Add into the mix our first preschool cold (she didn't even last a week before that happened!), and it was the perfect storm a-brewin'.
When I arrived to pick up Nora from her second day of preschool, her face was blotchy and she was sitting alone at a table and staring down at a book, refusing to look at anyone, even me.
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Her teacher said she'd been "a little fussy," and also that she thought she felt a bit hot. I was hopeful when Nora perked up in the car on the way home, telling me about her day and serenading me with some songs they'd sung in school, but when I got her up from her nap later that afternoon, she was covered in snot and running a fever.
So, OK, a cold, I thought. No fun, but not too big a deal.
Turns out that was just the first rumble of thunder.
That evening I had a rehearsal with my band -- something I've done just about every Monday evening since January -- so I got up after dinner and headed to practice, leaving Nora with Dada, her No. 1 guy.
I'd barely gotten to our rehearsal space and tuned up my fiddle when I received a message on my phone: major meltdown at home.
Nora was wailing for Mama and wouldn't be consoled by Dada, who apparently had fallen out of favor.
We chalked it up to illness and related out-of-sortsness, but even after the cold went away, the Mama obsession lingered (which was especially no fun considering that by this time, of course, *I* had the preschool cold).
Day 3 of preschool was earlier this week, and though I was optimistic after Nora had a good weekend that included some successful solo Dada time, she cried as soon as I said goodbye and walked out the door of her classroom. I could hear her crying all the way down the hall as I walked toward the parking lot, and it took everything I had not to run back to her.
But of course, like so much in life, the only way to get past this is to get through it. For both of us. So I kept walking. And I went about my morning as best I could.
This time when I picked her up, the teacher said she'd cried "off and on," wanting mama. And when Dada got home from work in the evening, Nora wanted nothing to do with him. Clearly, this is going to take a little longer to clear up than that cold did.
But her backpack is packed for the next school day, and we'll try, try again. It not easy for either of us -- I dread having to walk down the hall chased by her cries again, and I know there's nothing I can do to help her get used to me leaving her except, well, to leave her. But school is about learning, after all, and she'll eventually learn to be without me. And I'll learn (again) that sometimes parenting requires weathering a storm, but sunnier days are likely to follow.