Bribe = Breakthrough

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So as soon as she opened her eyes this morning, Granuaile started crying about not wanting to go to school.  No, really crying.  Not just fake, whiney stuff.  This was the real thing, real tears, real snot running down her nose.  Ewww to the visual on that.

We dropped Eilis off and I headed for my coffee.  I had bargained with her to please not cry so I could concentrate on my driving, and then asked her to please just be quiet until I ordered my coffee, and she not only did both, but she stayed quiet long enough for me to have a quick chat with Sandi at the drive-thru window.  We drove off towards school, and while she made the occasional request to please go home, she stayed reasonably quiet until we drove past the McDonald’s on the White Horse Pike.  Then she asked for a happy meal.  I figured this was the perfect opportunity to offer her a deal, and I took it.  I told her if she tried to eat her lunch at school or tried to eat her snack, I would take her to get a happy meal after school. 

Now why would a fat woman encourage a kid to behave by offering her food?  Well, first of all, she’s little, and she wanted a happy meal.  Secondly, she has not eaten breakfast or lunch for two days straight, and I’m worried about her.  And lastly, she’s little and cute.  But really, I figured it it worked, it might help in the long run, so I’m willing to risk the fat and calories in one happy meal.

We got to school, and I just started talking.  I pointed out the polar bear painted on the window of the school sitting on a block of ice.  We talked about how cold his hiney must be.  I talked about the snowman painted on the door and the calendar by the sign in sheet.  I told her I was punching in the code for the door alarm and I showed her the babies in the first room.  We found a poster with a boy with a butterfly on his nose and a classroom that had penguins on their door.  And in the classroom, although whimpering a bit, she voluntarily took her jacket off and helped me hang everything in her cubby.  She asked me to pick her up, which I did, and I kissed her, told her I loved her and told her I’d be back in a little while to take her for her happy meal.  She climbed down by herself – to the amazement of her teachers.  She ran to her “corner” and bent over to pick up a toy, just as I was getting ready to walk out, and when she saw me, she got hysterical crying, screaming for me not to leave her, and kicking and slapping at poor Miss Kelly.  I quickly walked out the door and prayed for the best.

And when I picked her up, they gave me a picture of smiling Grace that they captions “Look How Much Fun I Had Today”!  She was happily sitting on the floor playing when I arrived and she ran over to me with a big grin on her little face.  We gathered up all of her stuff, with her teachers telling her how proud they were of her today, and they told me that while she didn’t eat lunch, she did sit at the table, drink some juice, and she did eat a little snack after naptime.  Well worth a happy meal!

Of course, the first thing she said when we got into the car was, “I’m not going back to my school again!”

UGH

You Bad

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Those were the last coherent words spoken to me by my youngest daughter today as I dropped her off for her first day of school.  After that, she crumbled into a screaming, unintelligible heap.

At her father’s insistence, Granuaile began nursery school today.  She is going to the same school Eilis went to, and I am confident that it is a good school run by people who care about kids, but she does not want to go.  We took her on Friday to meet her teachers and give her an hour of a dry run, but she cried the whole time, and threw up all over herself.  Today, no vomitting, but I don’t think she could have cried anymore if someone had crushed her last teddy bear.

She recognized the place from last week immediately, and began yelling in the car, “No school, I want to go home!” over and over, loudly.  Then she calmed down enough to get in the front door, calmly telling me over and over she wanted to go home.  But as soon as we set foot in the classroom, the hysterics began.  She grabbed my neck, locked her legs around my waist, and had to have her jacket pried off of her.  The teacher asked me what I wanted to do – did I want to stay with her or did I want to just let them take her.  I asked what would be best, and they advised me to let them take her.  They said she needed to learn to trust them.  I don’t know if I did the right thing.  I may never know until I’m sitting at her trial for being a serial killer and she throws herself on the mercy of the jury and tells them this is all her mother’s fault for dumping her in daycare.  I know I don’t want her to be the kid going into regular school crying and having to be dragged up the steps.  I’m hoping this helps us avoid that when the time comes.  I’m also hoping this will help in the potty training department.  She knows when she goes, but hasn’t yet found the patience to sit on the potty when she needs to go.  I know for both other kids, being around the other kids and going on a schedule really helped, so we’ll see how Miss Gracie does.

She has already told me she doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, and I’m not looking forward to taking her.  I keep telling myself she only really has to be there until June when the other two are out of school, and it makes it seem not so far away, but when I’m handing her off to the teachers tomorrow, and she’s screaming and begging me not to leave her, June might as well be in the next millenium.