The preschool search
Amelia looking her most collegiate
"We believe in quick drop off" said the nice, professional owner of the preschool.
"Did I say something wrong?" were his next words, "Your face has completely changed."
He read me like a book. I was about to cry in front of this stranger. I had been able to fake it up until that moment. It was a Friday and I was in search of the nursery school in the South Loop of Chicago that would get Amelia ready for her academic career. I was asking all the right educational and social questions "What system do you follow? How many teachers per classroom? What are the social activities she will be part of?"
The second nursery school really impressed me. The owner looked very buttoned up. He greeted me warmly yet professionally and handed me a nice brochure. He answered all my questions and led me on a tour of the school. Painted in bright colors, the place was immaculate. I went during nap time and the kids looked so peaceful. This school looked like fun.
Until he said "we believe in quick drop off. You drop off your child in the lobby, say your good byes and the teacher walks her to the classroom." I loosely quote him because after the first six words he sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown. That's when the real issue I have with pre school was finally exposed.
I remember when my Mom dropped me off at nursery school and how I thought she would never come back to get me. I cried so much that the stupid teacher put masking tape on my mouth. My mother quickly pulled me out of that one and waited a few months to sign me up in another school. But apparently it was too late and I cried throughout my entire pre school career. What's even more strange is that I remember the smell of those first schools---wet mop and Lestoil plus Cameo cookies--and one whiff of that at age 35 and I still can well up.
My girlfriends that have been through the pre school thing with their kids were not shocked by the quick drop off system. My wise mother, also a former school principal, concluded "that is where she needs to go. That is what you have to do so that your daughter doesn't learn your fears. She is not you; she might just cry and then be fine."
I'll let you know how it goes when I quick drop off Amelia in September. It won't be easy but I'm bringing back up. My husband will be there not only for our daughter but for her hysterical mother sitting on the sidewalk. Oh, I forgot to tell you she's only going three times a week. Stay tuned for the drama when she goes full time. Ay Mama!