I’ve been trying to post to this blog since it was created, which seems like ages ago. So, I’m going to make my first blog about the drama that has been going on at my daughter’s (we’ll call her Paper Clip, PC for short) preschool. Back in March, my husband (we’ll call him Fishin’ Freak, FF for short) and I decided to enroll PC in a preschool just a few miles from our home. The initial few weeks were chock full of all the typical reactions one might expect from a two year old who is accustomed to being at home with her mom all day. Once we got through the first month of kicking and screaming during our morning drop-offs, PC adjusted quite well to the routine the school offered and began to flourish in her new surroundings.
Flash forward to the end of May. PC gets bumped to one of the two year old rooms because…Ta Da!…she has her second birthday. The preschool Director told me to expect some of the behaviors I witnessed when we first began bringing her to the school because of this transition to a new room, new teacher, and new kids. Honestly, my little Paper Clip is a wiry little thing, and after the intial shock of the change, she bounced right back. She came to love her teacher and began making friends. She even got over crying when I dropped her off in the morning.
Just as I was beginning to release the anxiety I felt about sending her off with total strangers for the half the day, it happened. The two year olds were split into two classrooms. The first class (which my little PC was assigned to) consisted of kids who were closer to the age of two; the kids in the second class were closer to three and potty trained, or darn close to it. Can you guess what else changed? That’s right! Miss PC had a new teacher, all of a sudden. She had a new teacher who she couldn’t stand to go to in the morning when I dropped her off. A new teacher who didn’t even acknowledge PC when I brought her into the room in the mornings; and when she did acknowledge her, everything about the interaction was forced and stressed. Soon, PC began showing signs of anxiety, like chewing on her hands, sticking out her bottom lip when we approached the school, and screaming bloody murder when I took her to the classroom. She would cling to me, scream, break out in a sweat, and not want to stay.
For two months, I ignored my gut feeling, which was that this teacher didn’t like my child, or any other child for that matter. The more I sensed she didn’t want to “deal with” PC, the more PC became erratic and upset when going to the school. The other school employees told me that PC would cry during the day…never a problem before. Her hand and fingers were shut in a door TWICE in TWO months.
Well, last Friday, we got a reprieve. Miss Sourpuss wasn’t there when I took PC into her classroom. So, I spoke with two of the other teachers, only to find out that Miss Sourpuss might not being coming back. And, one of the other teachers (PC’s favorite) had told the Director that if Miss Sourpuss were still there when it was time for her son to transition to the two year old room, she would remove him and enroll him at a different school. Apparently, other parents had complained, as well.
I couldn’t believe it….I knew I should have followed my instincts and said something sooner! I was so elated. Not only was I elated, but PC was elated, too. Instead of the normal crying, freaking out I used to experience when dropping her off at school, PC actually stretched her arms out to go to the teacher (her original teacher, by the way). No tears were shed, and I was told later that day when I picked her up that she had a *great* day. We found the same joy when we arrived at school yesterday, too.
The happiness ended when we returned to the school this morning. When we walked into PC’s classroom, her favorite teacher was there to receive her, but all of a sudden we heard and all too familiar voice say, “Hi, PC!”. Immediately, I could feel PC’s entire body stiffen in my arms. Her gaze locked upon Miss Sourpuss, who was sitting on the floor with some of the other kids. In a matter of mere seconds, PC’s entire physiology had changed, and markedly. I shot a quick glance at the good teacher and she mouthed, “I have no idea…talk to the Assistant Director.” PC was so intent and upset by the presence of Miss Sourpuss that when I called her name (three times) to say goodbye, she wouldn’t even look at me. Her eyes were fixated on the teacher seated on the floor. I wanted to cry and I contemplated yanking her right out of that place.
On my way out, I spoke with the Assistant Director. I explained the marked changes in PC with the different teachers. I told her that I couldn’t have PC in a classroom alone with Miss Sourpuss any longer. I asked if I could switch PC to the other teacher’s class. The Assistant Director told me that for now, due to the small number of two year olds enrolled at the school, the two classrooms were going to be combined. She said that next week when the older kids go back to school, the other classrooms will be restructured and that if it’s in the best interest of the child, they can switch them to another classroom. I went on to explain how PC became anxious and depressed whenever she came to school and had to be in Miss Sourpuss’s class, but that she nearly cried on the car ride home yesterday because she wanted to go back to see her favorite teacher. PC is even calling the other teacher by her name now. She can’t even calm herself down enough to know Miss Sourpuss’s name.
I don’t know if they were giving me the runaround, but mark my words, if I go back to that school this afternoon to pickup PC and I find out she’s been alone with Miss Sourpuss, heads will roll! I’m not going to pay exorbitant amounts of money for my child to be turned into a bundle of anxiety because they won’t switch her classroom, or maybe GET RID OF someone who has had other complaints, especially from a coworker!
I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.