling me to go back inside and cuddle him, my head knew that would only make things worse. In two weeks he’ll be racing inside to play with everyone and he won’t even look back at me or realize I’ve left.
I wonder if I’ll be pining for that first day of daycare when he begged me to stay?