Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A (post) Christmas miracle.

SS returned to school this morning, because no way was she going to leave home while JJ was here. She had a really rough morning because she was already having JJ withdrawals, and those are not pretty. But by the time we arrived at school SS reverted to her mute persona. When we entered the free play area SS reached for a truck that was on the floor. A little girl shouted "NO! It's mine, I was playing with it." Undeterred SS picked up the truck and I asked her to put it down. Big mistake on my part because the teachers should be the ones handling discipline once she crosses their threshold. At the same time the little girl shouted at SS again. Honestly, if SS had throttled her, it was well deserved.

That's when it happened. I am an expert at predicting a Mount SS eruption even when there are no outward signs to others. The selfish mother in me was silently urging SS to go ahead and react. I then saw it, not the famous C scowl (that leads to anger and petulance), but the quivering lip, the scrunching of the button nose, and then the tear dam burst. SS let out a wail, a loud plaintive wail. At that moment SS managed to bring the place to a complete halt, everyone just stopped, including the children. It was obvious that they were not exaggerating about SS never crying or making any type of noise. The shouter just stared at SS like she had seen her for the first time. Ms. Cookie (she is the cook, but plays with the kids in the morning and just adores SS) dropped what she was doing and rushed to SS's side. But my girl did not want to have anything to do with them, she wanted her Mama.

I did not pick her up, but knelt down and held SS, who quickly buried her face on my neck, while she cried and shook. The teachers were just in shock, even the teachers from the baby room came out to witness the meltdown. When SS calmed down some I allowed Ms. L to comfort her. Ms. L remembered the rules and patted SS's back while soothingly talking to her. Ms. L turned to me and said that they had never seen SS cry, really wanted me to know that. Yeah, that was quite obvious. I asked Ms. L to call me if SS did not calm down. It really tore me apart to leave, but SS was in good hands and I felt it was a good learning experience for SS and those around her.

As horrible as it sounds I am glad it happened. It was good for them to see that SS is a real girl, with real feelings, and real needs. My daughter is not Pinocchio people, she is a real child. I called P as soon as I left and to my relief he said "Good, about time they see that she is a real child." Like me, P was worried about the picture of a mute, emotionless SS. Because that is not who she is, there is so much more to our child. She is a delightfully complex creature, she is a joy to have around.

When I returned four hours later Ms. L informed me that SS calmed down about 10 minutes after I left. Upon enrollment we had agreed that 15 minutes was the max before they called first P, and then me. Ms. L reiterated how surprised everyone was that morning. Welcome to our world, because that is how we felt upon finding out how SS behaves at school. We also hope that maybe this incident served as an ice breaker and that SS's true personality slowly emerges. We hope that SS little by little learns to let go and be her fabulous self. We hope that SS becomes secure enough to realize that she does not have to be perfect to be cared for and appreciated. That is a lot of hoping but when it comes to our kids we are eternal optimists.

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