I've seen books for talking to your children about death, divorce, sex, and global warming. But where is the book that tells you how to break the news to your 4-year-old that they are too sick to go to Miss Liza's house for preschool? This wouldn't be a problem for most kids, but my son ranks his preschool teacher somewhere between deity and Santa Claus. The first thing he asks me in the morning is if he gets to go Miss Liza's for preschool. I would feel insecure as a mother that he loves Miss Liza more than me, but then again, I couldn't blame him if he did. She's a saint. A really nice saint. A really nice saint who has a clean house, impeccable hair, and the patience of Job. Did I mention that she also serves snacks? Come to think of it, I hate her.
At 9:15 AM today, I broke the news to my son. It didn't go so well. After spinning a tantrum the size of a Texas tornado that sent tears, fists, and spittle flying, my little Scoot finally resigned his croupy-coughed-self to staying home with Mom. My first instinct was to sit him down with a movie and a cough syrup chaser, but since it is Jane Austen month on Be Book Bound, I decided that we had probably better embrace our "inner artists" instead. (He still got the cough syrup chaser.)
Scoot isn't quite ready for composing prose like Austen (unless you count being able to write 5 of the 26 letters of the alphabet as "prose-ish"), but he's great with glue. When I remembered that I had these unfinished frames in the basement, I knew we had a match made in heaven. I sat Scoot down with some magazines and a pair of scissors, and told him to cut out pictures of anything that he liked. I anticipated the images of dinosaurs and race cars. I did not foresee, however, that he would also cut out pictures of baby toothpaste and kitchen sinks.
We spread some modge podge on the frame with a paintbrush and placed his magazine pictures all around it, collage-style. I gave the frame one final coat of modge podge for good measure, and ta-dah! Scoot is happy, the morning is almost over, and I haven't heard him whimper Miss Liza's name in almost 90 minutes. If that isn't a successful morning, then tell me what is. In fact, it has gone so well that I'm thinking that maybe I should take up teaching preschool. Then again, maybe I should just devote my energies to gearing up for tomorrow's tantrum. By the looks of that runny nose, I'm pretty sure I'll be breaking his heart again on Wednesday morning at 9:15.