Last Wednesday, Tom, Alice and I headed to his new preschool to meet his teacher, see the classroom and let him play with some of the children who would be his classmates.
It was his “meet and greet” day — the day before he’d actually start.
We went to his school and the children in his class were decorating placemats with markers.
Tom did that for about 10 seconds before spotting a TRAIN just outside the window.
The “train” is one of those little cars that toddlers use to either push when learning to walk or the child can sit and ride on it.
Tom wanted to sit and ride on it.
The entire time we were there.
Not only that, but he found two wagons too — one yellow and one red.
The perfect “boxcar” and “caboose.”
The only problem was that the wagons refused to stay attached to his steam engine (because of gravity or some such nonsense) — so he started having a series of tiny little meltdowns.
Now, Alice was strapped onto my front in the Baby Bjorn, so picture me trying to kneel but not tip over to talk to Tom while trying to be stern but not overly so since I’m also talking to other parents at the same time and I’m trying to be all la-la-la-my-child-is-super-nice-and-not-freaking-out-right-now.
The meet and greet was only an hour, so parents and children began leaving and I had to start convincing Tom it was time for us to go, too.
(That was Tom screaming.)
I can count on one hand the number of times Tom has had a major meltdown.
And this…this was the second time.
No matter what I said, his response was a loud, screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I want to play TRAINS!”
And then he started crying.
And snot is running down his face and he is full-on flailing about.
Okay, so now picture me with Alice strapped on my front, trying to physically PICK. UP. my screaming, crying toddler.
Then picture him wrapping his legs around that steam engine in an effort not to let go.
Then picture him grabbing the “boxcar” wagon with the other hand.
So I am holding Alice, screaming Tom, a steam engine and a wagon while trying to stay calm and sending reassuring looks to the teachers that say, “Please don’t kick my child out before the first day. Seriously. I swear, he NEVER DOES THIS.”
And then with my mouth I said to the teachers, “I swear, he NEVER DOES THIS!”
And then to reassure the teachers — and in an effort to make sure they would let Tom stay in class — I signed up for the one job no one else wanted.
I am the room mother.