The Perks of Preschool Pick-Up

On some days, there aren’t any perks to preschool pick-up…am I right? I’m always happy to see my kids after a long day, and I’m anxious to hear about their days, but they don’t always share my enthusiasm. As I was walking in with a fellow parent recently, he says to me, “And now, the hardest part of our day begins.” #truth

Some days we have to spend an inordinate amount of time getting in the car seats. Some days as soon as we get to the parking lot, they all 3 run different directions, and I become paralyzed by indecision and fear. Some days the 2 year olds come out in totally different outfits than they had that morning…and I’m handed a bag of washing for the night. Some days the 4 year old won’t leave because she’s having too much fun with her friends. Some days, all three engage in a physical fight – in the back seat of the car – over who gets the snack bag first. And then there was the one day that one was throwing a tantrum so bad that a fellow mom suggested to the school pastor that I might need a hand, or a smiling face, or, more than likely, a hug. And this is all just getting from their classrooms to the car, not to mention, we still have to get home, eat dinner, take baths, and eventually get to bed.

Oh wait, this was about the perks, right??

On what was quite possibly the roughest pick up ever, I was totally flabbergasted by the intensity of this 2 year old tantrum…in front of everyone. Not only was it unprecedented (as usual), but it was from the child that is the least likely to throw a fit of this magnitude. I was beside myself. I did eventually get all three buckled in their seats and pull out of the parking lot, but she was still screaming at the top of her lungs and trying to catch a breath between sobs. I was sweating profusely, my hair was a total disaster and I was in tears, as the other two sat silently in shock.

We drive around a few lakes on our ride home, and we typically look for the ducks and the turtles that might be catching some sun. But on this day, I kid you not, there were two otters playing right next to the shore. I pulled over and opened the window so they could all watch. And wouldn’t you know, she calmed right down. We sat there for a good 15 minutes as they were captivated by the antics of these otters. Let me tell you, that day, those otters were a true gift from the heaven’s above. We have literally driven by that same lake every day since looking for those otters and have NEVER seen them again. Never. But we made it a tradition as we still look for those otters, only to be greeted by the same turtles and ducks on each drive home.

Even on the worst days, there are perks to be found at preschool pick-up. The way the twins run when they see me through the window, every day, no matter what. The way their teacher says that they start telling all the other parents that come before me that their mom will be their soon reassures me that they are excited to see me. The way the 4-year old can’t wait to show me what experiment she did that day. And the way the 4 year-old loves to sing all the new songs she’s learning in the car on the way home, while her sisters chime in during the parts they know. And then, there are the evasive otters, for whom we continue to look. I’ll take all these rough days because all the good days make them worthwhile.

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