This morning, RR and I walked through the wooded pathway in between the parking lot and her school, as we do every weekday morning. She had her lunchbox in one hand, and my hand in the other. There is a tree stump she likes to jump off of every morning, so I let go, let her jump, and carry on. At some point, she picked up a stick and carried it with her to the front of the school.
I thought to myself, “Man. We have done so well this morning. No tantrums. No screaming. She’s gonna blow a gasket when she’s asked to leave her stick outside.”
As we approached the gate to say Good Morning to the director, she happily showed off her stick. The director said, “Oh I LOVE your stick! It kind of looks like the number “seven”! You should go show that to Aimee (her teacher)!”
Happily, RR tootled down the stairs, telling me that the stick ALSO looked like an “r.”
We got to her classroom, Aimee opened the door, and RR showed off her stick once again. Aimee said, “That’s a great stick! Let’s go find somewhere for you to put it to keep it safe!” I told RR goodbye, and she had a quick wash of panic-face, and then said, “I need a big hug and a kiss!” I complied, and in she happily went.
Four weeks of tears at drop-off. Of “DON’T YEAVE ME MAMA!” as I’m walking away. This morning, not only was she not forced to leave her stick outside, her stick-havingness was acknowledged and its value (to her) was appreciated. Four weeks of tears were suddenly SO worth it. All it took was a stick.