Yesterday, Ryan was not interested in leaving daycare.
When I arrived at the regularly scheduled time to pick him up, he happened to be playing with a very fun toy and a very fun friend.*
He was pleased to see me and even graced me with a quick smile, but then he went back to the business of pressing buttons on toys. He was not at all happy to discover that I intended to force him leave whether he wanted to or not. And he may have been a little dramatic about illustrating his displeasure as I escorted him out the door.**
Ryan continued to vent his frustration as I carted him across the parking lot. He flung himself dramatically onto the asphalt as I tried to open the car door. A mom getting into the car next to me made a flippant*** comment about how he was “trying to be an escape artist.” I responded – flippantly, of course – that he wasn’t “trying,” he was “succeeding.”
I had to use my Stern Voice with Ryan four times: “Mommy needs you to cooperate right now. We are going home. This is your only option.” And then he would arch his back and stiffen his legs, silently and defiantly looking me straight in the eye.
After this whole production, witnessed by at least 2 staff members, 3 parents and 9 kids, he finally tired out and rested long enough for me to buckle him into his seat.
And then. Then, he flashed me the sweetest, most sincere, most beautiful smile. As I melted into a mom-shaped puddle, I thought, “Dammit. He already knows his smile is my greatest weakness.”
I had no choice but to smile back, kiss his forehead and play peek-a-boo for a few minutes. And he laughed and was the picture of happiness and light, all fury and disobedience long forgotten by both of us.
*Said friend is half his age and half his weight, so the “fun” may have been that Ryan got to call all the shots.
**You know the phrase, “I had to drag him out, kicking and screaming”? Yeah, it’s a real thing.
***Actually, she was just trying to be nice and make me feel better. But she was a good target for my annoyance.
Today I’m linking up to Yeah Write. It’s a writing challenge – and it’s a great way to find amazing new blogs by talented writers. I’m a newbie there this week, so I would love it if you would head over and vote for me and a few others on the grid.