Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Stumbling Block

So last week Genevieve started crying about going to preschool. Out of the blue, for three days now, she's sobbed and wailed, her little chin quivering, saying she doesn't want to go. When I ask her why, there doesn't seem to be a major reason. She says things like, "I just want to be with you, Mama!" and "I don't want you to go!" Sometimes she says, "It's too long!" or, once, "It's boring!" But mostly she hugs me and tries to convince me not to drop her off at nursery school, where her sweet and loving teacher is as puzzled as I am and gives her extra cuddles and attention to help ease the drop-off transition.

Two adult friends who know Genevieve have speculated that the novelty has worn off for her. "It's been two months; she's probably totally over it," said my hairstylist Shauna. "She's been there, seen it all--now she's all, 'Eh. I'm done with this. I want to stay home to watch "Curious George" and bake muffins with you instead.' Think about it: wouldn't you?" She has a point.

Next Wednesday I leave for two days to participate in one of the readings for the "P.S. What I Didn't Say" book tour. Both girls have school during the time I'll be away, detailed routines and schedules that I'm usually in charge of. I dislike being away from my daughters like this; I hate to travel far away from them, worried about what could happen to me (but likely won't). It doesn't help that Genevieve's begun crying every morning before school.

This kind of scenario is exactly what I feared, when I questioned whether or not to send Genevieve to preschool this year as a "young three." I didn't want her to cry about going, to beg for more home-time with me, or to not enjoy her time there. I was so relieved when the school year began and for two months straight she ran into school with joy and enthusiasm, and loved every minute. I was so glad to not have to feel guilty about letting my baby spend time away from me at such an early age and giving up a year that we could have spent in full-time home/parenting activities.

Ah, motherhood: providing continual experiences of guilt from birth until, um, forever?

Wish us luck.


Donna said...

My daughter recently started that at drop-off, too! (With us, I think it has to do with us not being able to stick to our nighttime routines as much in the past few weeks - my husband and I each have had to work eves and nights in the past few weeks.)

In your case, I agree that it's likely the novelty of school has worn off.

In addition, perhaps she's feeding off your energy and prep for your trip? It's hard to be away from the babies, but it's also good for them to see how proud you are of your accomplishments. Plus, they'll love a little gift from Chicago ((free) toiletries from the hotel are usually the biggest hits with my kids).

You'll have a great time on your trip (despite nerves about being away) and hopefully it'll be just the break you've been needing.

Shan said...

I would suspect reaction to my trip too, except I live so totally day-to-day that I've barely mentioned this trip to them yet and haven't started any sort of preparation for it. I have too much to do between now and then!