I had no idea today would end the way it did.
A few weeks ago Skyler started her new preschool a couple days a week, since part time was all they had open. She continued to go to her in-home daycare for the other part of the week.
Things have gone as good as they could. We have our up and down days. Last week she cried dramatically for the first time when I had to leave her at preschool one morning, even though our first several drop-offs had been pretty smooth. No extra hugs or kisses before my exit could calm her, so I had to just rip the bandage off and walk away. But then the next day as we headed to daycare and not preschool, she whined that she couldn’t go back to preschool and stomped her way into the house. And when I picked her up, she didn’t want to leave. Her opinions are consistently inconsistent. I never know what I’m gonna get!
But preschool let us know recently that a full time spot had opened up, so I gave Skyler’s daycare notice, and today was her last day.
Last night we stopped by the store and bought Funfetti cupcake mix to make for her last day at Darlene’s, and had our first baking experience together. Not that I bake much anyways – I don’t need sweets around the house! We pulled a chair up to the kitchen counter; she was very helpful to set the paper liners in the cupcake pan, pour the mix and water and oil into the bowl, and [sort of] help me stir. She did a wonderful job topping the icing off with sprinkles too! Today she was so excited to bring her cupcakes to daycare and share with the kids, and even though I kept telling her it was her last day, she was a pleasantly happy girl. Even when I picked her up and we said good-bye. I, on the other hand, was struggling to hold myself together as Darlene gave her final hugs.
We headed home and had an uneventful dinner and typical evening. Until the tears welled up.
In the middle of playing blocks, Skyler began crying, and when we tried to comfort her, she said she was sad and missed the kids at Darlene’s. Awwwww. My heart broke a little. We calmed her and then she wanted a snack. Fixed up with some cottage cheese and a drink, she settled in on her snack. But it was only seconds before the tears started again and she sad “I miss Darlene!” My heart broke a lot. It’s like it just hit her tonight that she wasn’t going back. We held her for a bit and she told us she wanted to go lay in her bed (from the girl who runs from me when I say it’s bedtime), and wanted both of us to come lay with her.
We snuggled into her bed and talked about fun things to calm her from her sad day of change. Eventually, she was distracted enough and her sadness seemed forgotten. But mine still remains as I realize this is the first of many tough life changes that she’ll endure. Day by day her feelings get deeper and her life more complex. Someday it may be a best friend moving away, a break-up with a boyfriend, or perhaps the death of a loved one. I can only imagine how hard it will be to watch her go through those things, and they won’t be fixable by hugs and silly distractions.
This parenting thing – we’ve got so much more work cut out for us, as if it wasn’t hard enough already!