To say my day got off to a rocky start would be a grand understatement.
I woke up at 04h15 with a start after a terrible dream and lay there until 05h00 when I got up to walk the dogs. Which really entails Lily (the Labby) and I being dragged around our suburb by Jack The Delinquent. He is really highly strung (read: aggressive toward strange dogs) and very strong, not an ideal combination in a dog. But he will be sorted out soon.
Fast forward to 07h00 when we were still battling to get everyone up and fed and tempers were fraying. Mignon had been lying crying in her bed since 06h30 saying she wasn’t going to school and was immovable despite our best efforts at cajoling, begging, threatening or reasoning with her as she refused to tell us what was wrong. By 07h15 she was hysterical and I eventually had her on my lap trying to figure out what the story was. She just kept saying she wasn’t going to school. The End. No explanation, no reason, just NO. This in itself freaked us out.
Etienne ended up carrying her to the car (literally) kicking and screaming. She cried all the way to school and eventually she said that she’s upset because Isabel doesn’t play with her at school. I then asked Isabel to play nicely with her sister and they must remember they need to take care of each other and so on and so forth and she seemed to calm down, until I pulled up at the school. Chaos ensued. She clung to me like a little monkey, something she has never ever done before and she was not letting go any time soon.
The three of us sat down in the classroom and the staff looked positively bewildered by this sorry state of affairs until I eventually realized that it was not going to get any better. I was either going to have to take her away or I was going to have to remove myself from the equation and all I kept thinking was that I abandoning my child not protecting her against something. But I had no idea what.
The staff at the school luckily got things under control very quickly and she was already calmer when I called in to check a few minutes after I left. They had a chat to her at the school and she said it was because Isabel had made a friend and she hadn’t.
When I look back at the morning I am torn between extreme guilt, feeling that I should have taken the day off to spend it just with her (not an option) and knowing that it is best for her to fight her own battles.
But it still hurts like a bitch.
And it was the only morning in my life I fervently wished for the long commute into town so I could have a proper cry in the car and then some time to compose myself instead of sneaking into work hopelessly late wearing sunglasses and hiding in my office until I looked presentable. On the upside I weirdly had a ridiculously productive morning as a result.
Tomorrow will be better.