I need to put a post-it note on the dashboard

Posted by jdg | Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The drive to the kid's preschool downtown is short, but still takes a few minutes with the traffic. Some days she spends the whole ride sobbing, other days she just interrogates me about what owls eat. Things have been inconsistent with the transition. Once at school, she either runs right past me into her classroom shouting, "See ya, pops!" or the sound of her crying only stops once I'm out the front door of the building. Either way, her teacher says she's fine while I'm gone. We're extremely pleased with the changes we've seen since she started. She's much bolder and assertive at the playground. At her grandpa's funeral, she was so polite and well-mannered to adults she didn't know that we went looking for the pod from which this unknown creature inhabiting our daughter's tiny body had crawled. Where did she learn all this? Her proud answer, whenever asked where she's learned anything new, is school.

The mornings, though, are still hard. She cries through breakfast. She cries while I dress her. "I don't want to go to school today," is her snot-nosed refrain. Some days I pretend I can't talk, and for a while this amused and distracted her, but she quickly grew frustrated with the mimery and just started screaming louder. Some days I talk like a robot, but she just starts telling me in a robot voice that she doesn't want to go to school.

On the drive, we pass a weeping willow tree, and I tell her the tree is crying, and that when we pass the tree she has to stop crying. I always put in her favorite Music Together cassette, and that helps, though every day I forget to take it out after dropping her off, so I find myself rolling through the streets of old Detroit singing along to some numbnuts' sluggish-bongo version of "This Old Man." Some days Wood doesn't have to go to work until later, and I'll drop her off after Juniper, and we'll both sit there in the car, so stunned by this brief moment together, alone, that we don't even realize we're kissing goodbye with "The Eensy Weensy Spider" playing in the background.