Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Very Proud Daddy

Our days are set up so that, on the two days a week that she goes, I usually drop the Girl off at preschool, but my wife is always the one who picks her up. Up until today, I didn't know how pick-up goes, but drop-off is always at least a little tense, as I try to wrangle the Baby, the Boy, and the Girl into the van when we are leaving the house, and into the school once we arrive there. Something always seems to happen that prevents the morning from going smoothly; either the Boy informs me that he has a poopy diaper after I have already gotten the other two kids buckled into their car seats, or Daddy realizes we forgot the Girl's backpack after we are already half way to school, or the Boy starts crying because he really wants to go to school with his big sister, or the Girl starts crying because she really does not want to go to school at all, or any combination of those things, or any number of other calamities that have occurred, or are sure to occur at some point in the near future. You never know what is going to go wrong at our house!

Today, because of a thing that Mommy had to stay at work for, I got to go and pick up the Girl as well as drop her off in the morning. I was unsure of what to expect when I got to the school for pick-up time. Would the parents all be hanging out outside the classroom? Would I have to make small talk with all the soccer moms and hipster dads? When the teacher opened the door and the hordes of kids came rushing out to find their parent, would it be even more chaotic than it is in the mornings? Would I be in jeopardy of being trampled by dozens of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds?

Amazingly, none of that happened. In fact, even though I got there a couple of minutes early, half of the children had already been picked up, and the remaining ones were just playing quietly together, patiently waiting for their mom or dad. When the Girl saw me, she slowly walked over to greet me, in an almost restrained manner that did not fit with the rambunctious persona that I am used to. I even had time to have a calm conversation with her teacher, Miss Marge, for a couple of minutes, and found out that the Girl is "friendly with the other students, very polite, and the other girls just love to play with her." What? Did I hear that correctly? Despite my disbelief, I did not ask Miss Marge if she knew which student she was talking about. And, even if preschool teachers tell all of the parents that same story, I didn't care. I was very proud of my little girl, and I strode out of the school feeling like the best parent in the world. We have raised an awesome child! And her popularity in the classroom was proven when one of the little boys gave her a great big hug before we left. I'll have words with him some other time. Today, I am too proud to even care.

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