For a minute there it looked like I was going to have to pull Lilah out of preschool.
Her first day went excellently. She walked into the room and didn't look back at me once. I left, she had a great day, and when I came back three hours later, she turned around, saw me, and gave me an enormous smile and a hug. In retrospect, I think she was so happy to be there that she simply didn't notice my absence for those three hours.
On her second day, she cried as soon as I started to carry her into the room.
Her third day was the same. I was a little worried, but then I came to get her at noon and she was outside, playing and having fun. I thought this meant she was fine, but I later learned she'd been upset on and off all morning until she went outside and could be with her sister.
Then on her fourth day, she cried when we got there, she was crying when I left, and she was crying still, forty-five minutes later when they called and asked me to come get her. She was upsetting the other children.
But I didn't want to give up! She'd fussed and yelled and complained the whole previous year when we'd dropped off her sister and she'd been forced to leave! And it was only two days a week! I felt confident that if we could get her over this hump, she would love it there.
So for the third week we tried something new.
On Tuesday, we brought Zora and instead of leaving, we went into Lilah's classroom and she started to cry. But I sat down with her on my lap and just... stayed. For the whole three hours. After a while (forty-five minutes?) she'd gone off into the corner and ceased to notice me. She was doing great! The teacher said I could leave if I wanted, but I said no, I promised her I would stay all day and since I don't know how much language she understands I had better not break my promise.
On Wednesday, however, I did want to leave.
She wasn't willing to let me go, and I kept edging for the door every time she got interested in the room, toys, or other children, which was probably a mistake. Finally I realized I was going to be there a while, so I just sat down and relaxed. Later, when she went off to one corner of the room, I went to another, where she couldn't see me. She didn't come looking for me that time!
When the head teacher interrupted a story reading to take Lilah to the bathroom and change her, I escaped.
They didn't call!
On Thursday I stayed as long as I could before taking her big brother Razi to a dental appointment. (Which turned out to be a complete waste of time, but that is another story). She fussed and cried for a bit after we left, but then she was fine.
And today, again, she was angry and sad when I left, but then, she was fine.
This means I can volunteer in Razi's first grade classroom. I can have some time to myself. I have a built in time for medical appointments for me or any of the kids. I can ride that bicycle I bought this summer.
I am really happy about this. :)