I just got back from a school drop off from hell. Well, it isn’t the worst that I have ever had, but with the weight of the week and month laying heavy on my mind, I didn’t handle it well. The summer school session has hit and that means a transition of teachers and classmates. The drop offs for Reid are usually challenging. Dude has been going to pre-school since he was 18 months old and you would think it was his first time, every time. There are more days than not where the drop off includes clinging to my legs whining, and begging me to stay at school with them. Some days are better than others, but he usually seems to sense when I have an early meeting or a reason to get back home on a time table. Harper’s go with the flow attitude makes her drop offs relatively easy. I actually wonder if she would ever realize I was gone should I end up missing. She finds Mondays particularly difficult though because she goes hard on the weekends and “needs more sleep”. She too has had some regressions with the class changeover and my increased work trips. Reid’s intense emotions often times hypes her up too. “Ahhhh the world is ending as we know it!! Reid, what are we dying from?! I’m here with you bro.”
This morning, a Monday leading into another important week of traveling and meetings, I felt myself having less patience than normal. Let me set the scene. I feel like that token game at Chuck E. Cheese. The one where you shoot 1 token in to the mix, 25 tokens hanging on for dear life off the ledge. That one extra token might not break anything, a little shaky but all becomes stable. Then there’s the other times where that 1 little coin causes about 134 others to crash? That’s the daily balancing act I’m working with. More and more with my new job, bigger responsibilities, and more travel, I have felt myself losing patience at the drop off.
I took them in early today to get a head start on my work. Their room was empty and all the kids were in the “before care” classroom. This room usually represents a rough drop off because it’s not their normal routine. The before care class was coming to an end and all the kids were cleaning up, no fun to be found in a 15 ft radius- boring, boring, boring. I pulled out all the tricks. I tried the Loving Separation Approach: big hug, give them lots of love, reassurance I would return, reminded them they’re trying to earn something fun andddd NOTHING. So then I try the Duck and Cover Approach where you just rip off the band aid and get the heck outta there. “What’s the over there” ::points to the wall and sprints to the door:: Crap, not falling for it, they chased me down and into the hallway like a skilled Free Safety.
At this point I was about 15 mins deep into the drop off and it was getting ridiculous. I lost my cool and told Reid he was acting like a baby and threatened to take him to the 2s classroom. I sternly escorted them in line back to their classroom to which I dumped them onto the teacher and left. I could hear him crying as I walked away and the stress of the situation brought tears to my eyes. I get back to my car and I immediately feel guilty. I’m the adult, how can I lose it so fast over something so simple? Was it really that hard for me to walk him to his class and try once more to comfort him?
I get home and a Timehop notification pops up. Timehop will put you in your place reallll quick. I’m immediately ground at how small they still are, how far they have come, and most importantly, how much I love them. The worry and emotions in his voice while I told him he was acting like a baby is replaying in my head over and over. How can something so incredibly mature have moments of incredible immaturity? They can question and educate me on the solar system, dinosaurs, and debate string theory and dark matter but can’t seem to process the morning drop off. It literally happens EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. We’ve likely done it 700 + times, but who’s counting (me…I’m counting). You watch one cartoon for 5 mins and a month later replay all the details so that it can be found without a proper title, but we can’t seem to do the mornings without reverting to a baby kola? Alas I digress.
You are still only 4 and I sometimes forget how small you are because of how big you can act. I want these days of intense emotions and limited impulse control to be over. Yeah I said it! I know, I know, I shouldn’t wish away the time, but after a long 4 years of twin parenthood, double the emotions at the EXACT SAME TIME, 9+ months of which I was understaffed, I’m just ready to leave toddlerhood behind us.
My heart hurts when I lose my cool with them. I can feel the weight of the worry on my chest like a ton of bricks. I know better, I know the tricks of the trade, I’m a psychology gypsy after all. But, I’m not perfect. Let me say it again, I am not perfect. Why do I let the stress of my job carry over to my kids? Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to not have an agenda, a time table, and a butt load of stress that I carried around every day. Would I be a better Mom? Could I be more present? The reality is that it’s just different stress, different schedules, and different agendas to work through. I take comfort in seeing the Stay at Home Mom’s just as disheveled and guilty as me (thanks friends!).
Here comes the mind numbing aspects of this morning’s antics. When we pick him up he refused to leave. Cried, ran back to the playground, and had an extreme protest because he didn’t want to go home. Actually requiring me to carry him off the playground kicking and screaming at 6pm because “he loves school so much and never wants to leave”. Makes total sense, Reid. It’s your world and I’m just living in it. The dichotomy of his emptions never ceases to amaze me.
But I love them more than life itself and I wouldn’t change them for the world. I know I’m not alone in this crazy emotions of parenthood. How are you surviving this madness, friends?