At five years old, my twins may be the oldest reflected here at HDYDI. They make up for that by having the maturity and social skills of two week olds.
I’m kidding! Mostly. During their first year, they attended two home daycares until we convinced my sister-in-law to watch them. She continued until I quit my job to stay home, and since then the boys have tolerated several teenaged babysitters and one Wednesday night church program, but that is the extent of their exposure to people outside our family. Playdates have been met with violence – not against the other children, thank goodness. When confronted with *outsiders*, one of my boys hides behind me and punches me repeatedly in the posterior. This is his way of indicating, “Mother, I am anxious and would like to withdraw from the situation now, if it pleases you.” It’s a lot like baby sign language.
Anyway, the boys started preschool last Wednesday. The first day, parents were to stay and the boys were cautiously optimistic when they saw all the toys and play areas. When parents were ushered to the next room for a meeting, I hoped the toys would keep the boys comfortable. I hoped so, fervently, for the first 5 minutes of the meeting, until a teacher brought one of my red-faced, teary-eyed boys to the door and beckoned to me.
I spent the rest of the day as the only parent forced to escort her children through circle time — one boy burying his face in my neck with his legs wrapped around my waist; the other angrily punching me in the behind. I didn’t know what to do, so I just smiled extra-bright and sang, “Wheels on the Bus” and played Red Light Green Light like the boys and I were conjoined triplets.
My husband works second shift, so he handles preschool drop off. Thank God, because I don’t think I could take it. Days two and three of preschool went as you can imagine, with sobbing and screaming and clawing desperately to get back into the car. Apparently they calm down within a few minutes of Jason leaving, and they tolerate the rest of the day reasonably well.
P told me, “One time I started to cry, but I told myself, ‘I gotta pull it together!’ and then I was okay.” Now if only their mother could also master this skill, we’d be in business.