Mia started preschool yesterday. I know, I am an old lady, I don't need you rubbing it in. I have been preparing her for weeks. We bought a lunch box, and practiced using it (she loves packing up her lunch, walking around the block, and then coming back in the kitchen and eating, her grandpa would be proud). We visited her classroom the day before and met her teachers (there are four of them, which seems excessive to me but I guess if I were going to be stuck in a room with 10 to 13 three year olds I would want as much back up as possible, they might gang up on you and kick you in the shins.)
Anywho, this has been a very stressful week because when we went to check out her class room I saw where we were going to have big issues. The class potty. They have one in their room, which is great, but it is an automatic flushing one, which gives Mia nightmares. I recall the great "Vernal Mcdonald's Potty War of '07", those of you that are there are probably still having post traumatic stress flashbacks where you hear Mia's shreiks of terror ringing out from the bathroom. To this day, any time she has to use a public restroom we have to have a heart to heat talk about whether the potty is "normal" or "automatic" (my three year old can say "automatic" which probably isn't a big accomplishment but it makes me proud.) So, automatic flushers are bad, that is my point. I thought for a few minutes about warning her teachers, but then I thought that maybe if I didn't make a huge deal out of it she would forget her terror and just use the darn thing.
Finally the big day rolled around. Mia actually sat still to let me do her hair, she put on her favorite new outfit and sat by the door at exactly 9:48...her class didn't start until 11:00. So I tried to distract her with errands I made up and her favorite show of the moment. Finally it was time to go. I read over her checklist the teacher gave us to make sure she had everything in her new Tinkerbell back pack and realized I didn't pack her an extra change of clothes. So I ran up to her room and grabbed her ratty old sweat pants and a t-shirt, thinking "the class is only two and a half hours, she won't need this". And we walked to school half a block a way. Well, I walked, Mia ran like a giddy horse. We walked hand in hand down the hall and into her class room, and at the door, she turned to me and said "ok mom, this class is for kids, you need to go home now."
Oh the pain she stabbed through my heart with those words. I guess I could be happy she is well adjusted and stuff, but secretly I think she was just so darn excited to get a break from me. Yes, I have self esteem issues, what is your point? So I walked home with tears in my eyes and stared at the clock until it was time to pick her up. I ran back to the school and entered her classroom, trying to look semi-dignified and not like that pathetic mom who has no life outside of her children.
I found Mia, and one other little kid alone in the classroom with the head teacher. At first I thought maybe they were in trouble, but it turns out that all the other kids in the class had to ride the bus home so they had left a couple minutes earlier. Mia was gleefully shouting through the aquarium glass at the class pet, a tiny frog and the little boy was staring in to space picking his nose. When Mia saw me she looked a little bit perturbed that I had shown up to ruin her fun. I gave her a hug, which she gracefully allowed, and as I pulled back I noticed that she was wearing her ratty sweat pants, not the pretty ballerina outfit she had so carefully donned that morning. Crap.
The teacher must have seen my face because she quickly came to Mia's defense. She stated that she made it to the bathroom and everything, and stuff wasn't her fault, blah blah blah...I smiled and apologized and whisked Mia away. I know exactly what happened. It was the automatic potty. I have a new foe to defeat. It will be a super fun project for the year.