She got out of the car and turned to see me wave. Then she ran back and motioned that she needed to get in. I opened the door. She said she didn't want to go to school today. I gently told her she that attendance was mandatory and she got back out.
This time she made it only a few steps before turning around and starting to cry. I opened the window.
"You don't love me!" she wailed.
"Yes I do. Now go to school."
She walked a few more steps then turned around to see if I was watching. I couldn't move the car; I was hemmed in at the front and back with late-comers, eager to drop their kids off before classes began.
She had the perfect opportunity because I was stuck there. She ran back to the car, tears streaming down her face. I opened the window again and told her she could get back in the car, but I would take her home and she'd have to spend the entire day in her room.
She walked back up the sidewalk.
The car in front of me left and I pulled out. I could see her out the passenger window, running along the sidewalk, trying to catch up to the vehicle. She frantically motioned for me to shop. I steadied my focus on the road in front of me and hoped she thought that I thought she had gone inside.
I left the school drop-off zone and drove back past the front doors. She wasn't outside anymore. She must have gone in.
I breathed a ragged sigh of relief and frustration. Isaac spoke up from the back seat, "Mom, we really need to go back and get Ariana. She doesn't want to go to school today."
"No buddy, she has to go. She'll be okay." I hoped.
"But Mom, I really want to go back and get Ariana." Isaac was insistent, "And I really want to go to the doctor and get a shot."
The previous day he had found out that a doctor's visit was in the near future. Dreading the possibility of immunizations, he had been hyperventilating about the appointment. Wanting to put him at ease regarding shots, I told him that getting a few little pokes from the doctor was nothing compared with not getting the shots, getting really sick, being hospitalized, and having tubes shoved up his veins.
With that kind of a pep-talk in the back of his mind, Ike had been asking me ever since to, "Please call the doctor right now and tell her that I need a shot!"
"I already did Ike. She can't see you today, she has to see other kids."
Then another five minutes would pass and he'd ask again, "Mom, can you please call the doctor and ask her if she's done helping the other kids? I really need a shot."
Fortunately, Ariana seems to have forgotten the Mom-hates-me-and-left-me-at-school incident (or maybe she's blocked it from her memory?) But Isaac is still preoccupied with getting shots. He is now counting down the days until he can visit with the doctor.