Meet Lillian. She’s a master of manipulation and guilt tripper extraordinairre.
Friends, I want to give you a little glimpse into my world right now. Look at that sweet little face. Look into those beautiful, bright blue eyes.
Then tell that face something a three-year old doesn’t like to hear. Something like:
- It’s time for bed.
- You can’t have a lollipop if you don’t eat any of your dinner.
Or maybe, like me, you are already 20 minutes late for work and you have to utter the formidable sentence, “Mommy has to go to work now.”
Prepare to meet this face:
This morning, this face was accompanied by desperate sobs of “Mommy! Don’t go! I want you to stay with me! I’m scared!” I kept telling her, “It’s not like I want to go to work! I’d so much rather just hang out with you here all day.” I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but I didn’t want to get emotional and make it worse. You see, this is her first full week in a new classroom. The whole drop-off routine is different all of a sudden and I can see why she may not be thrilled about it.
Preschool is mayhem. There are children between the ages of 2-5 eating breakfast (if the food hasn’t all been eaten by the time we arrive), playing, yelling, and fighting. I haven’t yet figured out how to know where breakfast is going to be – it could be in any one of three different rooms. There’s not much structure at this time and children of this age are all over the place and loud. Not the most welcoming environment for an anxious preschooler who rages out when things don’t follow her expectations.
So this morning, after her teacher saved me with distractionary techniques, and I rolled into work 20 minutes late, I was explaining to my boss why I was so late to work, and the tears just started coming. People were coming to me in the halls as I was cry-laughing telling my story and I was really moved to hear other people’s stories of children making them feel like garbage, too.
The next time you feel like you’re failing or you make a mistake that your tiny people won’t let you come back from, just know that they all do it. Solidarity!