Stuck with you

Lucille wakes up every morning asking the same question.

“Do I have to go to school today?”

Sometimes she rubs her eyes, stretches and yawns before she asks. Others days she screams it, her hair standing this way and that. On this morning her little body, soft as the belly of crab, flops all around the room until she settles, usually on the floor, wearing nothing but a pair of princess panties.

When she balks about going to wile away her day at maybe the best preschool on the planet, I remind her about that Benjamin and Moana will be there, that Mina is waiting for her, that there are naked baby dolls in the water table.

“You don’t want to be stuck here with me,” I often tell her. “You’ll have a great day!”

So recently she’s reframed her question.

“Mama, am I stuck here with you today?”

“Yep, you’re stuck here with me,” I tell her when she doesn’t have school.

“Yeah!” she says.

I’ve tried to figure out why she says she doesn’t want to go to school. When I talked to her preschool teacher, a seasoned veteran of the three to four-year-old crowd, she encouraged me to watch Lucille after I dropped her off.

“She comes right in and finds friends,” she said. “She has lots of points of connection here.”

I watched and Lucille is as happy as can be.

“So, she’s yanking my chain?” I asked her teacher.

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