So, the first day of preschool for Toddler Boy went swimmingly. It was basically an introductory hour-long session with just three other kids in his class of 10. Not a sniffle, not a tear. A kiss goodbye and he was off for a couple of hours of mommyless parallel play.
Fast-forward to the second day of preschool -- yesterday. Before we even left the house, things were headed south.
"Mama. I don't wanna go anaweeeear."
"Oh, but honey, don't you want to play with those fun trucks at school? Mrs. Matthews is so excited to see you today."
What a crock. My vision of Mrs. Matthews is that at about, oh, 11:15 (school gets out of 11:30) she starts foaming at the mouth, clawing at the door window, and mouthing, "HELP ME" as other staff walk by shaking their heads wishing they could help, but too frightened by what they knew lay behind that closed door.
I got him into the car with an apple sauce squeezie to calm his nerves. (Have you seen these things, by the way? They are like $55 for a pack of four apple sauce packs with a nozzle that dispenses apple sauce directly into your kids' mouth. No muss, no fuss. We are currently refinancing our home to afford weekly purchases of these ridiculous snacks.)
Got to school and he was starting to get excited to play with his favorite truck in class.
"I like-a the front-end loader."
No, trucks aren't just trucks to my kid.
"Great! Let's go see your front-end loader. Mrs. Matthews has it waiting for you!" I say, sounding like Minnie Mouse on crack.
We walked in, up the stairs and immediately, I spotted him. He was one of Jack's classmates. A pretty big 2-year-old, sucking his thumb, clutching his blanket, and eyeing everyone walking by with that I'm-gonna-blow look on his face.
The kid reeked of instability. He could really, really throw a wrench into the delicate balance I had going on with J. We were already teetering on the edge. There were some nerves and resistance, but I'd managed to keep things moving without too much pushback. But, this guy. This guy could ruin it all.
I pretended not to see him and steered J away from his obvious nervous energy.
"I hang-a ma Batman backpack."
"Good job, sweetie. Almost time for Mrs. Matthews to open the door."
And right on cue...open the door she did. And there the kid went. It was like slow motion. His eyes turned red, he ripped off his shirt and his skin turned green right before my eyes.
It was hard not to stare. Even though I've been in that very predicament many a time, when you see a kid losing his noodle like that, it's hard not to think to yourself, "If only he could see what an ass he's making of himself, he'd think twice before pulling that crap."
Shit was bananas.
Not sure how his dad managed to get him, flailing and screaming, over to the open door. But, right when he reached the door, Incredible Hulk did the unthinkable: He racked his own father's balls.
"Ooooh..." his father moaned.
I could not believe the chaos ensuing before my eyes, and all I wanted to do was get my kid through that open door without having him kick me in my...vagina. Ok, maybe not exactly the same thing.
J stood there wide-eyed and I could see his mind racing.
"What the fuck? This kid is bugging. Does he know something I don't? Are they making kid stew in that room or something?"
I knew time was of the essence. I pushed by Hulk's dad, still trying to recover from the unexpected attack on his gonads, gave J a kiss, and said, "Ok, it's time to play with your truck now!"
He looked at me incredulously as if to say, "Yeah, right. You expect me to walk into the pit of death without a fight? Ha. Guess again, lady."
And there he went. Tears, yelling, head tossing. The works.
I gave him a quick hug, said I'd be back to pick him up and glanced backward to see him and the Incredible Hulk, along with several other kids now, taking the term "mass hysteria" to new heights.
I wanted to blame Hulk's dad for the scene, but I knew better. It's like a bandaid. Gotta rip it off. Plus, he'd suffered enough.
I'm thinking next time, though, I'm going to put soundproof headphones and a blindfold on J on the way to class...