Callum shocked the entire preschool staff this week by a)refusing to go to class and b)establishing his refusal with a full-on endless thrash-n-wail in the school lobby, interrupted briefly by my taking him outside for a breather and briefly again by his teacher taking him into class to distract him. I tried my usual gimmicks. No dice. Ronan knew the drill. He patiently played with a train in the lobby and waited for Callum to calm down. When that didn’t happen, he was surprised to go into class alone, but happy to escape the noise.
Callum loves preschool, and is loved by it. His teachers adore his game-for-anything enthusiasm. But that day he just wasn’t feeling it. Was there something horribly wrong? Was he ill? No, I reassured everyone. He does this several times a week (Shock and disbelief all around). Yes, it’s so. I sadly eyed my unopened computer bag and took him back home. But an hour of cookie-baking and puzzle-playing, just Callum and Mommy, set him right. I realized it had been weeks, nay, months, since the two of us had been alone together for such a stretch of time, and it was lovely, fishing bits of egg shell out of the batter together, giggling and coughing in the clouds of flour mist created by his overzealous dumping, licking cookie dough off spoons, dumping five puzzles at once and putting them all back, shouting with special joy when the ice cream truck piece clicked into place. We didn’t care too much about the finished cookies, having eaten so much dough. Callum said he was ready for preschool now. Parenting connundrum: really, I thought, I should let him experience the full consequences of his tantrum and not allow him to return. But if I did let him go back, I could still get in 45 minutes of writing time! Back into the car it was!
My time with Callum got me itching for a similar experience with Ronan, my snugglebug boy. So tonight I sneaked out with him for a little date. We went to the construction site and actually got out of the car to get a closer look at all the trucks, which were parked and locked up for the weekend. Ronan studied the one closest to the fence, the roller, and assured me that he could drive it. Could I call a worker to let us in, he wanted to know? No. He knew it was a long shot. Then we went to the gas station and I AGAIN let him get out of the car to help push the buttons on the machine and put the hose in the gas tank. He washed, squeegied and dried the three inches of windshield he could reach, pleased as punch. Our last stop was our favorite store: Target. When he plays “This Little Piggy” on his own toes, he says, “This little piggy went to Target.” We were there to pick up some water filters but directly across from them he noticed a nice blender on sale. He notices blenders wherever they appear, searching department store ad mailers for them regularly, spotting them on cluttered shelves in thrift stores. His first spontaneous prayer was “Thank you Jesus for a blender,” and he is an excellent smoothie maker. Our blender pitcher is cracked and missing the lid and the motor smells all burned from the number of times I have failed to seat the pitcher properly on the base. I told him we could buy the blender. O! Joy upon joy! We rushed home. “We got a blender!” Ronan shouted. A lovely date indeed.