I visited Ellie's preschool class this morning to give a little presentation about Thanksgiving traditions. Ellie had been so excited about the visit. We worked together yesterday to make mini cranberry-orange muffins for her friends. She helped me to cut out some pictures of traditional Thanksgiving fare for a little craft project to follow the presentation.
I was eager to get a peek at her private life, because I do constantly wonder what she experiences in her time away from me.
When we first arrived, Ellie jumped right into her happy morning routine, greeting her friends. And the little Thanksgiving presentation went just fine. But when I started to do the craft project with two children at a time, Ellie turned very sullen. She lurked behind me, wondering when it would be her turn, wondering if she could take another turn, trying to sit in my lap. She kept asking my to help her choose a montessori work to do. She said, "Mom, I have so many things to show you and free time is almost over and you won't see any of them." When all of the students had completed the craft project, it was nearly time for me to go. I only had a few minutes to sit and work with Ellie. When I said goodbye and got up to leave, she started crying a very quiet, sad cry. She kept listening to her teacher and stayed with the group as they walked on the line, but she was crying such a sad cry.
When I made these plans, an interactive group activity seemed like a way to make a contribution to her class while also getting a peek into her school life. But Ellie thought I was coming to class to spend time with her. I got what I wanted from the visit. She did not. She was still crying when I left. Her teacher assured me that this was not uncommon when parents come to class. I wish I told her that she could come home with me if she wanted. I have been so sad about her feeling sad. I can't wait to pick her up this afternoon.
No more visits to preschool for right now. Too hard for both of us.