Sunday, July 17, 2011


I have been leaving my children at day care since both of them were three months old. Of course, the first time I dropped off TRex, I was paralyzed with fear. I couldn't concentrate on anything except whether my precious baby was okay. And he was. As the days went by and TRex loved his day care providers, it got easier to drop him off. It was never easy, but easier to leave him behind. Then the separation anxiety phase hit and he would cry his little eyes out when I left. Those were hard days. But, he and I made it through those days and he was once again happy as soon as he got to school and didn't real mind mommy leaving.

Then the Dancing Queen was born and poor little TRex, all of 17 months old, had his world turned upside down. He had no idea why he was shuttled between people. He did not know why mommy and daddy weren't home. He had never met his sister and had no concept of a sister. And to top it all off, he didn't know who would be picking him up or dropping him off at school or at home. Poor little TRex was a mess. So after I could drive again, we settled into a routine. I would drop TRex off at school and go to the hospital to be with DQ. And being dropped off at school felt good to TRex. It was normal and expected and his beloved M&D gave him extra hugs to help him through the days.

Leaving the Dancing Queen at day care at three months old was an entirely different story. After all, she had only been out of the hospital for a month. She was on a feeding tube. And she was still a very sick little girl, but she survived better than I did. M&D put her in a swing and she loved it. She enjoyed being around the kids and she loved the music. DQ took to it better even than TRex had.

It didn't get really hard with DQ until she returned to school following her second surgery. She was about 16 months old. She hit the separation anxiety phase right when she returned after having spent 3 non-stop months with me. She would cry so hard when I left that my entire being would ache. She would get over though once I was out of sight and that made it all right, but didn't help my ache. I wanted to be there for her. She did get over the separation anxiety phase and it got easier again to leave her. But every time she was hospitalized, upon her return, she would cry when I left for at least a couple of days. Leaving her at those times hurt, but I could do it because I knew giving her that freedom would allow her to grow and become independent.

But now, its different. Every day of summer vacation, when I drop DQ at her regular preschool/day care, she screams and holds me tight, refusing to let go. I don't think this is clinginess for mommy. It feels like she doesn't want to be left at that school. It's not the teachers. She loves them. I think the problem is that DQ has no friends. TRex tells us each night who he played with throughout the day. We ask DQ and she says nobody or tells us who wouldn't play with her.

Each morning when I drop the kids off at school, TRex runs off with a different kid (they greet him at the door) and none of the kids come running up to DQ. As I try to leave, I have to pry DQ from my body. One of the teachers usually has to grab her away. As I walk to my car, the tears bulge at my eyes and her cries reverberate in my ears.

I don't think my three year old is being played with at school. That breaks my heart. I know I've blogged about this before, but it is killing me lately. I don't know how to fix it. And I've been a kid before, so I know that I probably can't fix it. But I can't help thinking "life is not fair!" How could anyone not love that face!

1 comment:

  1. {{{HUG}}} This pains me to no end to read this. Not only does my heart break for you but it also breaks for DQ. I wish I had some grand answers to help you but the only thing I can think of is what our school did for Wyatt when he was having a tough time transitioning to going to the big school.
    They allowed him to choose one friend to go and play a special game with just him and the guidance counselor. They went to a separate room away from the other kids and had fun for a little bit. It helped for Wyatt to make friends and feel that he was getting to "play". Eventually he didn't need it anymore and had no issues with playing at recess and he began to like school better. Maybe this is something that DQ's school/daycare can do to help her too.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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