Today was the day. The day I left my child alone at the preschool for the first time. Since I’ve worked in several prechools for many years, I know that almost all children cry the first days there. Especially when they’re as young as Igge. At his age babies don’t understand that I’m coming back – they think I’ll leave them forever – every time! That’s what makes this experience horrible for parents. I’ve met the staff, they’re super. I’ve hung around in the preschool, it’s a really idyllic one. The food is good, there’s nothing to complain about, so I’m not worried about those parts of leaving my son.
Before we left home I made sure to pack Igge’s favourite stuffed animal, Softy. Igge mostly chews on it and swings it around, but who knows, maybe it will help him calm down if he’s upset. Then we rocked the socks, of course! (Yeah yeah, I’m posting this a week later than it was written.) The bus didn’t come, as usual, and we had to walk quite a bit, as usual. The whole way I was singing “Wheels on the bus”, “En kulen natt” and “The crocodile song” and I was not allowed to sing anything else. I’m so tired of those three songs and so is my vocal chord. But all for the child, right?! We arrived and I took him out of the pram and started saying “Okay, Igge. Today you will be here without me. There’s nothing to be sad about, you’re in safe hands and in a safe…” My sentence got interrupted by a banging noise on the full-wall-sized window, where I just parked the pram. Only, it was from the inside. I turned around and saw my child on the inside, banging and waving at me from the other side. I looked around, no, can’t see him anywhere else, it’s definitely him. I followed the trail of a shoe, a hat, another shoe, a glove, a sock… The trail lead me to the play room, where he of course, was running around in the wrestling ring with static hair and a Duplo giraffe in his hand. Surprisingly enough with a friend, who also was shouting “Hey hey hey hey!” while they were running in circles. After yesterday’s time at the preschool I didn’t think he would ever get any friends, but there you go – there is actually someone as crazy as my child.
“Hej då, Igge!” (Meaning Good bye in Swedish) I said louder and louder but he didn’t hear me. Slowly I backed away and left the room. I picked up the trail of outerwear he so politely left behind and in a snail pace I put it on his spot. Acting like a snail was because I was sure he would look for me any second now and then I was ready to say bye bye properly. Softy was looking at me from the diaper bag and I picked him up to give to Igge when he came running after me in tears.
Any second now. Any second.
The teachers looked at me from inside the play room with a very confused look: this is where you leave, mommy. So I shouted as loudly as I could “HEEEEEJ DÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅ IIIIIIGGEEEEEEEE!”. He stopped running, looked at me, waved, shouted back “Ye da”, waved a backwards wave and started to run around in circles again. What is this? My baby has no problem leaving me, what?!
I went outside and pressed my face against the window where I saw him run around having the time of his life. Don’t know for how long I stood there, waving and waving while being completely ignored, but I left when I discovered that my cheeks had gotten frost bite and my child still hadn’t as much as glared at me from his play.
At the bus stop I noticed I still had Softy in my hand.