drawing it out

Lily is sad

For the last eight days that Lily went to school, she was eager to go in the morning, excited all the way there and downright dismissive of her hovering mama the minute she arrived.  She was a Kindergartner and there wasn't a damn thing anyone was going to do to get between her and her beloved classroom.

Until this morning.

Today I made the mistake of mentioning that Anya and I were going to swim class after we dropped Lily at school.  "I want to go to swim class!" she whined.
"But you get to go to Kindergarten today!" I replied in über chipper mode.
"But I want to go to swim!"
"I know, Babe, but right now were going to school.  Anya doesn't get to go to Kindergarten like you so we do other fun things so we don't miss you so much."
And then she wailed.  And cried.  And yelled.  And wailed some more.  I tried explaining how there wasn't a class that fit her needs right now as she was so tired after school, etc, etc.  I would have had a greater positive effect had I spoken to a brick wall.  Instead, see "Wailed.  And cried.  And yelled.  And wailed some more" from above. 

Once we arrived at school, the tears continued, growing even more fierce as the other parents looked on in concern and asked what was the matter.  Her teacher scooped her up in a big hug and talked about how big kids and little kids get to do different things, but her sorrow was bottomless.  It took me half an hour to leave and only then because we had to get to Anya's class. 

When I returned to pick her up, Ms. M told me that she was fine after I left, but preferred to spend the day looking at book quietly or playing in slightly less center-of-attention ways.  "She simply wasn't as... effervescent as she usually is."

There were more tears at home, but for the most part, she was OK after I handed her a blank sheet of paper and asked her to draw me a picture of how she felt.  You may not be able to see it but when she first drew the above picture she drew it with large sharp teeth in the mouth.  Later, after we talked more she asked for her picture back and colored in the mouth, telling me that she was just sad now and not angry.  We made a deal that after the next round of dance classes completed, she could make a choice on how to spend her Saturday mornings: more dance or back to swim.  Of course, her current dance class goes through December, so we'll have to see what she thinks by then.

For now, we'll just all accept that some days, it simply cannot be easy to be five.