I go to Aiden’s fancy new preschool to pick him up. It’s his first day and he is 3 years old. I’m anxious about being on time because they charge $10 per minute if you’re late so I get there at 2:45 pm instead of 3 pm. I'm armed with an elaborate door code and emergency phone numbers on orange AstroBright paper in my wallet so I won't lose it. I'm hoping Aiden has had a good day.
My daughter-in-law says that when they arrived at the school this morning one of the little girls was sitting in the circle with a big pink pacifier in her mouth. Aiden, who had been recently been bribed out of his own “pacey” looked at her as if to say, “What’s that all about?” I thought you told me they weren’t allowed!”
The school is beautiful and new, very clutter free and organized. I punch in the secret code to get into the school and I sign my name in the book that says I picked him up.All the classrooms have large windows in them so you can see what's going on. I'm peering through each one looking in each room for a little red haired boy.
I see him in the last class at the end of the hall-all toddlers. He sees me first and his face lights up. He has a dimple in his left cheek that just slays me. He yells, “Gramma” and runs over to give my legs a hug and I extend my reach over several little people to introduce myself to his two teachers. I find out he ate most of his lunch, but not his yogurt.
There is a tiny Asian boy stretched out on one of the nappy cots. He looks like he has been through hell. He’s on his back, arms and legs akimbo, looking like he is in the deepest sleep of his life. His face is red and blotched like he fell asleep crying. Another mom comes in at the same time. I overhear the teachers asking why the mom didn’t celebrate the girl’s birthday at school. The mom is embarrassed, but says “Well I’m working the day shift, my husband is working a night shift, we were busy…blah blah blah. “ I’m beginning to think how lazy can you be, lady? That is, for Christ’s sake, too much. I feel bad for being judgmental, but I end up feeling bad for the girl and the teachers, too.
The teacher, Miss Daisy, tells me Aiden cried a little during transition times, but that he had a generally good day. He did not go poop, but went in the toilet and urinated. She gives Aiden a big hug and a high five for being a big boy. We thank her and wave “bye.”
We drive home and both of us are kind of quiet, I didn’t want to freak him out with a lot of questions. We have orange juice and cut up pears while watching “Berenstein Bears.” He sits motionless, except for reaching for the fruit, with his blue blanky up next to his cheek.
Then we unloaded the dishwasher, loaded it again, and set the table for their dinner. Hollis came home exactly at 5:00 p.m.She told me that since Aiden moved into a bed and out of his crib he’s been waking up really early, sometimes 5 a.m. My son, Randy went looking for a gate for his room. Aiden is really upset about it. They keep telling him to use his words instead of screaming so this is what he said: “I do not want to be locked up. It makes me really mad. I want to come out of my room when I wake up.”
Aiden turns to me, now that his mother is home, and says, "Bye bye, Grandma." He practically pushes me out the door. We kiss and hug and I promise to see him the next day at 3:00 p.m.