So Bubba has been going to the Toddler class for nearly 3 months now. She seems to be fitting in, adjusting to the new schedule, making fast friends with her class-mates and eating well. According to her teacher, she does still get quite cranky around 11.30am-12pm where she prefers to take her nap rather than have lunch. It was pretty funny actually, because there was one day where she just laid on the teacher and fell asleep. She took one epic nap from 11ish to about 3pm, skipped her lunch and woke up totally famished. She became the talk of the school because apparently it had not happened before so it was pretty funny…
But I still face the dilemma during morning drop-off. I kid you not, I thought it would get easier, for her to fall in love with school but the struggle is real. She would happily greet her teacher during the morning routine health check-up but her grip would tighten when I lead her to the common room for her breakfast.
Some days, she would sit to eat her breakfast with the rest of her little peers. Other days, she simply will not leave me out of her sight, often requesting that I sit next to her or she would sit on my lap while she eats her breakfast.
The first few days of school, the Man and I would bid her farewell. She would scream the house down and then I feel a pang of guilt. One day, I left while she was wailing and overheard another parent saying ‘Wa! Which child is screaming like that? So poor thing!‘ I looked down immediately and just slinked away, hoping that they won’t recognise I’m the Mom in question.
It became quite painful to watch her scream while I just turn my back and walked away. Mummy guilt consumed me until I leave the building – ‘Did I do the right thing?’ – but I know that the screams are just temporary. I know that her teacher would have settled her down and after she was suitably distracted by toys or food, I would just be a distant memory until I pick her up at the end of the day.
So in order to avoid the screams/ crying and the guilt, I realised the easier or perhaps the kinder way for morning drop-off is to quietly/ secretly leave when Bubba doesn’t see or hear me saying Bye to her. I noticed that when I do that, she would get by the day with one less bout of crying. But then, a mummy friend shared that by doing so, it doesn’t help the child. In fact, it may cause the child to doubt your intentions and not trust you in future. There in lies the dilemma!
So I’m still struggling to find a balance. I am trying very hard to reason with my nearly 2 years old toddler why Mummy has to leave her and go to work and bear the brunt of her crying if it doesn’t go well. Some days, it’s seriously just easier to sneak out and heave a sigh of relief when I don’t hear her scream at the lift-landing.
What do you think? Any advice for this Mama here?