I was dropping Cookie Bear off at pre-school today and our neighbor was dropping off her youngest child when we got to talking and I was reminded of my early days as a Daytime Daddy. She was saying that her son is enjoying the beginning of his first year in pre-school and I got to thinking about how my first year of pre-school went.
Well, it wasn’t actually my first-year in pre-school (I don’t remember that), it was my first year at pre-school as a parent -- Peanut Bear’s first year at pre-school. I told our neighbor how much Peanut really enjoyed the school. She liked it so much, that she almost got me arrested or at least a visit from DHS.
Before I get into what almost led to my incarceration, let me explain Peanut Bear and the relationship I, a man who was as much a child as she was, had with her when she was three years old. She has always been a very smart, caring child, who in hindsight was probably just as insecure and in need of attention as she was confident and independent. She required, no, demanded, a lot of my time.
This was very difficult since she had a twin brother, Junior Bear, and a younger sister, Cookie Bear, who was just one at the time. There was only so much time and she demanded about 80 percent of it.
Looking back, I laugh (because it’s better than crying), but we butted heads a lot. I found myself getting in arguments with a three year old…and losing!
Anyway, getting back to what almost landed me in County Jail for 3-to-6…
Dropping Peanut and Junior Bear off at pre-school went flawlessly just about every day. Very few times did they get upset with me leaving. To the contrary, it was me coming back that was the problem.
Peanut Bear would be so upset she had to leave that she would scream and cry like the world was coming to an end.
Let me say that again. Peanut Bear would scream and cry when her dad, Papa Bear, the only Daytime Daddy in the school, would come to get her!
She would not easily leave with me! She would run back to the teacher, who we’ll call Miss Bearie, and would not easily come back to me, the only Daytime Daddy in the pre-school.
Do you see my concern here? A seemingly well-balanced child would flip her lid when her dad, a man who was home with her all day, would enter the room. You would’ve thought I was some horrible person.
Now, let me put this into perspective. I would be battling with Peanut Bear to leave and Junior Bear would be down the hallway towards the exit and Cookie Bear would be in the carrier. So I would be arguing with Peanut to come, while begging Junior Bear to stay, all the while making sure I don’t forget Cookie Bear. Can you see why I’d be sweating and looking completely guilty of whatever thoughts were running through Miss Bearie’s head?
“Miss Bearie! I love you! I want a hug!” Peanut would say.
See, it wasn’t as much Peanut Bear not wanting to come with me, but wanting to stay with Miss Bearie.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself.