Oh Lila: Every.Single.Day?

1/19/2012 04:27:00 PM
Are those tears of joy behind those eyes? Riiiight.

The deal is, Craig drops Lila off at school around 9 a.m. every morning. And I pick her up at 1:30 p.m.

My creature of routine loves school and all that comes with it: her uniform, her shoes, her lunch bag, her backpack, EVERYTHING. She loves school. "I go school now? Now? NOW?"

Every morning, Craig tells me that Lila is welcomed with greetings from her teachers and classmates who are so excited to see her, "Hi Lila!"

Every morning, she walks in the school and forgets about Craig immediately. She NEVER says or kisses Craig goodbye. Ever.

Oh Lila, my spirited child.

Then I pick Lila up in the afternoon. She stands by the gate until she sees me.

Then WITHOUT FAIL she RUNS from the gate as soon as our eyes meet and screams, "LILA NO GO HOME!!! NO!!!" She doesn't yell it. She screams it.

She has done this EVERY afternoon since she started school. In August.

All of the other parents smile and judge me as their little cherubs run to them yelling, "Mama! Papa!" I know what they're thinking: "Ah, that Gringa. Her daughter runs from her. She must beat her at home. She must be a horrendous parent."

The teachers smile at the daily routine.

Even the school administrator smiles... politely.

I can't stand polite smiles.

Then, every.single.day Lila's sweetheart of a teacher ambles over to her in the midst of the insanity that is preschool pickup time and PEELS her off of the slide, whispers magical words to her and Lila reluctantly walks toward me.

All of this takes anywhere from 3-8 minutes and it drives me CRAZY.

SO. Today was a new day.

I warned Lila last night about the "new day" and told her that when Mommy comes to pick her up from school tomorrow, and she sees me, it would make me so happy if she would STAY at the gate and not RUN to the slide. I explained that she needs to be a big girl, blah, blah, blah.

Now before you think I'm a heartless mother who wants to hurt her child, know that I have tried every soft and sweet approach possible. Now? I'm over it. Ask my family who sees Lila regularly, she is a tough cookie. EVERYTHING is done in Lila's time. Not ONE minute sooner.

So enter TODAY.

I walk up to the school and watched Lila leave her classroom, walk through the gate and into the courtyard. She immediately walked toward the gate where she gives me the stink-eye every afternoon.

I said, "Hi Lila! Wait there. Mommy's coming."

She darted.


I took a deep breath and ignored the teachers, other parents AND the school administrator laughing judging yet again... opened the gate, walked over to Lila and told her it was time to go now. She said no.

I stood her up and walked her out.


She screamed all the way to the car. In the car. (Hence the photo above). And for about 5 minutes in to the drive.

Then finally she was quiet and we talked.

Bottom line: she doesn't want to go home and take a nap (I know), she doesn't want to leave school (I know) and she loves Miss Luly (I know.)

She also made it clear that she "no love" me at that moment. ("I no love you.") Her words, not mine.

Then 2 minutes later she was smiling.


TODDLERS ARE INSANE. Or is it just MY toddler?

So, tomorrow she promises that when she sees me, she is going to give me the biggest HUG ever and I told her that will make me sooooo happy.

Fingers crossed.

If I was a bettin' lady, I'd put $300 down that Lila is going to run like the wind. Again. Tomorrow.

Ah, my spirited child.



  1. Wow. Every day since August?? That is one committed and determined little girl you have there.

    Honestly? You are a GREAT mother. I never would have lasted this long. Chica would have been dragged off the playground in week two by me. :) So, there you have it. Your patience abounds.

  2. aahhahahahaha!! i am laughing WITH you, not AT you, rest assured. i could hear all of your intonations, all of your words in this post in my head. i think it's good that you're telling her "it would make me happy". she's great, truly. and you're a saint.

  3. You have to let us know what she does! I think I'd take that over Jack's dramatic drop offs. He puts on the biggest show and even holds onto my leg as I leave. Blargh!

  4. I have watched Audra (she was 2 1/2 at the time of this story) deliberately ignore her Dad as he was telling her to pick up the cup that she had just thrown to the ground. She had her back to him and her face was one of deliberate F you.
    Christmas Eve night (almost 3) she told her Dad that she had enough presents. She was refusing to say excuse me for burping. It was not so much the burping as the deliberate refusal to comply with what she was being told. Her first response to the treat of no presents for not listening was I have enough. When asked if she was sure, she contemplated, and contemplated and then said excuse me. From that night on we get the "excuse me" when she burps.
    I'm impressed that Miss Lila has stuck to her routine every day since August. Definitely looking to the update to the story!

  5. Oh Ky, you deserve some sort of award, or maybe a stiff drink, for having the patience to handle that EVERY day for so long. Seriously, that would be emotionally draining. From the FIRST day back to work until just a few weeks ago I would watch Henry alone at night while Terry was at work. Terry would tell me "Oh Henry has been fantastic all day" and then like clock work at 6:30 I would have crying child who couldn't be comforted until I put him to bed at 9:30/10. AAAAAHHHHH!

    I hope today she gives you the biggest hug....or at the least doesn't run away screaming! It sounds like you are handling this wonderfully (hang in there) and hopefully one day it just clicks with her that, hey it is ok as you will be back tomorrow :) Oh, can't wait for that age!!

    On the other hand, you have a strong willed child which will be such a great thing when she gets older!

  6. mmm toddlers. if it helps, jude does this EVERY. DAY. at awesome babysitter's too. he loves it there so much that when i come to pick him up... sigh. he doesn't do it when jon does pickup (ilo me) but that's only once in a blue moon.

  7. I am so thankful I read this post yesterday... you know why? My little sweet pea did exactly the same thing at the sitter yesterday. We were getting ready to go out the door and she was upset because I wanted her to wear her cold weather hat outside. She literally started screaming and stiffened her whole body (you know what I'm talking about) so I proceeded to drag her, yes DRAG her, out of the sitter's house, down the steps, sit her in her car seat (while she is still screaming). I went to shut the door and she put her arm out to stiff arm the car door, awesome. So, I get in and start driving away. With her screaming, not buckled in. (Don't judge, I was already late in getting my man from school.) I, however, did not keep my cool with her - I only lasted 2 minutes in the car with her screaming. I yelled. And then felt HORRIBLE afterwards. Sigh. We are going to love our little ladies' spirited-ness at some point and it will serve them well in their lives... for now it's just learning how to parent them and teach them to use it for good, not evil. ;-) All the while allowing them to be who they are. LOVE YOU, FRIEND!

  8. This made me laugh WITH you. Sophia is just like Ms. Lila. She doesn't cry at school, but does that every single time one of her grandmas visit. We say it's time to go, she totally melts down screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as if we beat her at home. She cries uncontrollably and says "I don't want to stay with Mama and Daddy...Nooooooo". Coincidentally, it's always naptime or bedtime when we/they leave. Hmm....

    It's so funny, yet frustrating at the same time. Smart little boogers just want to keep having fun and don't want to sleep/have rules. I bet it's the same with Ms. Lila. Girlfriend is just having too much fun.

    We just remind S, like you are doing with L, that it would make us happy if she didn't cry. And we say it would make GRAM happy too. GRAM doesn't like to see her cry. You could do that with her teachers. Tell her it would make them sad to see her scream.

    You are a great mom!

  9. You have a saint's patience, my dear. :)

    (I do think it's interesting that she waits patiently for you, then bolts AS SOON as she sees you. Seems like she's testing you? But then, this is a looooooong test of wills. :))

    I hope today goes better, and you get your big hug from your sweet girl (who adores you, you know)!

  10. She is hilarious! She just loves school and that's a good thing right? My feelings would be a little hurt though too.

    Girls are so dramatic. Keira is the same way!

  11. My son used to do the same thing. The first months of preschool he wouldn't just cry, he would throw himself on the floor and hide his face as soon as he saw us. It was really hard and humiliating. He still loves school and ocasionally gets bummed if we pick him up in the middle of a fun activity but now for the most part he's excited to see us at the end of the day. It gets better. :)

  12. As a Preschool Teacher I have dealt with this time and again. Usually I too end up being the one to get the child moving at the end of the day. I have one I'm dealing with right now, but she is 4. When I have little ones, we just do a lot of reminders (and see if the teachers will help) that it hurts Mommy's feelings when you cry and run away from her. Also, be firm that at the end of the day all of the children have to go home. The teacher's have other work to do. It may seem a bit harsh, but we do. Sometimes the truth is the easiest thing. Be honest, be firm and stay committed. Sounds like you're on the right track. Just stick with it! (And seriously, ask the teachers not just to tell her when you arrive, but to remind her a little bit before you come, that when its the end of the day and Mommy comes, we have to be nice and go with out crying and having a fit!)


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