Two times in as many weeks Nadia has met me at preschool with tears.
I had grown accustomed to the squeals of “Mommy!” and the skip, hop, jump and hug that immediately followed.
But no, I have been greeted with plump tears, wailing sobs and an utterly filthy child. It’s okay that she likes rolling around in the dirt and playing on the swing set and making imaginary meals in the sandbox. But when it’s time to go, it is time to go.
You know how mothers know what a child wants when she cries? There’s the hungry cry, the tired cry and the my-diaper-is-wet cry. Here’s what I hear when Nadia cries as I am picking her up.
The first cries are simple.
I want to swing.
I want to play in the sandbox.
I want to get dirty.
The cries then take on a threatening tone.
I’m going to go boneless.
Okay, I am just going to sit here in the middle of the sidewalk.
I will walk, but I will not get in my car seat.
The final stage is accusatory.
Why is my sister going along with this? Simone, help!
People, I don’t know this woman. I know she is acting like my mother and all, but she is NOT my mother.
I’m being kidnapped!
I translate all of this for a parent who is now staring. “She doesn’t want to leave the playground.”