So, after my crazy day and doctor’s visit today, I went to pick up Jet. Normally, this is absolutely the highlight of my day. I like to try to hide and watch him for a few minutes without him knowing I’m there. One of the amazing things to me is that his two- and three-year-old classmates all know which parents go with which kids. It’s never long before one of them spots me (if he doesn’t) and shouts, “Jet! Your mommy’s here!!”
His head snaps up and he looks for me. Then — and this is the very, very, very best part — we lock eyes and his whole face lights up. He shouts, “MOMMY!!!” and comes running. I scoop him up as he jabbers about what he was just doing and wraps his arms around my neck and gives me the world’s sweetest hug. He smells of sweaty two-year-old boy, disinfectant wipes, and whatever else they’ve been into, and it’s positively the sweetest thing I’ve smelled all day.
Today, though, when I got there, he was in time out. Actually, he was supposed to be in time out, but he kept getting up and walking around. His teacher was changing a diaper on another kid while telling Jet to go back to time out. He saw me pretty quickly and started to come to me, but I told him to go back to time out. He told me (now, I know this may surprise some of you, so brace yourselves), “NO!”. I gave him the look and he stopped short, but didn’t go back to time out. So, I picked him up, put him in time out, and left the room as his teacher was telling him, “Two minutes in time out…”
The director of the playschool (who is a really good friend of my mom’s) and I started talking while I was waiting. She told me that Jet had a rough day — he had torn up two books and gone to time out for it. She had talked with him about it, and told him that he wasn’t going to get a happy treat at the end of the day (the kids get a small candy if they’ve been good). Normally, this is one of the first things he says to me (“I get candy now!”). Today, though, when he said it, I had to tell him that, no, he couldn’t have a happy treat because he had torn up two books.
You would have thought that I told him the world was ending. His little face crumpled, and big tears filled his eyes. I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing out loud. I know that it sounds mean somehow, but it was cute in a way. It’s not that I love that he gets so upset about it, but I do love that his little world is so innocent that his happy treat is a huge, huge deal.
I made him hug and apologize to the playschool director and his teacher. He asked again for his happy treat, and I told him he couldn’t have it. He cried again at that, but didn’t argue.
On the way home, we talked about it. (This is usually another favorite part of the day for me. He chatters all the way home about what he did that day. It’s amazing to me that he can remember so much of what he did and tell me about it so clearly!) I told him that we would pick out three books at home to take to school tomorrow to replace the ones he ruined. We’ve talked about it a couple of times since then, and I really think he understands.
At the beginning of all of this at the playschool, I thought, Not today, of all days; I don’t have the energy to deal with this today. Now, three hours later, dinner eaten, kitchen cleaned, and Shrek 2 on the TV, all is well. In a minute, after I post this, Jet will clamber into my lap and snuggle under the blanket with me until it’s bath time. Then, after bath, he’ll snuggle under the blanket with me again to read Cat in the Hat or One Fish, Two Fish. The world has been set to rights again, and I thank God for health and my family.
Happy Love Thursday, everyone.