Last week Smallest Boy went to Montessori for the first time ever. His first week was a lovely and gentle induction process where he went in for one hour on Monday, an hour and a half on Tuesday and two hours every day after that.
His response? “Awesome! I love it!”
And he did. He does.
As this things tend to go, the novelty wore off after the weekend. His first week. He’s nothing if not fickle.
On Monday the first thing he said to me was, “I’m not going to school today.”
The first thing I thought was, “Oh, yes you are!” but instead I asked him to get dressed as he’d need to do that anyway.
“Ok. But I’m not going to school. Mammy? You listening to me? Can I take today off?”
“Would you like your breakfast?”
“Yes, please. I am super hungry!”
Soon it was time to go.
He said. “Why are we getting in the car? I’m not going to school today remember?”
I thought, “Oh, yes you are.” But instead I told him, “I just need to collect a letter.”
“Oh that’s ok. But I’m not getting out of the car.”
Oh yes, you are.
We arrived and I popped my seat belt, got out and opened his door.
“What are you doing? I’m not going to school today.”
“I’d like it if you came with me to collect the letter.”
At this juncture, one of his lovely, kind, thoughtful I’ve-heard-this-before big brother piped up. “He doesn’t have to go if he doesn’t want to, you know, Mammy.”
“I’ll handle this one. He’ll be fine.” I opened Smallest Boy’s seatbelt. He drew his knees up to his chest and hugged them.
“Nuh uh. Not going.”
Shit! Crap! All of the bad words. I was fully prepared to lift him out of the car and carry him in if necessary but that would only ignite the brewing hissy fit.
“I know! Why don’t you show one of your brothers the gold fish! I bet they’d love to see the fish.”
He dropped his legs and agreed.
That was easy.
“But I’m coming back to the car with you.”
Shit! Crap! All of the swear words.
Then the remaining three boys decided they all wanted to go in and see the fish.
Shit! Crap! All of the swear words. But Smallest Boy was out of the car and already walking towards the door.
It opened and they all filed in as I made my apologies and explained that the honeymoon period was well and truly over.
Smallest Boy appeared just then and began to push his way past his teacher’s legs, hell bent on getting back to the car. I grabbed him.
He resisted immediately and I asked what they do when this happens.
“If you’re ok to let us handle this, just go.”
I lifted my boy up. His body went long in that way they make it do when they resist being put into their car seat or buggy.
I handed him over and was reassured they would call me in five minutes.
I turned around and was met with three pairs of eyes looking at me like I had just sold their baby brother.
“Right now I bet he thinks you’re the meanest mother in the whole world.” Lovely Liam intoned.
I agreed and said he probably does even though he knows I am not and he will be fine in a few minutes.
We were back at the car.
“I bet you’re not even going to wait. I bet you’re just going to go!”
What do they think I am?
“Of course I’m going to stay. Lookit, I promise you. He is going to be fine. I wouldn’t leave him if I thought he was going to stay upset.”
And in less than five minutes I go the go ahead that he was fine. Like I knew he would be.
“He shouldn’t have to go if he doesn’t want to.”
“Who wants to go for a swim?” I asked.
“Great! Are we going now?”