The First Day Of School

I think there’s someone brainwashing my daughter.

As many of you know, I have been fighting the idea of putting my little girl in any kind of school. I am all
she needs, of course, so why would I (or she) want to leave my side? I have found my own arguments in this realm extremely convincing over the past few months, and so my daughter remains at home with me.

I was happy with this decision until this weekend, when my sweet baby girl looked me straight in the face and said, “I go school, too!” You can only imagine my consternation.

After investigating fully all the possible sources of this giant sabotage, I finally decided to consider letting my daughter start a program. Happily, I got into a neighborhood location where many of our neighbor friends also attend. But I still wasn’t convinced.

Trying to figure out how to pack all the clothes, diapers, food, drinks and toys my girl might need caused its own set of problems. Once I found out I had to put my daughter’s name on every single item I was sending, I was ready to quit. I don’t want my child walking around with her name scrawled across the front of her diaper! Am I packing her off to some kind of institution??

It was at this point that my friends began talking me off the ledge. It’s okay, they said. She wants to go, they said. Here are some pre-printed name tags to put on everything. . . Ah ha!, I thought. Now I’ve found
the conspirators.

But the morning of school arrived, and I spoke gently with my 2-year-old about what was going to happen. “You’re going to school today,” I said, “and once lunch is over, Mommy will be there to bring you home.”

“School?” she squealed. “Kids? Kids there?!” And without even waiting for a reply, my little girl began jumping up and down in what I can only believe was an effort to mask her concern over leaving her mother. The act continued in the car all the way to school. Legs kicking and hands waving, my baby girl could only be feigning excitement, right?

Arriving in the classroom, my daughter nearly leaped out of my arms and began searching diligently for a baby doll. As I spoke with the program director about my concerns, I noticed that my sweet baby didn’t even look up at me. Instead, she was intently undressing a dark-haired doll and putting it in a grocery cart. Occasionally she would look up and ask of another child, “Who’s that?” The program director assured me that my child would be fine. Choking back a few tears, I left the school unsure of what I had done.

When I returned a few hours later, desperate to check on my daughter, the program director met me at the door, laughing. “You have nothing to worry about,” she said, and then recounted all the fun the kids had that day. Not a tear was shed.

As I entered the children’s classroom, my daughter looked up, saw me, and while waiving, said, “Hi Momma. I play!” The smile on her face was so bright, it made me beam. Leave it to a 2-year-old to make the most convincing argument; my daughter now attends
school regularly.


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