So as soon as she opened her eyes this morning, Granuaile started crying about not wanting to go to school. No, really crying. Not just fake, whiney stuff. This was the real thing, real tears, real snot running down her nose. Ewww to the visual on that.
We dropped Eilis off and I headed for my coffee. I had bargained with her to please not cry so I could concentrate on my driving, and then asked her to please just be quiet until I ordered my coffee, and she not only did both, but she stayed quiet long enough for me to have a quick chat with Sandi at the drive-thru window. We drove off towards school, and while she made the occasional request to please go home, she stayed reasonably quiet until we drove past the McDonald’s on the White Horse Pike. Then she asked for a happy meal. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to offer her a deal, and I took it. I told her if she tried to eat her lunch at school or tried to eat her snack, I would take her to get a happy meal after school.
Now why would a fat woman encourage a kid to behave by offering her food? Well, first of all, she’s little, and she wanted a happy meal. Secondly, she has not eaten breakfast or lunch for two days straight, and I’m worried about her. And lastly, she’s little and cute. But really, I figured it it worked, it might help in the long run, so I’m willing to risk the fat and calories in one happy meal.
We got to school, and I just started talking. I pointed out the polar bear painted on the window of the school sitting on a block of ice. We talked about how cold his hiney must be. I talked about the snowman painted on the door and the calendar by the sign in sheet. I told her I was punching in the code for the door alarm and I showed her the babies in the first room. We found a poster with a boy with a butterfly on his nose and a classroom that had penguins on their door. And in the classroom, although whimpering a bit, she voluntarily took her jacket off and helped me hang everything in her cubby. She asked me to pick her up, which I did, and I kissed her, told her I loved her and told her I’d be back in a little while to take her for her happy meal. She climbed down by herself – to the amazement of her teachers. She ran to her “corner” and bent over to pick up a toy, just as I was getting ready to walk out, and when she saw me, she got hysterical crying, screaming for me not to leave her, and kicking and slapping at poor Miss Kelly. I quickly walked out the door and prayed for the best.
And when I picked her up, they gave me a picture of smiling Grace that they captions “Look How Much Fun I Had Today”! She was happily sitting on the floor playing when I arrived and she ran over to me with a big grin on her little face. We gathered up all of her stuff, with her teachers telling her how proud they were of her today, and they told me that while she didn’t eat lunch, she did sit at the table, drink some juice, and she did eat a little snack after naptime. Well worth a happy meal!
Of course, the first thing she said when we got into the car was, “I’m not going back to my school again!”