My grandson Ryan is about to become a teenager. Being a writing hoarder, I recently found something that I wrote years ago when I was helping out by taking him to pre-school. Sorry but the Doods are going to be left out this week, although Ryan and Charley were each around three at the time and growing up together.
I’m going to share it just as I jotted it down long ago in that classroom.
Help, I’m trapped in pre-school Hell, a sub-division of Grandma Land. I’m sitting on a cushion on the floor that I’m guessing is filled with rocks, trying to be invisible or as least extremely boring. This is in the hopes that my grandson will disengage and play with the other children rather than grab me in a choke hold. A hold, by the way, that I think has been banned by LAPD.
Many decades ago when the three daughters were starting pre-school, the system was simple. You dropped them off and left them screaming as you skulked away. At that point you had choices. You could sit in your car crying hysterically because your baby was growing up. You could be wracked with guilt because you had just left your offspring with near strangers which also involved hysterical crying. Or, as was the case when I left the youngest, I did the happy dance in the parking lot singing “freedom, freedom, freedom” and then went shopping. Okay so I didn’t win mother of the year but I did find a fabulous pair of shoes.
There were exceptions. I had a friend who was expecting her oldest daughter to have great separation anxiety. Instead, when Sally (her name has been changed in solidarity with moms everywhere and to avoid lawsuits) dropped off Susie (also a fake name), the child turned to her and said “See you later, mom.” Sally ran to her car and sobbed because she had enough separation anxiety for both of them. Looking back, there was so much drama in that parking lot a therapist could have cleaned up!
But I digress. Back to my invisible grandma spot on the floor. In a cage to my left is a mean looking albino guinea pig the size of a small dog. It has a smaller black and white accomplice. I would almost swear the two are conspiring to escape and bite me. I must seem like an easy mark because I’m glued to my pillow spot. I wonder if guinea pigs carry rabies.
ELBEE She’s sharing about guinea pigs instead of me. I’m getting an agent.
Facing me in a cute little toy stroller is an anatomically correct doll. He, yes he, is naked except for a piece of plastic pizza draped unceremoniously across his chest. Considering myself to be a fairly hip grandma, I still feel a little behind the times. After all, when the daughters were small they had gender non-specific dolls who could only be identified by hair and wardrobe.
I am happy to report that despite my presence or non-presence, Ryan made it through pre-school with flying colors. I would like to add that he has always had a special bond with the Doods. Are you happy Elbee?
ELBEE For the record, I have been his favorite for years.
Ryan is also the wonderful young man who made this touching photo tribute for Charley when he passed.