A mother whose daughter is new in our school told me yesterday that she thinks her daughter's unhappy reaction is much more intense when she is around, as once the girl gets with her class she appears to be fine.
Which reminded me of the first time I observed this phenomenon. I was teaching at BJJH, and Andrew was a toddler. He and I had to ride 45 minutes together every morning, since we had moved away by then, but I had to finish out my contract. I'd put him in the car straight from his crib each morning in the hopes that he'd sleep. Never happened. Once there, we'd go to the nursery, where I'd dress him, and then, when the workers got there, leave him so I could get to work by 7:30.
On those mornings he put on a show worthy of an Academy Award. Each morning I would leave feeling like the anti-Mother of the Year, the wicked witch who abandons her child, in a cold and lonely place, to sob the morning away.
One morning, leaving with a heavy heart to the sound of his cries of "Mama! Mama!" I walked outside and around to his room, stepped through the shrubbery, and looked through the window.
He was on on one of the hobby horses, with his best buddy on the one next to him, and the two of them were furiously racing as fast as they could go, grinning and laughing, having a wonderful time. It was abundantly apparent that thoughts of his mom were nowhere in his little brain.
And I had been gone from his room maybe thirty seconds.
I had been duped. Therein lay my first introduction to the true nature of mothers and children. And it in no way resembled the lovely portraits of the beautiful and trusting Madonna and child!