Emma is hazing the daycare staff. Again. Apparently, her usual teacher, Miss Jessica, was out on Wednesday of last week. And, Emma did not approve of the replacement– Miss Amy. Sorry, Miss Amy. I understand you have a certificate in early childhood curriculum development. I’m sure you’re very accomplished. And caring. Please don’t feel badly that your efforts were completely undermined by my one-and-a-half year old. She occasionally does that to people. (By occasionally, I mean always.) She can be a bit . . . let’s just go with “standoffish” . . . around people she hasn’t known for at least six months. (Or more.) It’s just her process.
What’s that, Emma? Fine. If you insist.
Hi, folks. It’s me. Emma. Look, instead of Mommy telling you her version the story, why don’t I just tell you what REALLY happened last week? Mommy took me to daycare. And, as usual, I was left in the arms of, let’s just call her “Not-My-Mommy”. (Mommy calls her Joanne.) So, of course, I shrieked. Until Mommy was out of ear shot. Just between us, I really love Miss Joanne. She carries me around and gives me Cheerios MERE MINUTES AFTER MOMMY HAS FINISHED FEEDING ME BREAKFAST. Awesome. (Don’t rat me out, people. I need my O’s.) Thing is, if I don’t shriek and carry on when Mommy gives me to Miss Joanne, Mommy will feel unloved. We can’t have that. So, I scream. And reach out desperately for Mommy as soon as Miss Joanne takes me. That’s right, Mommy. I love you THAT much. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Anyhoo, all was well until around snack time. That’s when Miss Jessica usually comes to take me and the other one-and-a-half year olds to the Waddler room. YES, I am a Waddler. (We’re here. We waddle. Get used to it.) But instead of Miss Jessica, it was Miss-NOT-Jessica. (Miss Joanne calls her Amy.) OH, HELLS NO. I did NOT say I would allow Miss-Not-Jessica to feed me my snack. I did NOT say I would allow Miss-Not-Jessica to sing me my A-B-Cs (and appreciate how adorable it is that I only know the last four letters of the alphabet but still sing “now I know my A-B-Cs . . .”). I did NOT say I would allow Miss-Not-Jessica to wipe THIS tush. (People, I’m not just GIVING it away.)
I. WAS. NOT. HAVING. IT.
I screamed. I cried. I would not even look at THE IMPOSTOR. (Yes, Miss Jessica, I love you THAT much. YOU’RE WELCOME.) Finally Miss Joanne realized that the situation was simply UNACCEPTABLE. (Mommy says that Miss Joanne is the boss of the daycare. Personally I think we all know who the boss of the daycare is. Hint: it is someone substantially smaller and balder than Miss Joanne.) Miss Joanne took me with her. To the Toddler room.
Oh, the Toddler Room. (Swoon.) The glorious squish of grapes from snack time underneath the legs of every chair. The delightful feel of playdough smooshed into the carpet beneath your feet. The dulcet tones of some two-year-old screeching an Elmo song. Oh, to walk among the toddlers . . . and, of course, hope that they don’t accidentally plow me over. (Seriously, for little people who have had several months to perfect the skill of walking, let me just say: not so coordinated. But I digress . . .) The real thrill of the Toddler Room is not the room itself. Or even the toys. (Though, did I mention that they have A TOTALLY PIMPED OUT PLAY KITCHEN?!?) It’s Miss Kristen. I don’t know why. I barely know her. But I have decided: I love her. Yes, Miss Kristen YOU can feed me my snack. (Make it snappy though: I’m FAMISHED from all that shrieking at Miss-Not-Jessica.) Yes, Miss Kristen, YOU can sing to me. (I don’t even mind that you get a bit pitchy toward the end of Twinkle, Twinkle.) Yes, Miss Kristen, YOU can change my diaper. (YOU’RE WELCOME.)
I love Miss Kristen. I even told my Mommy I love her. Well, I didn’t exactly TELL her. But she knows. The first sign was that I was sitting on Miss Kristen’s lap in the Toddler Room when Mommy came to pick me up that afternoon. (All the toddlers were napping and I was rescuing Miss Kristen from an afternoon of abject boredom. I. Am. A. Giver.) Also, when Mommy was putting me to bed that night, I insisted that Mommy sing me the “Happy Birthday” song. As usual. But this time, instead of my usual request to sing “Happy Birthday Miss Joanne”, I made Mommy sing “Happy Birthday Miss Kristen”. Fifty-four times. I’m not totally solid on this, but I’m pretty sure that whenever you sing Happy Birthday to someone, they get cake. So, right now, Miss Kristen probably has . . . okay, I haven’t done the math . . . a LOT of cake. (YOU’RE WELCOME.) And, no, no, Mommy didn’t mind at all. (She enjoys repetition. It builds her confidence.)
But, wait a minute. I have also heard that when you sing the Happy Birthday song for someone they get a year older. LORDY. What have I done?? Miss Kristen, I am SO sorry. I hope you’re not too old to take care of me now. That. Would. Be. Tragic. Unless, of course, Miss Jessica is back at school tomorrow. I can only hope.